You can call the people of Fullerton every damning name in the book — some may be brutally true and some may be downright, dirty lies — but one particular invective that we won’t deny is that we are spoiled rotten. Intrinsically, we are spoiled by our culturally diverse and tight-knit community and the newly revived, growing art movement; outwardly, by our exemplary weather. Today is barely the first week of March — still Winter in most parts of the country by any definition — and, according to the Weather Channel, the temperature in town reached a high of 92F. Normally, this would be alarming information that Al Gore might loom over our heads with respect to global warming, but let’s glaze over that frivolous issue for now.
This sun-drenched day brought to mind thoughts of lazing about on the beach; taking a brisk bike ride through the park; and firing up the good ol’ grill. While other regions are plagued with blizzards, typhoons and tornadoes, we can pretty much indulge in meaty chunks of grilled goodness just about any time we darn please. But, when this craving comes along, not everybody wants to deal with lugging the Weber out of the garage and polluting their newly coiffed do. That’s when Shortstop BBQ: Real Southern California BBQ comes to the rescue.
Once upon a time, there were three very young, dynamic people with a passion for good food who were amped with creative energy. In the beginning, it was only through the window of a food truck from where brothers Alex and Andrew Honoré with Andrew’s wife Mary could serve the starving masses. Using this vehicle as a marketing tool, it helped to build excitement around their brand and at the same time allowed them to get their feet wet in the industry. With the aid of Twitter and Facebook (the driving force behind the gourmet food truck evolution and revolution), their avid followers tracked their scheduled stops religiously. Eventually, their overwhelming success afforded them the exposure and steady clientele to establish their freestanding restaurant/cafe.
Although the interior at the stationary Shortstop BBQ is almost as rudimentary as the traveling version, there are many more tantalizing menu options behind the counter at the former.
For the real barbecue lover, you can’t go wrong with the fall-off-the-bone smoked ribs. A mildly sweet, dry rub of spices permeates these surprisingly lean babies. A bib is not necessary because they’re not overloaded with a sloppy, sticky tomato sauce-based mess.
On their BBQ Sandwich roster you’ll find toasty, artisan brioche buns piled with meats and slathered with their take on the South Carolina mustard-based barbecue sauce. The Pulled Pork is a hickory-smoked, succulent pork shoulder smothered in an addictive creamed corn. The Tri-Tip is lightly charred, thick slabs of beef with the fattiness rendered and topped with a crunchy, bleu cheese red slaw. For the vegetarian option, they have a beautiful Portobello that is diced and marinated in balsamic vinegar, seared and crowned with nutty, melted provolone and peppery arugula.
More of an open-face concept fan? The Ah-mazing Frites are thin-cut, seasoned french fries that are mounded with your choice of the pulled pork, tri-tip or portobello and drenched in barbecue sauce. The crispy exterior of the frites soaks up the flavors of the toppings quite nicely.
Shortstop BBQ specials that rotate on a weekly basis will keep your appetite whet and have you queuing up and anticipating more. The Turducken Gumbo is a slightly spicy turkey soup steeped in a delicious duck stock. The Smoked Duck Breast is a delectable favorite, tossed with a creamy shallot dressing, arugula and kettle chips for crunch. The PBLT sandwich is an unexpectedly good blueberry bacon made with luscious Berkshire pork belly and enhanced with a soft and salty Rush Creek Reserve cheese.
After so much barbecue happiness, quench your thirst with their super refreshing ginger limeade. Finish off your meal with dessert from Cupcake Blake and you’ll be reminded of how blessed you are for living where you do.
As much as their brick-and-mortar keeps them busy serving the university belt, the local fire station and the hungry community, their food truck drives on to bring the southern flavors of summertime to other locations in Orange County.
Shortstop BBQ: They’ve Got Their Bases Covered.
711 N. Placentia Ave. (in the lot behind Jack-in-the-Box)
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