Wood Ranch BBQ and Grill: SoCal's Chain Gets Barbecue Right

Categories: Travel Hog
wood ranch_tri tip_john zur.jpg
John Zur
Tri tip sandwich
Boy, is the old adage true that the secret is in the sauce, especially at Wood Ranch BBQ and Grill! The Southern California chain has fourteen locations and we wish just one of them was here in Miami, even with their stiff, wooden lodge feel. Things didn't start off on the best foot as our server didn't reach the table to greet us for quite some time. It was agony seeing the smiling patrons wiping barbecue sauce off their faces and fingers while our stomachs growled. But Wood Ranch made up for the lapses in service with the best barbecue-- served in generous portions-- we've tried in a long while.

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John Zur
BBQ chopped salad
The meal began with a basket of warm rolls coated in garlic, parsley, and butter. They are everything you look for in rolls: chewy, crusty, and soft. Then, we split two items. The BBQ chopped salad ($12.95 with chicken, $13.95 with tri tip) includes fresh lettuce, white corn, black beans, tortilla strips, Monterey jack, scallions, tomatoes, cilantro, and ranch dressing. The chicken is smothered in a barbecue sauce that has a hint of sweet, but is mostly savory. It adds a rich, smokey flavor. Afraid that the salad would be overdressed with either the barbecue sauce or ranch dressing, much to our delight no ingredient overpowered the other in a perfectly copacetic relationship that brings out each of the flavors in the salad and is an automatic recipe for success.

The western tri tip sandwich ($12.95) comes with Monterrey jack, sauteed onions and peppers, and real au jus. Jardiniere is served upon request. Smothered in barbecue sauce, the meat has the aforementioned taste through and through and makes the sandwich as messy, yet delicious, as barbecue should be. And the signature side chosen to complement the sandwich was the mac and cheese, which is a solid effort, although the macaroni was a bit overcooked. Not too cheesy, but cheesy enough.

Perhaps the reason why Wood Ranch serves up such incredible barbecue is because all of their barbecue items are prepared using two-step cooking process. First, they slow-roast overnight the ribs, tri tip roasts, chickens and prime rib. Then, they grill and sauce them to order over a live mesquite wood fire. The results are mouth watering.

Wood Ranch BBQ and Grill
189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles

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