By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor & Mick Haven, Cuisine and Restaurant Writer, Photo by Kelvin Brown
It’s September, but it still feels like summer. On a recent Sunday evening, I had a hankering for some barbecue. So I went to My Father’s Barbecue on the corner of University Drive and Avalon Boulevard in Carson.
Sure, it’s a storefront in a strip mall, but welcome to Southern California, right? Welcome to barbecue. Even the most high end barbecue restaurants aim for a gritty ambiance, which is encouraging because it means they have everything riding on the barbecue.
Shalamar Lane, a graduate of Cordon Bleu, came out to talk with me and explained that she runs My Father’s BBQ with her brother.
“My dad came up with the name for the restaurant,” Shalamar went on to say. “His dad, my grandfather, ran a barbeque restaurant too.”
She added that one side of her family is from Alabama and the other is from Texas. Slow cooking meat over wood Southern-style runs in the family. Shalamar is carrying on this tradition at My Father’s BBQ.
My Father’s BBQ’s puts together the best of Lane’s family’s recipes on one menu.
Her Aunt M’s potato salad, Maxine’s mac and cheese, and her granny’s greens with cabbage are just some of the dishes the restaurant offers. Just as you wouldn’t take a knife to a gunfight, true connoisseurs don’t bring silverware to a barbecue cookout. It actually gets under my skin to watch amateurs use a fork and knife on barbecue pork ribs and chicken. Barbecue is meant to be eaten with your fingers. The sides are literally the extras to the main event. Plastic-ware is sufficient for all the non-meat and pull meat portions.
With that said, I got the three meat platter with rib tips, brisket and pulled pork. It came with two sides, so I went for the greens and cabbage, baked beans and mac and cheese.
A Texas cut of meat, the brisket I’d ordered was tender and moist. The rib tips tasted smoky and good. The pulled pork was juicy.
The greens and cabbage cooked with large chunks of ham were sweet and savory and the chicken was moist, tender and easy to get of the bone like the rest of the meat.
Texas and Alabama don’t share a common border, but they do share a particularly Southern sense of hospitality.
As an example, I had strolled into the restaurant at 7:30 p.m. on a Sunday night. They close at 8 pm. This was the burnt end of their week as the restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and was still able to scratch my barbecue craving before the Monday morning grind.
Details: (310) 817-4166; www.myfathersbbq.com
Venue: My Father’s Barbeque, 637 E. University Drive, Carson