>> Ribtown BBQ | Eat the World Los Angeles

Friday 24 March 2023

Ribtown BBQ

The trailer open for business in a Jefferson Blvd. parking lot with customers ordering at the window

๐Ÿ“ 2125 W. Jefferson Blvd., Jefferson Park, South Los Angeles
๐Ÿ…ฟ️ Trailer is in a parking lot with spots for customers
๐Ÿฅค No Alcohol

The opening hours of Ribtown BBQ say 12:00 noon on Google Maps, but people start wandering up to the window closer to 11:30 to see when orders can be placed. Barbecue obviously takes a while to prepare, and the smokers behind this small trailer have been sending plumes and the delicious smell of pork into the Jefferson Park lot they live in and its surrounding areas.

On Friday and Saturday only, people who live or work nearby come to this lot to swap Los Angeles barbecue stories, their long-gone favorites, and order from this husband and wife duo. They specialize in spareribs and the charred tips that have long been seen as the throwaway cuts of proper pork barbecue in many places.

The smokers located behind the trailer

As has often happened in the history of the United States, what some people have decided to throw away as waste has been turned into something incredibly delicious by those of lesser means. Rib tips have become a staple in the lexicon of some places like Chicago, where barbecue traditions migrated from the south and twisted in their own directions.

At Ribtown, the proprietor and pitmaster is from Los Angeles and has family that came from Texas, but he would not name any of these places as a style. In the spirit of California and the city of Los Angeles, this can be considered truly local barbecue, born from everywhere that folks have lived before coming. Purity is often demanded from people and their barbecue, but none of that is necessary here.

Two plates: combo and rib tips with sides and bread

Despite being former cast-offs, rib tips are not easy to cook. They are generally thinner and can dry out easily, but since the cuts all have different sizes and thicknesses, a pitmaster has to constantly move them around and turn them over. If you have the means, the best order here is to make sure you get some of both; those lovely, grisly and fatty tips, and part of a rack of spareribs.

Some pieces here have dried out a bit while most are fantastic. Gnawing off slightly charred juicy bits from its small bones is a pleasure, you will start to wonder why the rib-tip plate ($14, below) is so much less expensive than the other cuts. As you lick the slightly sweet sauce from your fingers and dig into the serviceable sides, life is pretty good.

Rib tips plate with collard greens

The pile of meat in any order is enough to make the styrofoam container bulge, but these rib tips are enough for two since you also get two sides and white bread with any combo. Try the collard greens and house beans, both of which have plenty of pulled pork and its smoky flavor in them. The beans also contain bits of the beef hot links.

For a wider sampling of what is smoking behind the trailer, they offer a combo plate ($24, below) which contains one of those hot links, two big spareribs, and two pieces of chicken. The links are snappy and offer good variety to orders here, but the chicken might be the one to skip if you only have so much room. As expected, the ribs are the star here, and you will be picking those bones clean down to the very last bit.

Combo plate with chicken, two spare ribs, and one beef hot link and two sides


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