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Grand Ole BBQ y Asado brings a slice of Austin to San Diego

St. Louis Spare Ribs St. Louis spareribs with “El Borracho” topping—house-made queso and Frito serrano relish.

An out-of-the-gate hit when it opened in 2015, Grand Ole BBQ y Asado brought a slice of Austin to San Diego’s North Park neighborhood, where its no-frills setup—just a handful of picnic tables and a 20-foot smoker under a few strands of string lights—evoked the casual conviviality found at outdoor barbecue joints throughout the Texas capital.

Grand Ole BBQ y Asado

This spring, the newly renovated North Park location reopened, and crowds are again lining up at the counter-service restaurant, which has tripled its footprint—adding many more patio seats and an indoor dining area and bar—while retaining the fun atmosphere.

Ribs

Available in quarter-pound portions, the smoked meats include accomplished takes on pulled pork, brisket, turkey, and beef short ribs; the St. Louis spareribs have the prerequisite rosy smoke ring and the pork retains a toothsome texture as it pulls easily from the bone. Sauces include Texas sweet, spicy barbecue, mustard-tinged South Carolina gold, and North Carolina’s classic vinegar dip. Sides include mac-and-cheese, spicy slaw, kimchi, and white beans with bacon.

Tri tip sandwich

Most of the meat can also be tucked between bread; the tender tri-tip sandwich is particularly good, dressed with a rustic chimichurri made from owner Andy Harris’ grandmother’s recipe. On Sundays, Harris continues a family tradition of Argentine asado, offering grilled lamb shoulder, skirt steak, and choripan, a sandwich made with local chorizo. 

El Borracho fries

With a larger kitchen, the restaurant has also extended its menu to include vegan tacos and burgers and other bar snacks, including fries with “El Borracho” topping—house-made queso and Frito serrano relish—and a fine chile verde with slow-smoked pork.

Grand Ole BBQ y Asado has an extensive brew list, and the bar swirls up frozen treats, from cones of pineapple-flavored Dole Whip to vegan vanilla soft-serve ice cream sundaes and floats.

Best dishes at Grand Ole BBQ y Asado

St. Louis spareribs, chile verde, El Borracho fries, tri-tip sandwich with chimichurri.

Dinner prices

Sandwiches, $9–$16; meats by the pound, $14–$25.

Information

Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. 3302 32nd Street, San Diego. (619) 759-0637.

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