Phils Ribs a San Diego institution Ribs with a wow factor

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Dining' started by MilePointInformed, Feb 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. MilePointInformed
    Original Member

    MilePointInformed Silver Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    57
    Status Points:
    245
    What can be said about Phil's that hasn't been said before?
    Here is my take
    To say something bad about Phil's is to face the firing squad from the evangelists singing its praises. Let's start with what's right about Phil's Ribs
    Phil's is obviously one of San Diego's most popular restaurants in the city. First there is a search for a coveted parking spot.Then there is the line around San Diego waiting to get in to first place your order before your wait for the food.Then there is a search for your picnic table indoors or out on the patio. The whole challnege of it all on a busy day makes the TSA security line in most major airports and a strip search look warm and inviting. Even in our countries worst recession in my lifetime it didn't discourage the crowds or the enthusiasm these past few years. Clearly Phil's apparently can do no wrong.
    Phil the owner who I have never had the pleasure of meeting is a genius he has amongst the best ribs in the world.Ok all food is subjective. Coming from a jaded ex New Yorker tasting his ribs at a corporate party was a game changer for me years ago. When I heard ribs was being served I ate before the party. Bad mistake! One taste and I was hooked like a drug addict. The ribs have right amount of spicy sweetness with a nice charred crust on the outside and moist tender flavorful taste with good mouth feel. Did I say the ribs are great?!!!

    The management at Phils is simply excellent having conversed in the past with these folks. They understand its not about mass feeding (which it is) but building good customer relationships.Many of the team members are passionate about their customers and brand. You have to admire that. The pressure they are under with the volume of folks they serve.Phils and their management team find some very kind caring team members to their credit.

    Things that annoy me about Phils.The potato salad frequently is semi hard like a rock with undercooked potatoes. I stopped buying it for parties and meals. The barbeque chicken could be a great product here with the same great sauce however it is frequently made to far in advance and served dry like leather after being thrown back on the grill And because it is reheated after being cooked to far in advance frequently is warm in one place and room temperature in others. I have stopped ordering the chicken. The fact is when they make it to order for our corporate functions it is fantastic. My guess is they take more pride when it is an important function for the big bucks in getting things right.

    Their worst crime against dining humanity is when a new customer walks through the door and orders a complete meal with French fries
    They pour barbeque sauce drenching the fries in sauce. Though this may bring pleasure for some when the fries are crisp and it is eaten within minutes its certain misery for others. When the fries are undercooked as they have been once in awhile and they are drenched in sauce and you do take out and bring home it can get ugly....

    Upon arrival home you have wet under cooked greasy cold soaking wet fries dripping in sauce that cannot be reheated.Unless greasy warm sludge in barbeque sauce is your thing.
    Hello? What are they thinking? It's not pretty and it turned my dining guests off where we dumped fries for 8 into the garbage can one evening. They should warn folks but they assume everyone knows their quirks and assumes everyone likes this treatment or are too busy to communicate it to their guests.
    Why not ask or just put it on the side!!!

    To their credit when I call up to place an order a red flag goes up to not drench fries in sauce.They have it in my profile and leave it off.......Ah the perks of being a regular!
    I'd like to give Phil's 5 stars out of love however its ribs only for the most part for me and a few of the side items they don't mess up
    At the end of the day long live Phil's! Great Ribs nice folks that work there, infuriating long lines and a dose of inconsistency.But I admit to loving the place anyway. They try to the best of their ability to take care of the customer even when the cooking goes into auto pilot as it does with the chicken.All that said when the urge arises I too need my fix of Phils Ribs.YUM!

    Other than that Kudos to Phil's it's a San Diego institution and success story which cannot be denied .Dont mess up as I have they are closed Monday nights.If you go do yourself a favor and force yourself to go off hours. Your sanity will appreciate it as much as your taste buds.
    Bring a lot of patience and wipe your face with some wet towels or face some strange looks out in public.Who knew artery clogging could be this much fun :D
     
    Freddie Listo and nomflyer like this.
  2. Flyer_Esq
    Original Member

    Flyer_Esq Silver Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    86
    Status Points:
    210
    Haven't tried Phil's yet, but I love their bbq sauce (which you can buy at Costco). Have you been to the location in San Marcos? Or just the one in Point Loma?
     
  3. MilePointInformed
    Original Member

    MilePointInformed Silver Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    57
    Status Points:
    245
    Only Point Loma
    Going on my 5th year!
    Its a religious experience the first time you chomp down.Good stuff
    I have heard the plastic bottled sauce is a close second.I will have to try it..........
     
  4. Tkey
    Original Member

    Tkey Silver Member

    Messages:
    500
    Likes Received:
    759
    Status Points:
    795
    I never would have thought San Diego and ribs go together in the same sentence. It's not the first thing that comes to mind.

    Thanks for the report. I'll definitely put it in the list!
     
  5. Bobofoosh
    Original Member

    Bobofoosh Silver Member

    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    50
    Status Points:
    320
    I'm one of those few people in San Diego who doesn't like Phil's. I used to live a block from the old Hillcrest location and the line was always out the door (and the smell was fantastic). I tried it multiple times and was always disappointed.

    No matter how you cut it the Sauce is too sweet. Way Way Way too sweet. Tastes like sugar. The ribs were also a little too undercooked for me. Never fall off the bone amazing. They were good enough. But that sauce was unforgivably sugary.

    Maybe I just enjoy nice tangy Memphis BBQ too much having lived in Tennessee, but Phil's sauce is way too sweet. If you know real quality southern BBQ then prepare to be underwhelmed by Phil's.

    I'd actually recommend Little Piggy's BBQ at the ferry landing in Coronado for BBQ in San Diego. The ribs are well cooked (okay, not fantastic) but their hot BBQ sauce is great.
     
    nomflyer likes this.
  6. MilePointInformed
    Original Member

    MilePointInformed Silver Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    57
    Status Points:
    245
    Food is subjective.Your personal opinion is higly respected and understood
    However its not a quality issue its a personal peference in taste
    Phils has at least for the ribs and some select side items enormously high quality product and cooking standards
    This is one of Americas biggest success stories.There was nothing like this where I lived previoulsy in Long Island New York.The public and the media all seem to agree for the most part
    Incidently the ribs have improved according to long term followers since moving to PT Loma
    I can not confirm or deny as they had already moved when I started living here
    Can find much fault with Phils but the ribs sweetness and all are exactly my speed and tens of thousands of others who flock to the place religiously.Who is better in San Diego or Southern California?
    Happy to go where you think the quality is superior.Clearly at the end of the day Phils is working for many.
    I am not a fan of In and Out for example.
    I wont go in one but once again many folks out here love the place...........
    Cheers
     
    Bobofoosh likes this.
  7. MilePointInformed
    Original Member

    MilePointInformed Silver Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    57
    Status Points:
    245
    Who would have thought?Agree
    Its not authentic barbeque its a more mass appeal sweeter version as the poster below brings up
    which I personally prefer.its not the kind that some one coming from the South may prefer
    When I first moved to San Diego it took awhile to find places that excited me.
    I hated the food here.Now I am warming up.I dont care for the dining experience at Phils because of crowds unless dining during the off hours.I take out mostly
    But he has a product that I always need/desire at least once a month or every other
     
  8. nomflyer
    Original Member

    nomflyer Silver Member

    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    270
    Status Points:
    425
    I moved away from San Diego last year and I definitely miss their ribs. I agree their sauce it sweeter than most but I really enjoy it and usually stop by every time I'm back in town. But maybe I'll try Bobofoosh's recommendation of Little Piggy's BBQ for my next trip [​IMG]
     
  9. MilePointInformed
    Original Member

    MilePointInformed Silver Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    57
    Status Points:
    245
    I have a friend who moved to Australia for work who dreams about them.
    I would fly some over on ice however they would lock me up upon arrival [​IMG]
     
  10. Bobofoosh
    Original Member

    Bobofoosh Silver Member

    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    50
    Status Points:
    320
    Okay, I officially love Milepoint. A post where you disagree with the OP and they don't berate you is just what the doctor ordered.

    I hadn't heard the Ribs improved at PT Loma. Maybe I'll give them another shot with light sauce. :)
     
  11. MilePointInformed
    Original Member

    MilePointInformed Silver Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    57
    Status Points:
    245
    Please accept my apologies for getting off topic however
    Thanks for the kind words. I am not planning on turning my back on FT where the behavior has gotten somewhat out of hand.Having said I am tremendously focused with setting examples where ever I post and hopefully influence others in the spirit of community and healthy discussion
    I am very grateful for those associated with the past and present FT for having given we the traveling public such a great platform to post on past and present and always respectful of that...

    Now back to the important things in life that matter like good food:D
    My suggestion might be all sauce on the side when you order.
    I have found the Ribs to be actually a work of art when you order them without the sauce.
    You get the texture and flavor of the juicy meat without the runny sweet sauce
    and because they cook the ribs in light sauce it mutes some of the overly sweet sauce you find somewhat objectionable.
    That way the sauce becomes an option and you get closer to the core product and where the genious of this product truely lies.As opposed to the way they just typically serve it drowned in sauce which is an aquired taste in the eyes of the beholder
    Your MilePoint Informed Unofficial Ribs & Sauce Moderator:cool:
    Cheers
     
  12. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    8,739
    Status Points:
    7,270
    another point that folks differ on in regards to ribs, I very much dislike falling off the bone ribs, I like a chew to my ribs.

    If one is in Chicago and looking for falling off the bone ribs, visit www.galestreet.com or www.twinanchorsribs.com
     
  13. MilePointInformed
    Original Member

    MilePointInformed Silver Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    57
    Status Points:
    245
    Great point Phils Ribs takes more chewing but they certainly aren't tough either
     
  14. I will need to try it in March. Do they have Pork and Beef ribs ?
    I really love ribs.

    I was at the Strip Club last month and liked the food., among other things.
    www.lajollasteak.com
     
  15. MilePointInformed
    Original Member

    MilePointInformed Silver Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    57
    Status Points:
    245
    phils has both baby back pork and beef
    the baby back pork imo are in a class by themselves
     
  16. Freddie Listo
    Original Member

    Freddie Listo Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,767
    Likes Received:
    32,961
    Status Points:
    10,720
    I finally had a chance to try Phil's in my stomping grounds of Point Loma when I was home last month. My mom and I manage to sneak in around 4:00 in the afternoon on a weekday for a late lunch. She had the El Toro sandwich and I tried the pork ribs, which were fan-freaking-tastic. No kidding. They were almost as good as mine. I tasted some of the meat from her sandwich which was also quite good. We tried sneaking back in around 3:00 two Saturdays ago, but the line was around the building, and Mom uses a walker and can't stand for that long, so we headed to Nati's in OB. Mmmmmmmm . . . Nati's spicy carrots!

    Particularly cruel (but unintentionally so) about Phil's is that one of my family members is in a hospital nearby. He can't eat for now, and is on a feeding tube. As a rule, we try not to mention anything about food or drinks in his presence to keep his mind off of the fact that he can't eat or drink anything, when of course he wants nothing more than to chow down on something good to eat, have a cold drink, and have a cup of steaming java before he goes to sleep at night, just like when he is at home. He and I would spend an hour or so out in the garden each day for about the past 30 days, and invariably, the BBQ smoke from Phil's would waft over. One day it was particularly strong and I pretended like I couldn't smell it, but finally he asked about it, and I had to remind him that Phil's is just a few blocks away, which only made him want something good to eat even more. So, on the list for when he comes off the feeding tube and his diet is back to normal are:

    An ice-cold Coke or Moxie
    A steaming cup of the best-quality coffee I can get, with cream and sugar
    BBQ from Phil's.

    Another thing about Phil's is that the people who work there seem to like being there. Despite the fact that it is for the most part self serve, I couldn't refill my own or my Mom's drink. As soon as I stood up, one of the guys who worked there came over, insisted on getting the refills for us, and checked back to make sure we didn't want for anything. My first impression of the staff was that there are plenty of them, they provide terrific service, and appear to like working there.

    I give Phil's a definite thumbs up. ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
     
  17. MilePointInformed
    Original Member

    MilePointInformed Silver Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    57
    Status Points:
    245
    Please be aware that Phils does take out. Have numerous times driven up to be defeated by lines from h***
    I simply call it on my cell and within 15 to 20 minutes typically on my way
    A speedy recovery wish to your family member!
     
    Freddie Listo likes this.

Share This Page