The first full day of our vacation involved waking up in El Segundo, having another trip down into Manhattan beach for a breakfast at Uncle Bill’s (you can read a previous review here), and then driving East to Phoenix. That’s not a short drive (it’s around 7 hours counting basic stops and the like), and that usually leaves one looking for lunch around Blythe, which is pretty much the only real “civilization” for about an hour in each direction. And I’ll be honest, most of the options in Blythe aren’t that great, mostly chains (Denny’s and Pizza Hut, for example), and a few local places (La Casita Dos is pretty good Mexican, and probably should get a review visit from me sometime). But there’s one place in town that does indeed serve up an excellent lunch, and that’s Rebel BBQ. I always have a bit of a hard time writing two types of reviews: Pizza places and BBQ places. The reason is that both of these types of food have both a substantial number of regional varieties, and both of these also have, in my opinion, a much wider spread of quality. There are a lot of mediocre pizza places, but there are a few places that are truly head and shoulders above the rest (like, say, Pepe’s Pizza in CT, or Pizzeria Bianco in AZ). The same goes for BBQ: there are a huge number of BBQ places out there, but the very best (like, say, Franklin) that are in a very different league than most, quality-wise, leading to a surprisingly large gap between “best” and “really good”. So, with that in mind, let’s talk about Rebel BBQ.
Where Offbeat Eats has been:
To celebrate Carol’s birthday last month, we took another trip down to Boston to enjoy some more culinary adventures. We started off with a repeat brunch visit to Sofra, where this time I did get the shakshuka, which was excellent). After a pleasant day of sightseeing, coffee drinking (I rather recommend the fairly new dwelltime in Cambridge), and shopping, we ended up in Wellesley, MA at Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger. I’ll be honest, I’m generally not into the whole celebrity chef scene, since usually by the time a chef becomes a “celebrity”, almost by definition they are spending more time outside their kitchen than in it, and few chefs seem to be able to do that without quality suffering. But we’ve always liked nicely done East-West fusion food, and for a variety of reasons, Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger has been on our “We should try it out” list, despite the fact that it has rather mixed reviews(on most every review site, and the Boston Globe). Well, we finally had the opportunity, so we figured it would be a good place to celebrate.