Once Thanksgiving break came along, we needed a good old fashioned hearty American meal to kick off a week of shenanigans.
With the advice of Russell Paulson, an expert in all things American, we ended up at Smokin’ Joe’s Barbeque next to California Pizza Kitchen on Crenshaw, joined by old friends Adesh Jain, Jordan Agnew, Charlie Madden, and of course, the typical guido, Luigi Cervantes.
Although a BBQ place is not usual guido territory, Larry’s mouth was watering in anticipation of tasting the variety of warm sauces that Joey’s Smokin’ BBQ had to offer.
It was a brisk Tuesday morning.  As we walked into the restaurant, delectable aromas warmed our noses and hearts. The interior had been newly completed with a large space for many wooden tables, yet the contemporary style was accommodated perfectly with the comfortable luxuries of multiple flat screen televisions and rolls of paper towels on each table, thus combining business and pleasure like a party in an office.
We strolled through what seemed to be a never-ending array of wooden tables to the lovely cashier, and we looked up to a hauntingly inviting menu looming over us in temptation. Although normally guidos need to watch their figures in order to successfully creep on chicks, we felt a bit saucy and decided to indulge ourselves. Our eyes floated across the menu’s various options, and they landed upon the family meal for six, which hosted a plate of essentially everything on the menu. Unfortunately, we needed to pay up front, but since Ari was feeling rather chipper this fine morning, he decided to pay for the meal, to which Larry responded, “’Tis the season!”
The array of concoctions that came to our table was as amazingly extensive. Originally we only had a booth set up for the six of us, but fortunately Luigi pulled up another table for latecomers Jordan and Adesh. Having been to Joey’s before, he said to us, “You guys don’t even know. We’re gonna need reinforcements.”
The table could barely fit all the food that came out of the kitchen. From the first plate of ribs that came out, we knew we were in for a treat. After that came a plate of pulled pork doused in barbeque sauce, a whole chicken, one pound of brisket, BBQ beans, macs and cheese, and a slice of cornbread for each of us. Even with the enormous amount of food we ordered, the impeccable service got it all out less than ten minutes after our order.
The unanimous winners were the ribs and the chicken. Although the ribs may not have been as meaty as Jordan has previously eaten, he still appreciated the fact that they  fell right off the bone and that they had a nice smoke ring to show for their time spent in the smoker.
In Luigi’s past experiences, he had found smoked chicken to be dry, but Joey’s kept it moist and tender.  Larry was a sucker for the pulled pork, since he rarely gets to indulge in porcine products, especially during Hanukah. In fact, he claimed it was the best pulled pork he has ever had.
The ultimate loser in the meat department, however, was the brisket. Unfortunately Joe’s haughty advertisement of a super lean brisket on the menu led to a lack of fat, which in the end resulted in a lack of flavor and moisture. All the sides were appetizing, with the sweet cornbread standing above the rest, but the beans were too watery for our taste as well as the mac and cheese not being cheesy enough.
At the end of the meal, Jordan, who had been in Texas a week earlier, said, “This is better than any of the stuff I had out there.” Joe’s BBQ is even rated by Zagat. So if you don’t believe the guidos, trust Jordan and Tim Zagat, because Joey’s Smokin’ BBQ is a definite must go.

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