As southern folk would say, I had a hankering for BBQ the day before the 4th of July. I missed home (Austin, Texas) and memories of gallivanting around my parents' home with family and then running off to watch fireworks in an open field with friends were flooding my brain. So when I saw Holy Cow BBQ after an appointment at Queen Bee in Brentwood, I knew gorging myself was imminent.
Patrick (the boy) is from Pittsburgh, and I don't normally associate country music or BBQ with that area of the country, but the man loves country culture, so he was just as excited (if not more) than I was.
Holy Cow BBQ
11:30AM - 9PM SUN - THURS
11:30AM - 10PM FRI - SAT
264 26TH ST, SANTA MONICA, CA 90402
Brentwood Country Mart (where we dined), Culver City
Down-home BBQ. Casual attire. Country music. Indoor and outdoor seating. Walkable area in Brentwood, off San Vicente and 26th, near Intermix and Sweet Rose Creamery
You seat yourself and order at the cashier when you're ready. They'll bring you your food as it's ready
Now to the meat of the matter! (Puns!)
You can buy a plate with your choice of 1, 2, 3 or 4 meat options. It comes with one included side, like kettle beans or collard greens. (There are four to choose from.) Patrick and I ordered the #4 with pulled pork, pulled chicken, tri tip and baby backs to share, and in addition to our side of kettle beans, we picked up the mac & cheese and Texas Toast because OBVIOUSLY.
The BBQ Sauce
There are four options to choose from, all conveniently located at your table.
Original Q: The best of the four. A little sweet and reminiscent of the sauce you'd get in a traditional Texas joint
Carolina Mustard: Tangy and creamy
Texas Red: Spicy, with a kick and a little smokiness
Kentucky Vinegar: This reminded me of Italian Dressing for some reason
|Our spread at Holy Cow BBQ|
Pulled Pork: Patrick's favorite. I enjoyed this too, but I didn't appreciate it as much without the Original Q sauce. I drenched my portion in it.
Pulled Chicken: Patrick and I both agreed there was something left to be desired here. It was a little dry despite being prepared with sauce on it; I love my pulled chicken to be super moist (don't worry, I hate that word too, but sometimes we have to do things we don't like to prove a point), with juice that essentially makes the chicken melt in your mouth. This preparation did not have that effect.
Tri Tip: Pretty good, but nothing to write home about
Baby Backs: These were my favorite and probably on par with how most southern joints prepare their ribs. I didn't need to add anything to this item because it was perfect the way it was. They weren't fall-off-the-bone ribs, but they were still damn delicious.
Mac & Cheese: Get this. You will not be disappointed! They bake the shells with a mix of five different cheeses including two cheddars and aged Vermont, so you get a nice creaminess in addition to a melted consistency on top. NOM.
Kettle Beans: I love kettle beans and these reminded me of home. They're sweet and tangy and come in a little boat.
Texas Toast: You can't screw up Texas Toast, but I did think the bread was a little dry and almost too crunchy to be considered authentic.
Elvis in a Jar: I might get dragged for this, but I am not a huge banana pudding fan. Puddings gross me out in general, so I was thrilled that they offered a banana option without the pudding. Elvis in a Jar includes a banana, peanut butter chunks and hot fudge with vanilla bean ice cream, topped with whipped cream, toasted almonds and candied bacon. It was bigger than I thought — when I think of jars, I think they're single servings, but this was definitely big enough to share; it's small by any means.
It was delicious, but my biggest complaint is that you can't really taste the peanut butter or the banana! I was searching for the banana and I can't figure out if they mix it into the ice cream or what is going on there. I enjoy sticking a spoon down into a jar and getting the perfect spoonful of banana chunk, peanut butter and ice cream, and I didn't get that. The ration of ice cream to banana could have been better.
If you're in the mood for traditional BBQ, you will be overly satisfied here. Upon looking at the menu, there was an internal struggle of what I would actually order — I wanted to try everything. I wish they had a giant sampler platter you could order, but by ordering the #4 and a few extra sides, we got the job done. They do have a BBQ Combo, but it's not a comprehensive sampling.
I wouldn't have done anything differently! If you go and want to try a bunch of items, definitely grab the #4 and then order a few extra sides. It is more than enough for two people — just enough for a 6'4 giant and a 5'4 person like myself.
Also, they should definitely look into sweet tea. I asked if they had any and they said no, and mentioned that people here don't drink it. If you advertise that you have sweet tea, the people will drink it. It's a no-brainer!
I totally plan on going back. Duh. And there are a few things I had my eye one that I'll plan on getting, like:
Smokey corn chowder
Chocolate bread pudding
Rating: 4 out of 5