Thursday, April 19, 2007

Good food is hard to find.

When we moved to Orange County from Texas almost 3 years ago, we knew we'd miss our friends. We also knew that we'd miss owning a nice home on a huge lot. One of the things we realized about 2 weeks into living out here, though, was how much we miss the food. I'm a foody... a connoisseur, if you will.

Texas (Houston in particular) has the BEST food. (How do you think it got to be the fattest city in America?) California has In-n-Out but Texas has pretty much everything else. Carrabba's for the best Italian food. La Madeleine, the best french cafe. Los Cucos for the most incredible mexican food. Ming's for the best chinese. Taste of Texas for the best prime steaks. I just can't seem to find any restaurant out here, anywhere close to as good as any of these restaurants.

One of the things I miss most about Texas is good barbecue. In Brownwood, TX there is this little family owned restaurant called Underwood's Cafeteria. People will drive hours out of their way to come get some Underwood's barbecue. Its so good that it was named one of Texas' Top 10 Restaurants. Not top 10 barbecue joints, TOP 10 Restaurants... in the whole stinking state. Its life changing.

I've had so many people take me to barbecue places since I've moved here and they all say the same thing... "I know you say there's no good barbecue in California but you've never been to ___________" The first place I went was a gigantic disappointment, Lucille's. I had high hopes. A restaurant named after B.B. King's guitar (or is it just coincidence?) had to have some good brisket. Nope.

Covering meat in barbecue sauce does not make it "barbecue" any more than covering it in syrup makes it a pancake.

I just made that up so you guys can quote me if you want. Just make sure I get credit.

So last week my friend Trever told me about one of his new favorite restaurants, Beach Pit Barbecue. He had previously gone on and on about how good Lucille's was so I was skeptical to say the least.

Well tonight Cyndie, Makenzie and I hopped in the car and took off for dinner. We often just start driving hoping to see something that catches our interest but nothing stuck out. Then I saw Lucille's and thought how great barbecue sounded, of course I wouldn't go there but it sure put me in the mood. I called up Trever and asked him for directions to Beach Pit and we made our way over there. Its just off 17th street and Tustin Rd. on the border of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. We walked in and placed our order. We got our food and were more than pleasantly surprised. I never thought I'd find decent, much less great barbecue in Southern California. Its no Underwood's but it definitely passed the test.

So go check it out, I hear they've even got a new location at Angel Stadium. Oh yeah, stick to the beef brisket. The sausage and pulled pork aren't anywhere close to as good.

If you've stuck with me this long you probably like your food too. Point me in the direction of some good mexican/italian/chinese food here in OC. FYI: Chevy's, Macaroni Grill and P.F Chang's are banned from the comment box.



Blogger david said...

I just think it's funny that it sounds so much like "The Peach Pit" of 90210 fame. You didn't see Brandon, Brenda, Dylan, Steve, Kelly, Donna, and David did you?

6:05 AM  
Blogger tyler hoehne said...

was it really that great? i will have to try it out.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Justin Burleson said...

Carraba's does sound good for dinner tonight... I think I'll go!

1:47 PM  
Blogger Nic said...

I'm sure it's no Kruezz or Smitty's or Blacks Or Chisolm Trail, but then again, I live in the official Bar-B-Q capital of the great state of Texas. But I am glad you found some decent bar-b-q finally. "Covering meat in barbecue sauce does not make it "barbecue" any more than covering it in syrup makes it a pancake." - That is hilarious, and I probably will quote you on it...And by the way, Justin, Carraba's does sound good...luckily there's one 20 minutes from the house!

5:00 PM  
Blogger Michael Norwood said...

I hate you guys... seriously. Hey I'll be in Texas in May. We need to get together.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Trista said...

For Chinese, you must try Seafood Cove in Westminster. Authentic all the way! Their Kung Pao chicken is the best I've tasted anywhere! Also, try the Squid fried with Butter Sauce..oh so very yummy!

10:40 PM  
Blogger Tiffany Aicklen said...


Your last two personal blogs have one reoccuring theme . . . meat. I'm a little worried :)This blog has got to win the record for your longest blog to date and what was the topic again . . . oh yeah . . . that's right . . . meat. I saw Makenzie licking her fingers. Good food is hard to find in the OC. Good thing your coming to Visalia this week!

11:56 PM  
Blogger tyler hoehne said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:35 AM  
Blogger tyler hoehne said...

california has the mcdonalds angus burger, so boo ya texas...

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want real italian food try Peppino's Italian Family Restaurants. There are five of them in South Orange County. The website adress is I'm in Texas now, but I ate there at least once a week for years. It's a real Italian family run operation.

There's also a BBQ place in Santa Ana, either in or near downton that's supposed to be very good.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to and looked up BBQ in Santa Ana, the place I was trying to think of is Burrell's BBQ, 305 Hesperian St, (714) 547-7441

3:21 PM  
Blogger tomas flint said...

amazing post michael. you're a passionate one can take that from you. We've got a place in NY called The Dinosaur BBQ. Pretty rad if you ask me, but then again it's no houston. I'll have to get you out here to check it out sometime!!

5:17 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I don't know much about BBQ in OC, but up here in LA we have The Pig which is Memphis Style BBQ. It's pretty good...Melrose and La Brea. The only bad thing is the price. For some reason these California people think they have to charge a lot for southern food, and I have no idea why.

Also, if you're ever in Palm Desert YOU MUST GO TO BABE'S!!! They have the best St. Louis style ribs I've EVER HAD.

Of course Roscoe's is good southern food as well. There's one in Long Beach.

Great post!

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Curt said...

At least there's something you miss about Texas. Next time you start going on about CA, I'm going to go eat at one of those places, take pictures of myself, and send them to you.

6:42 AM  
Blogger AmyC said...

C'mon, Norwood. Update this bad boy already. Sheesh.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Heather McTaggart said...

El Cholo in Irvine for mexican food! It's authetic and great will be amazed! I love your blog, I ran across it from a friend and LOVE to look at your pics. Keep up the great work

9:09 AM  

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