Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bludso's BBQ

One recent evening, as J and I sat in the car, our conversation turned to a familiar topic: "What should we eat for dinner?" On this evening, we both craved something heavy. Hearty. Filling. And we were willing to make a trek for it. We quickly arrived at the same conclusion: BBQ.

Although questions of where to find good BBQ in Los Angeles are often polarizing (any given BBQ joint is often the absolute "best" or "worst" place someone has eaten), the praise has been almost unanimous for one place--Bludso's BBQ.
Bludso's BBQ
Located in Compton only a stone's throw away from the Long Beach city limits, Bludso's BBQ serves Texas-style BBQ in Texas-sized portions. Owner Kevin Bludso hails from a barbecuing family and relies on the BBQ techniques of his great great grandfather and the recipes of his grandmother. I'm a sucker for food with history.
As J and I examined the menu, we vacillated over what to order: Should he order ribs? Or perhaps pork? Should I branch out from my favorite--pulled pork--in order to try something new? Finally, something caught our eye: the Texas Sampler ($28.50) which comes with two large sides and one of every kind of meat except beef rib. Except beef rib? We then added two beef ribs to our already sizeable order for $4.00.
Bludso's BBQ
Although Bludso's tiny interior holds a countertop and barstools, there is also an area behind the restaurant with a picnic table and chairs. The area is also home to Bludso's two large smokers so, while you wait for your food, a preview of what is to come may waft through the air.
Bludso's BBQ
Although Bludso's of course provides napkins and wet wipes for its messy fare, the restaurant also gives you two slices of white bread with your order--an edible alternative for your face-wiping needs.

White Bread @ Bludso's BBQ

The greens--our first side--were less than impressive, lacking the depth of flavor usually imbued to greens by the smoked meat with which they are cooked.
Greens @ Bludso's BBQ
The mac and cheese was a surprise--dry and crumbly rather than creamy and gooey as with most Southern versions of this dish. Despite its unexpected consistency, this mac and cheese was none the less rich and cheesy, which is what really counts.
Mac and Cheese @ Bludso's BBQ
Then our Texas Sampler arrived. As the weighty styrofoam container was placed in front of me, I marveled at just how full the little white box was, so full, in fact, that the lid was far from closed--unsurprising given the fact that this combo includes pork ribs, beef brisket, rib tip, BBQ chicken, chicken links, beef links, pulled pork and pork shoulder.
Texas Sampler @ Bludso's BBQ
Although the meats were all stacked on top of one another, each retained its unique flavor--the beef links, dark and smoky; the pork ribs, bright and tangy. Every item was technically "BBQ" but at no point did the flavors become redundant; every meat was completely different than the others and delicious in its own right.
Texas Sampler @ Bludso's BBQ
Despite the fact that we already had enough food to feed us for days, we also had our two extra beef ribs. Almost the size of my forearm, these were wonderfully meaty and tender. Although I rarely order ribs and generally avoid spicy food, I ate every last piece of meat off my rib.
Beef Ribs @ Bludso's BBQ
We did our best, but our box still did not fully close when we left, and the Bludso's crew jokingly voiced their disapproval. In the end, our substantial Texas Sampler platter from Bludso's provided around five separate meals--each of which was somehow even tastier than the last. I foresee a return trip in my near future. After all, I still need to try the pulled pork sandwich...

Bludso's BBQ
811 S. Long Beach Blvd.
Compton, CA 90221
(310) 637-1342

Bludso's BBQ on Urbanspoon


  1. I've been wanting to try Bludsoe's for a while! When it comes to BBQ though, I'm more of sides than meat kind of girl. A shame the greens and mac weren't in top form. I need great sides.

  2. @Gastronomer: I didn't grab a picture, but their corn bread was great! I'm with you on sides being crucial; I normally just order a pulled pork sandwich to go all out with sides :)

  3. I beg to differ on the Greens, Maybe you went on an off day.
    The Greens are fabulous, smoky, meaty, firm and Tasty. Love the BBQ rib tips with a medium side of collards and that small piece of cornbread, man that hits the spot!
    Highly recommend the Peach Cobbler if you have any room for dessert!

  4. i've tried this place recently and the greens were tasty. maybe they had an off day. anyways, still processing all that freakin' meat! holy baby jesus.

  5. I highly suggest ordering sauce-on-the-side in the future. Both the brisket and the pork ribs are good enough to be ingest sans sauce. NB: that's just not any white bread. Most of time, it's the best of 'em all: Wonder Bread. When it comes to BBQ at this caliber, why bother with sides? Anyone can make a half-assed mac & cheese, not many can cook it low and slow like Mr. Bludso.

  6. @Bagnatic: I can definitely go with the idea that the greens were just off that day since I enjoyed everything else I ordered so much. Those ones just didn't deliver.

    @SinoSoul: The consensus seems to be that I should have gone with sauce on the side, and I shall heed that advice on my next visit.