San Diego’s reigning king of barbecue better watch its back, because newcomer, Brazen Barbecue Smokehouse & Bar has made its way from the smoky circuits of national competition to the corner of 5th and Washington in Hillcrest. Based upon the meaty deliciousness being served up, they’re here to stay.
This past summer, John Bracamonte and Brad Thomas took over the space formerly occupied by Sushi Itto and transformed it into Brazen Barbecue Smokehouse and Bar, marked by an antique wagon wheel out front.
second place overall in the 2011 USA BBQ Championship in Las Vegas. Team Brazen’s trophy collection is on display upon entry.
After being tested against some of the nation’s best, the two-man team decided it was time to bring the award-winning recipes back home by way of Brazen BBQ Smokehouse & Bar and Brazen Catering. Along with their trusty smoker, affectionately named Ms. Regina Ann, a combination of their wives’ names, they returned ready to test their flare for flame against any appetite.
Brazen BBQ offers a casual dining atmosphere free of any unnecessary charms--well apart from the picnic style seating, a spacious outdoor patio, and the cast iron sink conveniently centrally located to wash off your meat paws. There is no table service, as orders are placed either at the counter or at the bar. Brazen’s no frills approach is nothing new for barbecue, but the delicious fare is a different story.
As for sides, the baked beans were the bomb, the mac and cheese is crusty and creamy, and the cornbread with honey on top had me at “Hello!”
Brazen offers other tantalizing dishes that you won’t find at other barbecue spots under varied menu categories like sandwiches, salads, wraps, burgers, chili, gumbo, and an extensive list of specialty entrees like the brisket stroganoff – a combination of tender smoked brisket and creamy mushroom sauce served over whole wheat egg noodles and finished with fresh herbs and “tobacco” onions – ‘cuz they look like chew! There is even a menu for the kids, and take out is presented to you, then bagged, so your mouth will water all the way home.
Brazen BBQ has a full bar and happy hour daily from 4pm to 6:30pm. Brazen also offers catering options where they “embrace culinary challenges and welcome special requests.” Do it up.
BRAZEN BBQ SMOKEHOUSE & BAR
441 Washington Street at 5th, Hillcrest
Sun. 11:00am to 10:00pm
Mon: 11:00am to 10:00pm
Tue: 11:00am to 10:00pm
Wed: 11:00am to 10:00pm
Thu: 11:00am to 10:00pm
Fri: 11:00am to 11:30pm
Sat: 11:00am to 11:30pm
4:00 to 6:30 Daily