1000 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA | Directions 9110534.128620 -118.149770
Overpriced BBQ place – I went to Barn Burner when it first opened and it was ok...decent for pasadena. I picked up a menu to take home in case I got the urge for BBQ. I went back about 6 months later and the food had really gone downhill. A few weeks ago (May 2008) I decided to get something to take home. I called in to place an order using the old menu and was dumbfounded that they had raised the prices on most items by DOUBLE. I was really wanting some BBQ though so I placed my order anyway, it was awful. 6 St. Louis style ribs with little meat for over $20. $18 for fried chicken that had not even been fried but BAKED! I had gotten the fried chicken for my wife and it was so disgusting we had to throw it away. $18 worth of chicken that could not even be eaten. The mac and cheese was tasteless, the store bought kind out of the box is better than that slop. The beans are just as bad. The portions have gotten smaller and smaller and the prices are outrageous. I saw a couple of good reviews on the board but it is obvious by the way they are written that it is someone from the restaurant. I hope they close this place. Oh, and the service is horrible too! Wait staff is just rude and uncaring.
WE'RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE...OR EVEN TEXAS! – Kansas City is known to be the BBQ capital of the world and while Texas has good BBQ too this Texas styled place ain' t anywhere close to great BBQ! The ribs are tender and well smoked but that's about as good as it gets. Sides are pretty bad except for the mashed potatoes. The BBQ sauce was better than average but the ribs were served on a watery plate! The rolls were clearly microved and ended up being tough. The waitress recommended the mac and cheese...it was like the instant kind you make for little kids! It's not the worst BBQ and perhaps even better than mediocre but it's not worth returning for. I've been at off hours. I can't vouch for what the service is like when they are busy but it's certainly not worth a wait or any type of a hassle. The prices are too high for such poor food but average for may BBQ places. If you're really desperate for BBQ hen this place may pass muster.
DRIVE ON AND AVOID – Awful food. mediocre service. clueless management.
tried to eat here twice before but always mass confusion. knew instantly that it was going to be a nightmare so we left. today we are figured lets give it one more shot. too bad we did. ordered pulled chicken sandwich (only chicken on menu). came out dry as a bone on a bland flavorless wonder bread roll. drench it with bbq sauce to get it down. very small portion of dry dubious chicken pieces and lots of bread. not cheap. ($9). sides tiny. corn $2.50? coke $3? place is dirty. baseboards and drink station smeared w/black grossness.
BUT thing that set me off: wife burned her hand badly on the instant scalding hot water that came out of the bath tap. I asked a server (spoke English) to tell his manager the water temp was very dangerous and that they should do something about it. I watched from my table while he told his manger and she did nothing. Never came to us to apologize or thank us for trying to help them prevent a law suit. nothing.
So check came. WAY overpriced. gave the server cash and waited for my change... and waited... and waited. apparently they keep all the cash in the back room or down the street at EL CHOLLOS. Not talking lots of cash here - $10. While I waited the wife went back to the bathroom and sure enough still scalding hot. So be it.
As we left I approached the manager and asked her if she had received our message about the instant scalding hot water that gushes out of the tap and she said yes, she did get the message and....... silence. Nothing. Not a word more. no acknowledgement. no apology. no gratitude.... so I told her the food and the service sucked and that we would not be back.
One of her muscle men followed me out the door glowering at us as we got into our car, rocking back and forth trying to be menacing - like a monkey in the zoo. It was such an unpleasant experience I plan to avoid all El Chollo?s and Dona Rosa in the future and I hope you will as well.
Great looking place but the food is pathetic – It looks just like a BBQ place should look like, big, cavernous and cool. It goes down hill from there. We stopped in about 3 weeks ago and really left disappointed. In fact we had to eat at a taco truck down the street. This place is also one of those over priced BBQ restaurants. Almost every meat sub had a $3:00-$4:00 extra charge. The brisket was tough, flavorless and had no smoke ring. The baby back ribs ($4.00 extra) were just as tough. Sides were non-descript and so was this experience. The most annoying thing though was some guy parading around the room dressed as a cowboy screeching out "Yeh Haw" over and over till it got sickening. We couldn't have a decent conversation because of this distraction. All in all, I think that the owner put more time into the looks than into the food.
WAS THE BEST, BUT NOT ANYMORE – This restaurant first opened in Pasadena, CA, sometime around August/September, 2005. It is located in a converted red barn, so it is huge in seating capacity. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for their parking lot; the space here is limited and street parking is nearly impossible. The restaurant's interior is decorated with lots of Texas memorabilia and the atmosphere is light and airy. Kid friendly, too.
During the first six months, the management and service personnel were extremely attentive and efficient. Their BBQ entrees were both delicious and very generous in portions. In fact, you could eat half and save the rest for another meal! The BBQ Beef Ribs--which in 2005, were slightly better than Robin's BBQ in Pasadena--were juicy and very meaty with little fat, plus the meat practically fell off of the bone!
Fast forward six months later and there was a major drop in QUANTITY. The side portions were cut in half, as well as the entrees. But their prices didn't drop. And by July, 2006, the QUALITY of those entrees suffered dramatically, too. The BBQ Beef Ribs were ALL bone and two of those bones were so overcooked, the rib meat tasted like beef jerky!
Initially, I thought that maybe the cook had a bad day or the restaurant got a bad shipment of BBQ fare, but I've already given them several more chances and the place is still a major disappointment compared to when it first opened. Famous food critic Merrill Schindler gave it high marks during his visit, but that was shortly after the restaurant opened. If he ever goes back again, I doubt if the new review would measure up to his first one.
Don't Bother, You Can Find Better BBQ. – Please let me just say, DO NOT waste your time going to this restaurant. We waited over 30 min. for TWO meals. Of course that was after we had to wait 20 min. for them to come back to take that order after we sat down. The food was decent, but you can find better BBQ elsewhere. My complimentary water they brought me tasted like it had some kind of chemicals in it. The waitress brought the wrong side and didn't come back to check on us until we were already done with the meal to switch it out, did I mention she gave us a dirty look when we told her? When she did bring the other side she had her thumb in it! I just couldn't believe how bad the service was. The whole wait staff just seemed very rude to both myself and my boyfriend. It wasn't even as if it were a crazy night. There were only three other tables of people besides ourselves. When I wrote to complain to the company they never even bothered to get back to me, why am I not surprised? I would much rather make the drive to Bam's in Glendora then go back to this place again. It was really surprising because I have eaten at another restaurant this company owns, De La Rosa and I love it there.
Great BBQ in Pasadena – Great parking and easy access, and the quality of the food is always good!
Request the "spicy" BBQ sauce, it adds zest to your meats.
Try ordering the sampler combo's to get a taste of all kinds of meats.
Hits the spot!! – My family and I have eaten here on a couple of occasions. The service has always been friendly and the portions have always been generous. The quality of their meats are excellent. Nice smokey flavor that can only be achieved by BBQ'ing on a low heat source for an extended period of time (unlike some places that grill and slather on sauce). The texture of the meat is always fall of the bone or tender. I also like the fact that the place is pretty casual, so no need to dress up because you'll be throwing peanut shells on the floor. Definitely worth trying out!
El Cholo owners offer Texas-style barbecue kitschy fun, family-friendly restaurant. – In Short
A 1955 Ford fire truck is parked outside, where a 2,000-pound applewood smoker emits a smoky aromas. The huge, rustic "barn" features wooden tables, Texas license plates, light bulbs and a trove of Western antiques. Families and friends groove to country and Southen rock. The menu includes baby back ribs, brisket, pulled pork, hot links and more, with combinations and sandwiches also available. Among side dishes are mac and cheese and baked beans. Peach cobbler is a sweet finish.
DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT GOING HERE!! – ok where do i begin with this review? Ok so we went on a friday night with my family & it seemed like a fun family place where you can throw peanut shells on the floor. We sat down & ordered our drinks. When they waiter finally brings us the drinks, which took 20 min, he spilled ALL the drinks on my little brother! He spilled 6 drinks on him. Everything from Coke, water, milk (u get the picture). He was drenched from head to toe! So they moved us to another table cuz it was swamped there. Then as soon as we sat down we started to order again & i noticed that they had seated my little brother, again, in a extreamly dirty chair. I mean it was covered all over the back & seat of the chair with BBQ sause. We did not initally notice because the lighting is dim. When we noticed it was too late. It had ruined his clothes and it was so disgusting that they do not clean up. So here was my brother soaked with every kind of drink they had there and now from the top of his collar to his knees covered in BBQ sause....wait there is MORE. They didnt even offer to give us our meals for free. They gave us a free fry... big deal. That wont cover the cost of getting new clothes and being totally humiliated. Then when we finally have to pay for the meal the waitress lost my dads credit card!! it took them 10 min to find it. It was near the entrance on the floor! Anyone could have just picked it up & walked out! As we are leaving we realize my dads leather jacket is missing and it turns out it was at the first table before they moved us & a waiter had moved it over to the kitchen area! OMG! I will never go there again. I DO NOT recoment this palce to anyone unless you are ready to wear your food!! Even the manager was not really sorry about what happend. She actually laughed about everything. I guess now its kinda humerous but laughing at that time was not appropriate and it gave us an even worse experience! I felt like I was on a hidden camara show! BEWARE!!!
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