Everyday Eats: Coop's BBQ Opens Second Location
West Texas-style BBQ now has a second home in Chula Vista.
The second location of Coop's BBQ is now open in Chula Vista. At the grand-opening celebration on Saturday, the faithful amassed outside, happy to wait for a heaping plate of Brad Cooper's West Texas-style BBQ -- tender cuts of meat rubbed with spices and cooked low and slow over in a brick pit smoker over hickory and oak. The comfy and casual restaurant is a great spot to eat big on small budget with everything from rib tips to housemade sausage, plus peach cobbler and sweet potato pie for dessert. You can be reasonable, and try one of the "small boy" sandwiches ($6), or go for a meat plate served with two sides and complimentary corn bread ($13.99-$28.99). I opted for the two meat plate ($15.99) with pulled pork and brisket, plus mac and cheese (available only on Saturdays) and red beans and rice.
The brisket is cooked low and slow for upwards of 8 hours, imparting it with smoky flavor and ringing it with pink (a dead giveaway that no shortcuts were taken). Brad says it's one of the best-sellers, and frequently the cut of meat he runs out of. It was delicious; a tender, and juicy cut, to be certain...but the sweet and fatty pulled pork had the edge, especially when swiped through a puddle of Coop's house-made BBQ sauce. Sides were tasty as well, to the point where I lost the plot a few times and had to steer my fork away from those cheesy noodles and back to the meat.
For beverages, you're limited to iced tea and bargain bin sodas at the Lemon Grove location, but the new spot in Chula Vista shares a space with Center Cut bar, so you can grab a brew to wash down your 'cue. If you go that route, better get it before the food arrives, because that big tray of meat is going to nail you to your seat until the last delicious morsel is gone.
Coop's BBQ is located at 534 Broadway in Chula Vista (map). Like the original location in Lemon Grove, it is closed on Mondays.