On my recent trip to SoCal, I met up with my good friends and food lovers, Amanda and Cody. They insisted on taking me to a stellar meal that we keep me longing to return to the south for more visits and food adventures. Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach is known for it’s down home meals and rotating beer collection. Fine by me. Upon entering the quaint restaurant, I am immediately allured by the beer menu posted on chalkboard squares hanging on a pegboard. Brilliant. I chose the Sac Brew IPA from the Sacramento Brewing Company. As we wait at the bar and study the menu, I can see that this will be yet another difficult decision making process. I want everything. With each plate that emerges from the kitchen, I hover over, rubbernecking, in attempt to get a glimpse of the sight to match the smells that are filling my nostrils. I can’t help but to lurch into the guy sitting next to me at the bar inquiring about what he’s got and what he recommends. And finally, the moment of truth, our table is ready. Right this way, please.
To my delight, upon the table are simply labeled bottles of sauces; spicy, sweet, vinegar, and mustard. Oh, how I can’t wait to find the beauty in each one. We start with fried green tomatoes and deviled eggs, each presented on a bed of greens. The tomatoes are golden, fresh, and taste great alone, or dipped in any of the sauces. The deviled eggs are not very mayonaisey, which I like, mixed with herbs (dill is the only one I can pick out), and topped with capers. For the main course, Cody and I shared the three item combo which comes with choice of three meats and two sides. The brisket had a good smoky flavor, but lacking in the juicy, falling apart between your fingers quality that is so essential with brisket. On the other hand, the pulled pork was juicy and wet with the signature BBQ sauce. As well as the meaty ribs which performed the applewood, pecan, and oak flavors like a diva making her début. The collard greens were bitter and juicy and garlicy. Slurp slup slurp. The blue cheese grits were fucking outstanding. Tasting them was like a candy raver waiting for the beat breakdown. One gritty taste melting in your mouth, the wait for it, wait for it, wait for it, you know it’s coming, boooooom! Blue cheese hits you and makes you want to dance all night long. Each dish is accompanied by cornbread with cherry chunks with homemade butter. Last, but certainly not least, we had to order the baked mac and cheese. What’s BBQ without mac an cheese??? This mac and cheese was right up my alley with bacon, green onion, smoked chilies, and a Gruyere beer sauce served in an iron skillet. Mind blowing. At this point, I’m sure that some of the fellow guests in the restaurant thought that I was on some kind of heroin from my nonsensical mutterings, drooping eyes, and complete lust for all surrounding me. Damn, that meal was for the books. Thanks, Amanda and Cody, now I’m a junkie.