Ribs With A Delicious Side Of Antiques

Don’t knock it, it’s working
BY: MARSHA MELLOW

Uncle Joe’s BBQ came all the way from Georgia, and from the looks of the lines in front of Joe’s custom made food trailer, Rosarito has welcomed them with enthusiasm.

Yes, Virginia, there really is an Uncle Joe and he was smokin’ ribs and chicken at his very successful restaurant in Georgia while Auntie Lisa was toiling as a corporate banker for Washington Mutual. No time off and very long hours prompted this couple to contemplate a move to someplace easy, and with an ocean and beaches, blue skies and good people. The decision was made to sell their restaurant, pack up their car, and put the bank in their rear view.

Diners sit under the blue plastic tarp in front of the trailer. The food is prepared inside the trailer, except the smoker is beside it. The trailer can hit the road and is available for private parties. California was the Delafuente’s original destination but a weekend trip to Rosarito was all they needed to make Rosarito Beach their final decision. Uncle Joe’s BBQ Shack would have a new life on the free road at km 41. But this piece of land already had an established business; My Grandmother’s Closet sat inside the white fence owned by John’s mom Judy Dawson.  On display were antiques, vintage clothing, treasures from Jutdy’s vast collection of accumulated  debris, including everything from porcelain bunnies to a huge whale carcass decorating the entrance to the property. Well, the bones of the carcass. She was a great lover of mermaids with many statues of same decorating her homes.

Mom Judy Dawson had been a long time resident of Rosarito, owning land and structures here until her death.

As they drove in to inquire about setting up their trailer and smoker on the property, they noticed there was a lot of room inside the fence, despite the 14 rescue dogs, as well as two rescue horses and a pony. As Hailey and John actually needed someone on the property when they weren’t there, it was kismet for these folks and the deal was made. The silver trailer was set up with a sign announcing their wondrous down home Southern BBQ.

Their recipes have been handed down from both families for generations, including BBQ sauce and seasonings to wake up even the sleepiest appetite. The meat and chicken is smoked for several hours right on site. The French fries and sweet potato fries are dusted with their secret recipe that had me coming back for more. They feature beef ribs as well as very meaty baby back pork rib, all with their secret  family BBQ sauce recipe.

BBQ sliders with pulled pork and chicken, as well as tacos with the same, are available. For those who want a half chicken plate with two sides including warm fresh baked corn bread, come on down. The chicken wings can be had BBQ style, buffalo style, or teriyaki style, all with ranch and celery.

Weekend specials are on tap with seafood and BBQ plates that change with whatever fresh ingredients can be found. My favorite is the combo plate with baby backs or beef ribs, three wings any which way, two sides, and corn bread, all for only $10. The sides are heaven sent and include fries, sweet potato fries, homemade secret  family slaw, potato salad, and cowboy beans.

All this great food can be enjoyed at Uncle Joes BBQ Shack right across the road from Ollie’s Pizza at km 41. Telephone number is 619 937 5836 or 661 527 6565. Joe delivers and his trailer is available for private parties. They shut down after the last diner has left, usually about 7pm (Baja bedtime), and for now are dark on Monday and Tuesday. They can be seen on Facebook and Trip Advisor under Uncle Joes BBQ Shack.