The fucking smoked prime rib.
That would be correct in theoretical epistemological terms but not in practice as part and parcel of a fucking combination.
Then go to a cheap place and get it, if you can find it in LA.
If you actually find a placr that serves decent, cheap barbecu, they’ll be able to charge you less than $10/lb because they’re in a crappy area where rent is cheap. Meat prices are high, rent prices are high in LA.
You’re never going to get cheap, good barbecue in LA.
It’s not about price. You’re completely missing the point and your use of “high end” to describe BBQ shows we’re coming at this from very different perspectives.
Use $2.79.lb as a reference point for the issue you raise about beef prices. Beef prices have been volatile for a long time. One month, the prices are through the floor. Three months later, forces - external or internal - swing futures prices the other way.
Brisket supposedly has been in short relative supply because of dwindling beef stocks and higher demand for this cut. I’ve seen prices for brisket at around $4/lb in the LA area for a while. I think Bludso’s finished brisket has been around $17-18/pound for a while. I have no idea what his wholesale price is but I don’t think Bludso’s is regularly getting Prime @$2.79.
Whatever the case, Bludso’s has been holding fast with prices regardless of cost. So I don’t feel beef prices are a limiting factor on the local BBQ market. The demand is too high regardless of which lecel of market. And if rib tips are too low brow - meaning scrap value - this would be incentive to work this part because of its value-added potential.
Flavor-wise, tips to me are the charsiu of BBQ. So much flavor and wonderful texture - perfect with a nice bowl of rice or gua bao.
Agreed. I preferred the turkey at Big Mistas. So far the only thing I’ve been WOWED here are the ribs.
Dommy - IIRC you were wowed by the greens.
The greens when I had them first were very good! Sadly last time I had them they were a touch too salty.
@mhlee: do you consider Bludso’s not good or not cheap? For me, I think it’s really tasty and quite a good value. But, yes, I imagine the rent in that part of LA is VERY cheap.
Fair enough, but while prices may not be a limiting factor, would you be willing to pay $20/lb? (That’s what Bludso’s on La Brea is charging according to their website, so you should buy them there.). Which leads me to my sexond point, they’re also not as cheap as you think - they were around $1.79/lb at Costco Business recently.
Except for Chicagoans, there isn’t a big demand for rib tips. On top of that, they’re space hogs if you’re gonna cook them right - on a rack in a smoker instead of a pan.
It seems like most of you don’t make barbecue. Is it because of a lack of space? Where people live?
You ever hit up Smokey Fred’s joint in Orange?
Or you just smoke your own stuff and eschew going out for BBQ?
I’ve never tried Smokey Fred’s because I don’t think I had heard of it until now. I’ll look into it.
I actually try quite a lot of barbecue. I’ve tried, probably, at least 20 barbecue places in the greater Los Angeles area. I’ll almost always try what is generally considered the best barbecue place by who I consider to be good barbecue cooks, or good restauranteurs, whenever I travel because I try to understand styles of barbecue.
Would I pay $20/lb for rib tips? My personal demand for well-prepared BBQ is pretty inelastic.
You are correct in assuming I don’t que at home (yet - we are relandscaping our yards and the smoker will be going in). If I can’t do it at home, my logical choice is seeking out the next best alternative.
Someone recently posted (Mrgreenbeenz?) a reference that Lodge bread in Culver City is a rip off at $7/loaf. I don’t see it that way, and the same goes for BBQ.I am not prepared to devote the time and effort for either. More importantly, my skills are questionable too. So my personal answer is yes, I would pay $20/lb for tips.
There’s a lot to be said for the power of a $20 bill in how it can convert a fraction of my workweek compensation into something as personally satisfying as well prepared rib tips. It’s really a basic Econ 101/lesson.
You may have answered your own question r.e. $1.79/lb for rib tips. If $18-25/lb is the going rate for $3-4/lb brisket, then it seems there’s enough profit incentive for rib tips at $20. They may be space hogs and you obviously know about their other reqs in the smoker, but tips are a standard at the local OG BBQ joints. They obviously can sell them at a profit margin that is high enough to justify their real estate on the racks.
Chicagoans are plentiful here in LA. I work with a recent transplant and know many others. They hate the weather back home but miss the food of course. Deep dish, their style of hot dogs and “Chinese” food and of course the que. If Maple Block offered rib tips, I feel confident that they’d sell well. MB’s only limiting factor appears to be smoker space as you illiterated. But Bludso’s Bar & Que is similar in clientele, in an area heavily populated with a pork-averse demographic yet they still sell lowly rib tips at $20.
Maple Block has gotten and stayed very busy very fast, and rightfully so. They have some great ribs, brisket and even moist flavorful chicken. And it’s all packages in a nice setting that has full or takeout service, and nice sides and drinks too. They fill a niche that really only has one other serious player that is 30-40 minutes away - Bludso’s B&Q. And assuming the quality of Bludso’s B&Q’s meats are on par with OG Bludso’s, Maple Block might be considered better in quality, so personal taste and location convenience may be the only considerations that make one more preferable over the other.
Question: No one every mentions Holy Cow BBQ
just a few blocks away from Maple Block on Sepulveda in Culver City ? Anyone been?
I have tried them a few times. While they have some good beers on tap, I feel the BBQ is eh. I think serious BBQ eaters would find the smoke and other flavors lacking. But they probably are appealing to those who like a milder version of BBQ and want a more full service meal. I believe they are a chain and it does have the feel. I found their BBQ sauces are kinda interesting too.
My friend (w/ whom I went to Maple Block) tried it a few times, I think? My vague recollection is that her opinion was that Maple Block is better but may or may not be worth the extra cost (I have no idea how much Holy Cow is).
Their meat combo plates are reasonably priced and a good way for 2-3 eaters to sample their meats. The tri-tip was good (to me but I’m not much of a fan).
I glanced at the online menu - comparing prices, they aren’t far off from Maple Block except the babyback ribs. The pork ribs at MB are $48/rack, while the babybacks at HC are in the mid-20s. Different ribs and different style/taste, but I’d rather pay for MB’s pork ribs - they are the tastiest ribs I’ve had recently. They also now seem more tender as well. I’m the only one who liked the ribs when they had more chew. The rest of the family likes this current more tender version.
I posted about it on the previous site a few months ago. Bottom line I thought it was crap and I’m not going back. Here’s a snippet of my post regarding the food. I had also gone into the ridiculous ordering system and the bad service. .
Meat order consisted of beef ribs, pound of brisket and half rack of baby backs Side orders of mac n cheese and corn bread. Beef ribs are Fri to Sun only. Two ribs for $12. One soda and total bill was $65 after tax and before tip. Everything ordered dry, no sauce. Each table had three bottles of sauce. A smoky red, a tangy lighter tomato and a vinegar mustard.
Overall, I didn’t care for it. The brisket was stringy, the bark flabby and soggy. It was hard work chewing on the meat. Baby backs were dry and overcooked, they pulled away from the meat way too easily with none of that slight tug that denotes good texture. The beef ribs were good, tender but still some chew. But at $6 a rib, way pricey. Mac and cheese was average. The corn bread was gummy and a very small piece for the price. The baby backs also came with a side of slaw. Slaw was also average. Some pickles also accompanied the orders.
To be fair, the caveat would be that we were there on a Sat night. The baby back issue could be attributed to having been held since the morning. But there was no excusing that brisket.
Then you and Helper Monkey should ask Maple Block to make rib tips, or explain why they don’t. Because, while you may think that they’re a good value, I’m quite sure you’re overestimating the demand for rib tips in LA.
I haven’t been to the one on La Brea. I haven’t heard enough good things about that location to try it, and also because I’ve been disappointed the last 2 times I went to the original Bludso’s.
The brisket was oversmoked, dry, and overcooked the last 2 times I went. I’ve heard similar complaints that the quality has gone down from others as well. I don’t need to go back.