Christina Collins Burton
The first thing I noticed walking into Dillon’s Pit Bar-B-Q was the warmth of the people working there.
As they stood behind the counter, chatting as they waited for the customers of the day, you could tell that it was more of a family atmosphere than straight business.
“The great thing is the owners had us meet each other before we started working,” cashier Mariana Rosado said.
I was greeted as a friend and was able to chat as I made my decision.
Dillon’s opened on Sept. 20 to owners Chris and Bernie Dillon. Chris is a graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts Le Cordon Bleu.
“I chose this spot because I liked the building,” Chris said. “La Verne is a nice community and it has border cities that are really nice.”
The menu is obviously not vegetarian friendly, but the restaurant offered various types of meats and a selection of eight different sides to choose from.
“The menu is a basic barbecue menu.” Chris said, “if you went to Texas or Alabama it would be basically the same menu.”
After selecting a meal of a half rack of ribs, sausage, a side of pinto beans and macaroni and cheese I took my seat and waited for my food to be served.
Dillon’s has a large seating area inside that can sit about 40 people with a small patio area that can fit roughly 15 people comfortably.
At each table you have the option of three different barbecue sauces: Dixie, Texas and Carolina. Each sauce offers a different taste to set off the flavor of the meat.
As my food arrived, the smell of the carefully prepared rib meat was enough to make my mouth water.
“I’ve been doing barbecue for quite some time so its a lot of testing to see how everything tastes.” Chris said.
As I picked up my first rib to take a bite, the meat fell off the bone. This definitely made it easier to enjoy.
The meat was superbly seasoned on its own instead of smothered in barbecue sauce to hide the flavor of the meat.
Being a fan of sausage I was eager to see Dillon’s interpretation of a favorite tail-gating treat of mine.
With a crisp skin that popped as I chewed the flavor was set off with a slight spice.
Next were the sides of beans and macaroni and cheese.
The pinto beans were not prepared the way I am normally used to. Mixed with the beans are shreds of seasoned meat and spices that give them an extra kick.
“They are blatantly not vegetarian but have a good depth of flavor,” junior psychology major Matt Harvis said.
Though different, I enjoyed
the taste and thought it was a nice compliment to the ribs.
The portion I ordered was one of the largest offered on the menu. Everything on the menu is filling and fairly priced for a barbecue selection.
I could have made a completely separate meal of the macaroni and cheese.
Made with real cheese and plenty of time, I was sad there was not more of it.
It was neither gooey nor overly cheesy, and with every bite the wonderful flavor was renewed.
As I neared the end of my meal, I broke my personal rule by using sauce on good barbecue.
Both the Texas and Carolina barbecue sauces were on the sweeter side, and had either a lemon or mustard base in them.
Of the three sauces my favorite had to be the Dixie sauce with using the more traditional ingredients of tomato and vinegar base.
Overall my experience at Dillon’s Pit Bar-B-Q felt more like I was eating dinner at my house with good friends.
The flavors of the different parts of my meal played well off each other, making not only a satisfying experience but also making me a loyal customer to the restaurant.
Dillon’s is located on 2232 D Street in Suite 101 near Circle K and Coffeberry.
Christina Collins Burton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.