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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Oink and Moo

Leslie and I were stuck in traffic in that god forsaken Sodom and Gomorrah to the north, Temecula, last night when we got the call. Kathie and Jamie were celebrating his birthday dinner at Fallbrook's newest restaurant, Oink and Moo and would we like to join them?

You're late...

We were down with that. We had been interested in trying out the place, open for a week and packed, in typical Fallbrook fashion. And we rarely get an opportunity to break bread with our friends and fellow Fallbrook shopkeepers. So we jammed through the Walmart and Sprouts in record time and beat it down the packed highway, hoping that they wouldn't be getting their desserts when we walked in.

Oink and Moo is sitting at the intimate location that once housed En Pico, the Chocolate place, Johnny Boys and maybe a couple other belated ventures, all which put out a great product but still died a miserable death, usually through no fault of their own. Oink and Moo was reportedly made to jump through major permit hoops by the authorities but is finally open.

The restaurant, modeled after a southern delta rib shack, right down to the metal sheeting, was hopping. You are basically sitting in the carport of an old bungalow, maybe an old Sears kit house. The place has been decorated beautifully, love the funky lighting. We saw several other couples we knew in various stages of dining, including Mr. and Mrs. Deli Guy and Bombero John and Karen. Our dinner companions had actually just been seated and had started in on the hand cut french fries.

We ordered the local beer. Jamie and Leslie had the Oceanside blonde and I had the strong blonde, a mix of the blonde and the amber. I am not much of a beer guy but it tasted damn good.

I looked at the menu and noticed that one of the servers was our server our first night at the new Valley Fort, which people are starting to grouse about, in typical Fallbrook fashion.

I ordered a baby back rib and brisket platter with a side of bourbon cooked beans. Leslie had the kobe beef rib full plate, Jamie a half rack and the lovely Kathie decided to be the adventurous guinea pig and try the peanut butter and jelly burger.

And then we waited. And waited. The most delicious honey biscuits you ever tasted were brought out to soothe our hungry stomachs. Had to have been well over an hour. Which was cool, because we had time to talk and catch up with other friends in the restaurant. The place is new and they are in the process of getting it together.

Now let me go off a little bit. I am down with the whole comfort food thing, the mac and cheese riffs that are omnipresent in today's culinary landscape. But can we just stop with the peanut butter and jelly? This burger, which we all passed around and tasted, was a trainwreck that should never have been born. We ordered it like we were rubberneckers that just had to look at that bad accident on the freeway. Possibly as bad as the peanut butter and jelly stuffed jalapeno at Pala Mesa. Is Fallbrook vying for that coveted "most hideous use of peanut butter in the food world"award?

I am happy to report that the rest of the meal was truly fantastic, right down to the slaw. Of course we had filled up on the large biscuits and when the food came it came in waves, on huge platters and we were simply stuffed. Leslie couldn't stop talking about the beef ribs. My pork ribs were great. One of the other diners, from Texas, was grousing that the brisket lacked flavor and Texans make the best brisket in the world so I will defer to him. I thought that it was pretty good, but maybe a bit overcooked, like grandma's pot roast.

I really like this restaurant and hope that it sticks around. The quality of the food ingredients and the attention to slow cooking is unmistakable. They just need to work on the slow part of the equation or change the motto to slow cooking served slow, which is cool with me too if I happen to have the time.

I offer the food statement from their website for your reading enjoyment. Give this place a shot.
Nestled on the corner of N. Pico Ave and Alvarado St, you will find Oink and Moo Burgers and BBQ. A funky and artsy local joint owned and operated by two Fallbrook locals, Jennifer and Jonathan Arbel. As our restaurant's name suggests, we don't take ourselves very seriously, but we do take our food, where it comes from and how it's prepared, VERY seriously.
 * We want to get back to the basics with cooking, so we don't use any processed foods and we take our time making it right. One thing that we do differently than 99.5% of all burger joints is we hand grind our burgers fresh daily at the restaurant. We blend our 100% Black Angus beef steak and Brisket, then we add our secret ingredients and seasoning to create our hamburger patties. At Oink and Moo, we can tell you exactly what is in our burger meat and we guarantee you will never, ever eat any PINK SLIME in our burgers.
* We highly recommend you try our hand-cut fries. We use special painstaking techniques to achieve a crispy exterior and a creamy mashed potato interior. In other words, the perfect french fry.
 * Lets talk BBQ, our BBQ is slow cooked and can take any where from 3 hrs to 7 days to prepare. Our Beef Brisket and Pulled Pork are smoked for up to 14 hrs in an Apple and Cherry wood blend. Try the homemade BBQ sauce made from scratch, you will love it. We don't take any short cuts at Oink and Moo. Even our lemonade is hand squeezed, fresh from lemons grown on our property, our neighbors property and from other local farmers.
  * The menu is fun, creative and affordable. Try a Fried Mac and Cheese ball or a one-of-a-kind Oink and Moo creation, a French Fry Encrusted Hot Dog. We guarantee you have never had something like this before.
  * Our goal is to try to use as many local ingredients as possible, cook them with the love they deserve and serve our guests in a friendly and fun atmosphere. We love Fallbrook and we are delighted to serve some good home cooked food with a local California twist. Enjoy!
Oink and Moo Burgers and BBQ 
121 North Pico Ave, Fallbrook CA 92028 (760) 451-6005


North County Film Club said...

I know I'm being silly but I could never eat at a place called "Oink and Moo". I think I'm a frustrated vegetarian who loves meat but doesn't want to think about where it came from. There used to be a barbeque restaurant in L.A. with pictures of pigs being chased by a butcher with a cleaver. I did eat there but it always bothered me.

Blue Heron said...

Conquer that innate and prejudiced kill switch and embrace your inner atavistic carnivore. The food at Oink is really excellent!

Anonymous said...

i love to read your writing!! good job.. but I liked my peanut butter, jelly& bacon burger!!


Anonymous said...

Excellent love story one felt by many, the one that got away was it the right or wrong time or person we will never know.
Nice reflection on oink n moo. They have a few hurdles to get over, little towns are strict about first impressions. I hope they survive we need places to grab a beer and hang.
Deli guy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone, Its Jonathan the Chef and Owner of Oink and Moo. Great blog about your night. Your insight is very valuable to us. Just so your readers know, we have started to work out most of the issues from our service. I'm not saying all of them, just most of them. The food for the past 4 days has been coming out within 10-20 minutes. You read my mind about having to change the name to slow food slow. With the new changes, I'm delighted to say that changing the name wont be necessary. Hope you all come back and join us for dinner soon. It was an honor for Jennifer and I to feed the local business owners, especially all at once. The only thing I would change is I wish it was a few weeks down the road when I know I could give you all a 100% amazing experience. We will get there soon, I promise. As far as the PB&J Bacon Burger, well that train wreck is staying on the menu. I hate to put my culinary foot down, but I get so many good reviews about the burger and I love it myself that its hard to take it off the menu. Again, thank you for your blog.

Thanks and hope to see you all soon.
Jonathan and Jennifer

Blue Heron said...

Thank you for writing, Jonathan and I wish you success.

Anonymous said...

We had dinner at Oink and Moo last night and loved it! We got our dinner in 15 minutes. We've got to support this place.

J & F