Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

Gorilla BBQ; Pacifica, CA

on April 13, 2013

Gorilla BBQ is an interesting place to look at. It sits in an old railroad car off the Coast Highway in Pacifica, just south of San Francsico. Jene and I have been meaning to stop in there for a couple of years now and finally got around to it today.

This place has been on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and I was expecting some pretty amazing BBQ. Now, I will admit my standards for bbq are high. I grew up two hours west of Kansas City and spent almost ten years living there. I’ve had Memphis bbq and bbq in the Carolinas. So yeah, I’m a bbq snob. But really… if you’re on a big tv show, you oughta have something outstanding. Gorilla was a let down.


I apologize for the poor quality of the picture but Gorilla only does carry out so we were sitting in the car lol. You get a lot of food. I got the three meat dinner and it takes two boxes. One for the meat and one for the sides. I got chicken (that’s a half chicken), brisket and pulled pork which came with coleslaw, rice n beans, mac n cheese, and a corn bread muffin, all for $20. Now that sounds like a lot but I’ll get 3-4 meals out of this easy.

So here’s the thing… lots of food, not much flavor. As near as I can tell, there’s NO dry rub on the meat. The chicken skin is seasoned but they didn’t put any of it under the skin. The brisket and pulled pork are unseasoned except for the smoke. The brisket was dry and tough which I would say means it was undersmoked at too high of a temperature. A good brisket should be juicy and melt in you mouth. I smoke my brisket at about 180F. I’m willing to be they used a much higher temperature. The texture of the pork was good but again, no flavor and the chicken was just middle of the road smoked chicken. I can turn out better bbq with the smoker on my deck.

The sauce… Welllll, um, yeah. I don’t have much nice to say about this sauce. The more I ate of it, the less I liked it. The primary flavor was black pepper. Talk about boring. I could tell they’d tried to add a little zip to it but they didn’t get enough vinegar in it. With all the flavors available to build a bbq sauce, they used black pepper… bleh.

The sides… I know a lot of places don’t focus much on their sides which is a shame. Gorilla is no exception. Bland is a good word to describe them. I will say that at least the coleslaw was cold and the cabbage nice and crisp. However, it had no flavor. It could have used at least a little salt and pepper. Now, I don’t eat beans so I can’t personally comment on that but Jene said they were bland. The mac n cheese had over cooked pasta which annoys me. Finally, the potato salad. Of all the things I ate today, this was surprisingly good. The sad part was that it came in a tiny little foam container that probably had about five bites in it. Jene got it as part of his lunch and I tried a bite. If there hadn’t been a line I’d have gone back in and gotten a quart. It was probably the best potato salad I’ve had outside my own. (yes, I’ll post that recipe sometime this summer)

So the bottom line is that it was ok, but I won’t go out of my way for it again. We were already in South San Francisco today so it wasn’t a huge side trip. I’ll definitely eat my left overs but I’ll be using some Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce on it. All I have to say to Guy Fieri is that maybe he needs better taste buds if he thinks this is good bbq.


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