Raise Your BBQ IQ

Thursday, May 26, 2016 | 7:09 pm

If you thought all BBQ was created equal, think again. The difference between Texas style and Memphis is something you can taste and once you have, it’s hard not to have a favorite.

Get a chance to sample a wide array of styles without leaving Pasadena at Gus’s BBQ. This iconic BBQ place is more than 50 years old and has been serving slow and low BBQ plus dishes of Southern comfort food to eager Californians. We got the scoop from Mike Rosenberg, the Assistant General Manager at Gus’s, to prepare your palate for a BBQ feast.


“We’re taking the best from around the nation and putting a California spin on it by using fresh, local ingredients,” said Rosenberg.

Rosenberg explains that the difference sis BBQ styles come down to the sauce’s consistency, sweetness, vinegar content and spiciness. Each table at Gus’s comes with three sauces to sample. The Memphis sauce is tomato based and has a sweet vinegar kick while the Kansas City is thicker and spicier. Finally, the Mop sauce, which comes in a bottle, is tangy and hot – perfect for pulled pork. Gus’s smokes all their meat on pecan wood and uses spice rubs to add extra flavor.


St. Louis Spare Ribs are smoked for four hours and come cut in a rectangular shape while the
Memphis Baby Back Ribs are meatier and sweeter. Pair this hearty meal with creamy garlic mashed potatoes or crisp sweet potato fries.

“Texas knows what they’re doing with brisket,” said Rosenberg. Gus’s Texas Beef Brisket is injected with brine and then slow smoked for 12 to 14 hours. The extra time and low temperature make for an unbelievably buttery brisket.


Don’t forget about the sides – coleslaw is a refreshing choice and mac ‘n cheese is a must. There are even a few vegetarian options like a veggie burger and fresh seasonal vegetable to please everyone in your party. The Cast Iron Cornbread and Pulled Pork Nachos are perfect for sharing – throw in an old school orange cream soda or root beer for nostalgia’s sake and your meal is complete.

Rosenberg describes Gus’s Southern Kitchen specials as comfort food that your grandma would make – food so good it would lull you to sleep. Try the regional BBQ styles yourself and find your BBQ spirit city without leaving town.

Gus’s BBQ is located at 808 Fair Oaks Ave, South Pasadena. Call (626) 799-3251 or visit www.gussbbq.com.



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