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Bad to the Bones Fire-Roasted Tri-Tip Sandwich. Photo: Matt Cortina
Bad to the Bones Fire-Roasted Tri-Tip Sandwich. Photo: Matt Cortina

Bad to the Bone BBQ

31738 Rancho Viejo Road, San Juan Capistrano, 949-218-0227

The words themselves are satisfying: fire-roasted, tri-tip… sandwich. Even though, yeah, you roast with fire, and how many tips are enough tips and from where exactly are these tips coming? Luckily, one bite into said sandwich and you just stop caring about semantics.

The sirloin cut of beef (aka tri-tip) is fatty and evanescent. It’s got chew and char. It tastes and feels, well, roasted over an open-fire. The barbecue sauce is sweet and spicy, with an finish of smokey molasses. The accompanying sweet potato fries are crisp, skin-on, and so precisely seasoned that you’re not sure if you taste cinnamon and brown sugar or are just making phantom associations in your head. The point is: good barbecue may be hard to figure out, but it’s not hard to enjoy, and that’s what we found this week at Bad to the Bone BBQ. —Matt Cortina

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