Let’s face it, I’m not a fan of barbecue. I don’t crave it, nor do I go seeking for it. So when I first met the Honoré family, I was shocked that I actually liked — no, loved — their barbecue.
Shortstop BBQ consists of brothers Alex and Andrew, and Andrew’s wife, Mary. Their gourmet food truck established itself rather well in Orange County for the last two years and a few weeks ago, they opened their first brick and mortar in Fullerton, serving up the same delicious food as their mobile restaurant.
I stopped by during their soft opening just before the new year and stood in line with a myriad of people waiting to get a taste of what was on offer. I then went again on opening day and brought the barbecue connoisseur — my son — along for a taste. Surprisingly, we were the first customers on opening day and it was rather nice to have the restaurant to ourselves, unlike the chaos of the soft opening.
The menu is simple. There are specials which are featured from time to time, but it is comforting to know that when you come here, whatever you’re craving from the last time will be on the menu. We ordered almost everything on the menu including two of their frites offerings which are crispy fries doused with different toppings.
Holiday Frites ($7) was a nod to Thanksgiving and has a generous amount of turkey, cheddar cheese, chili and cranberry sauce. Even though I don’t like sweetness in my savory foods — and this is why I really like their barbecue because their sauce is on the tart side rather than sweet — the cranberry was tolerable in that the acidity toned it down and was very pleasant.
Beef n Bleu Frites ($7) had long been a favorite of mine with tri tip, blue cheese and their famous tangy Shortstop sauce. Don’t even try to finish an order off yourself as the portion is extremely generous.
If you want straight up barbecue, I suggest getting one of the combo plates. You can choose from one item to three items which comes with two sides. Our three item combo plate ($14) of tri tip, turkey and brisket was a lot of meat for one person, but if you’re a carnivore, you’ll be able to polish it off.
I like ribs but only when it’s seasoned with a dry rub and not heavy with sauce. Shortstop’s is exactly the way I like them. A quarter rack is $5 or you can get a full rack for $18. The meat is so tender and comes right off the bone.
My favorite was the Smoked Duck Sandwich ($6) topped with arugula, a creamy shallot dressing and crumbled potato chips for a crunch you won’t forget. All the flavors come together so well and is so tasty you don’t want to share this one.
There are four sides to choose from as well. A small four ouncer will set you back $1.50 and the large eight ouncer is $3.
The Bleu Slaw is a nice red cabbage tossed with a thick blue cheese dressing. I actually think there is too much blue cheese in this but hey, I’m not complaining, I love blue cheese.
Baked Beans are tart and the sauce isn’t thick. These aren’t my favorite as I like my baked beans thick like Heinz baked beans.
I love the Creamed Corn here. It isn’t overly thick and I can polish off an eight ouncer with no problem whatsoever.
The Black Eyed Pea Salad also has corn in it and bits of celery and peppers. This can be eaten warm or cold — both taste pretty damn good.
The restaurant is simple. You order off the board and when your food is ready, they’ll call our your name and you pick it up from the counter. It’s nothing fancy but you will always get friendly service and deliciousness you’ll come back again for.
711 N Placentia Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92831