by: Geoff “Big Hill” Mountain
Oceanside CA– Have you been talking with a friend and asked “Where is the real BBQ at?” Having spent a lot of time in the south and different parts of the west, I have yet to find BBQ that reminded me of real “down home” joints. They all seem to be super clean, stainless steel corporate America type places. I mean, I want to smell the BBQ and enter a funky, one of a kind place not TGIF’s with BBQ.
A friend asked me if I had ever heard of “That Boy Good”? Having not, he told me about it and within 10 minutes, I was on my way.
From the moment you walk in, that screen door slams shut and you inhale that musty essence of BBQ, you know you are down home.
Looking around, I wandered over to the bar all the while taking in all the TV’s and New Orleans Saints stuff, I knew this was the real deal.
Staring at the menu, I found some of my favorites: pulled pork, beef links, ribs, fried chicken & waffles, mac & cheese, collard greens, hand-cut fries.
As usual, my eyes were bigger than my stomach (and that’s considerable) so I ordered more than I could eat. I sampled the crossroads cup and followed that bad boy up with a fried chicken thigh and waffle and cornmeal dusted catfish. Before I realized it, I’d eaten part of my friend’s pulled pork sandwich. WOW!! Was I stuffed, what with the Rolling Rock beer and all.
Okay, about the food:
I thought the pulled pork was wonderful and truly was a tasteful blend of Carolina, Texas and St. Louis styles. Sauce it yourself with either their mild or hot BBQ sauce.
I felt “The Crossroad Cup” was very special. It’s a bowl with their wonderful beans and mac n cheese, covered with either pulled pork or beef links, topped with homemade coleslaw.
The waffle was also very good, although, I thought the fried chicken thigh was a little over cooked for my taste.
I can say the cornmeal-crusted catfish was super. The Cole Slaw was awesome, as was the mac n cheese. The backwoods beanie & weanies among best I’ve had in San Diego.
The beer was cold and refreshing and they have Happy Hours Mon-Fri. On Sundays they sell 24 oz. PBR for $3 and $2 Rolling Rock. SUPER!!
The staff was very friendly and attentive without being a pain. Their prices are very affordable and the portions are very satisfying.
Before I knew it, I was in a conversation with the Owner and Chef Mark Millwood. He has a great background beginning in the armed forces and going from Executive Chef position at 5 Star places like Arabella and the Villa Marriott in Vail, Colorado to the Ritz Carlton at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Mark and his wife Kim, always wanted to open their own place where they could create a hybrid that features white table cloth “type” quality with a down home flavor. According to Mark, his wife quarterbacked everything. Finding the location and they literally put it together with their own sweat and equity, money borrowed from friends and family. They bought their first table with a credit card. Truly an old-fashioned success story.
When chatting, I asked Mark about the name and he said, growing up in Mississippi, that it was a common phrase. “That Boy Good” would be used in Juke Joints and Restaurants as a compliment. Mark remembers folks shouting out “That Boy Good!” when his Uncle Dickie, a popular local Mississippi musician was playing.
Mark and Kim are very committed to the growth of Oceanside and actually sell advertising for local business’ by selling the ceiling tile, with the money going the their favorite charity.
The parking leaves a little to be desired, but is well worth the hassle. As Mark says he wanted to create a place where folks can sit down, get together and enjoy a cold beer and great food and not feel that the staff wants to turn the table over. So come on in, sit down and enjoy.
In the near future they plan on branching out to sell their own Hot & Mild BBQ Sauce, Marinated Green Beans, Okra. They are currently looking to open a second location in North Coastal San Diego.
“That Boy Good” is one of my favorite finds and I’ve brought my family and friends there. By the way, my son is a very picky eater and he really liked the pulled pork and thought the hand-cut fries were “Da Bomb.”
I give it a BIG HILL THUMBS UP!!
Location: 207 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside ph. 760-433-4227
To learn more about ‘That Boy Good’ and see their menu visit their website [Link]
Visit their Facebook page [Link]