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Heritage BBQ - San Juan Capistrano

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    Heritage BBQ - San Juan Capistrano

    I had lunch at Heritage BBQ in SJC on 12/30/2020 with a friend who had been there before and recommended it. Since he's eaten my BBQ and also been with me on business trips in TX and OK, he wanted to get my opinion on their fare. It's been open for few months and seems to be doing well so far. I hope they are able to survive and thrive.

    • Best restaurant BBQ I've ever had in California
    • Somebody in the kitchen has been to Texas a time or 2
    • Smokiness slightly toned down for the local clientele
    • The adjacent brewery is a big win
    Specific Notes in order of how I remember:
    • Brisket:
      • Based on my voyeurism into the kitchen, I don't think they process them as whole packers - I think they are cutting off the flat and the end of the point, and just serving the relatively easier middle part of the overlapped point & flat. I don't have a problem with that - smart business if it works. Just something I noticed.
      • Texture and tenderness were SPOT ON - as good as my best ever
      • I definitely expected more smokiness - I think they toned it down for the California customer base.
    • Chili
      • This is where they put the rest of the brisket - awesome Texas (no bean) chili with plenty of shredded brisket
      • Did I mention it was really good? Get extra to take home for leftovers. Eat it alone, or put it on baked potatoes or chili dogs.
    • Sausage
      • Excellent. As good as I've had in TX, OK, KS, MO, etc. I don't know if they make it or buy it, but I want their recipe.
    • Ribs
      • Very good texture, flavor, and tenderness. For South OC, it's amazing, but for the country as a whole, it's just slightly above average.
    • Sides:
      • Potato salad is on point - nothing special, but not disappointing
      • Slaw: sorry - you lost me. Don't say "slaw" at a BBQ joint and then serve me a "salad". Slaw is cabbage coleslaw, salad is salad.
    • Beer
      • I don't know if the adjacent local brewpub is operated jointly, but it's a big win. Great beer.
    Anyone in the area, I encourage you to check it out. Be aware that they have a lunch line that starts at 11 daily - on weekdays it's not bad, but I'm told it's a Franklin-BBQ-type experience on weekends.

    SJC: the Austin of the coast.

    As I live very close to SJC, I've been following first his popup restaurants, and now the fixed location downtown. Lots of rave reviews, and a friend has been - once. He also thought it was really, really good Q, especially for around here where there really aren't many (or any) good places for Q.

    But the "line" thing is a showstopper for me. Waiting 1-2 hours to get BBQ, at 4x the cost of smoking my own, and its not Texas or a place I've travelled a lot of miles to try out - well, just not happening right now. And my BBQ-loving friend who has been there doesn't plan to go again given the wait/lines even though he likes their food.

    Don't get me wrong. The food may be well worth it for those that have no issue with the "adventure" of waiting in line these days, just not for me.


    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment
      Definitely with ya on waitin in line that long fer "Th Experience"...
      I'd haveta have me a Hoveround, with a kegerator fulla Guinness Extry Stout, with a Bourbon button on th controller, as wail...

    • radshop
      radshop commented
      Editing a comment
      Our wait time was not horrible - about 30 min. I was okay with that to try out the joint, and I got to hang out with a friend, so the time passed easy. I agree that I would NOT do the weekend line.

    I’ve been following them as well since before their launch and before Covid/ and them not being able to open.

    I know a dozen or so people who have eaten there and more than once. General feed back is hit n miss. Either Fantastic or meh..

    I heat great things about their sides though. (Not salad or slaw)

    I look forward to eating there but I just don’t eat restaurant food. So I don’t really travel for food. Especially from HB to SJC to wait in a long line.

    I will make a point to go though as am eager to the food. Also know some one who works with them. I may do a drive by one of the days.


    • HouseHomey
      HouseHomey commented
      Editing a comment
      I hope I want harsh. No one really had bad things to say. Also I think expectations are Very High. I look forward to eating there.

    • radshop
      radshop commented
      Editing a comment
      I'll look forward to getting your field report when you get a chance to check it out Homey

    • LDimick
      LDimick commented
      Editing a comment
      I have not found anything in our area worth eating. May have to jump on the 405 and check it out myself.


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