El Barbecue Brings The Smoke To San Diego's Sherman Heights

July 28, 2020

El Barbecue opens today in the space that last housed Sister Ray's in San Diego's Sherman Heights, offering classic low-and-slow barbecue made in an authentic smoker recently transported from Texas.

El Barbecue was started as a pop-up earlier this year by Chefs Ami Cisnero and Brandon Standafer, who both previously worked for San Diego's popular Grand Ole BBQ. Ami is a 2010 graduate of San Diego Culinary Institute and a native San Diegan who once led the kitchen at Grand Ole BBQ Flynn Springs and has worked in the kitchens at JRDN, Mister A's, and most recently at North Park's Heart & Trotter Butcher. Brandon is from Kentucky and helped start Grand Ole BBQ with founder Andy Harris, first as a catering company and then opening the brick and mortar in North Park.

El Barbecue's Breakfast Tacos
"When Covid hit, I quit my job and Brandon and I started doing the El Barbecue pop up at Isabel’s Cantina in Pacific Beach," explained Chef Ami Cisneros. "Sister Ray's co-owner Tom Logsdon (who has a sandwich named after him on our menu) approached us with this opportunity and we jumped at it. Our menu will not be centered on any specific kind of barbecue and instead encompass all the BBQs we love, including Mexican, Argentinean, and Korean."

El Barbecue will offer a rotating menu of slow smoked barbecue classics for limited dine-in and take out, as well as an expansive catering menu. Expect dishes like slow smoked St. Louis style spare ribs, pulled pork, Santa Maria tri tip, oak smoked salmon and more, plus daily specials, a variety of sandwiches, 8 different sauces, and side dishes. The restaurant will also serve breakfast, which will include biscuits, breakfast sandwiches, breakfast tacos, a housemade Pop Tart, and more. El Barbecue will also eventually add an array of beer cans for purchase and a handful of beers on tap.

El Barbecue is located at 549 25th Street in San Diego's Sherman Heights neighborhood. The restaurant is currently open from 7am to 3pm Tuesday through Saturday as they get to know their new smoker and work on the menu. For more information, visit elbarbecuesd.com and check out the launch menu below.