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Photo above by Brian Addison. Photo below by Robert Earl.
I’ve already called Robert Earl’s BBQ one of the most underrated joints in Long Beach. I’ve also stirred the ire of LA by saying it’s the best BBQ in the region, ousting Bludso’s and Horse Thief. (And while this list did right in mentioning Bigmista’s, I am horrified that the other Long Beach “barbeque” joint named as one of the best was a damn Lucille’s. Kid. You. Not.)
So you can imagine my pure joy in hearing that Robert Earl’s is going through its third expansion thanks to a former church moving and Robert acquiring the space.
“More seating means more business—and that’s nothing but great for the neighborhood,” said Robert. “We’re shooting for a beer and wine license and maybe some live entertainment.”
And does this extra business mean a possible second location? Yes, yes it does.
“Next stop: Downtown,” Robert said
Praise the Pit Gods.
Beyond Robert’s smiling mug and humble demeanor and beyond the straight-forward paper tray with red-and-white checkered paper that everything is served in, it is the meat and the talent of the man cooking the meat that makes Robert Earl’s BBQ the best of the best.
Even those who opt for the chicken will rejoice at Robert’s ability to make it succulent, moist, and with a skin so perfectly charred and crispy that it’s actually worth ordering again. Should one be resistant to clogged arteries, their links—bites that look over-cooked yet pop with a moist spiciness that makes them spot on—are one of many pork options and that is a testament to the fact that their beef and pork is where it’s at.
The ribs are simply and generously seasoned with salt’n’pepper, charred to perfection and slathered with Earl’s not-too-sweet sauce that makes it extremely difficult to not overeat.
If there’s one thing at Earl’s that will certainly make you gluttonous, it’s unquestionably the brisket. It’s the stuff of legend: beef so tender that it falls apart without much effort while causing one to slowly close their eyes in meat-fuel bliss.
Robert Earl’s BBQ is located 703 E Artesia Blvd.