How stupid is it that good-old fashioned American BBQ is a rare treat for me, an American? I mean, come on! This is America!

Fortunately for us #coastalelites, the good people behind Placentia’s Meat Up BBQ are bringing super legit BBQ served in a super chill atmosphere to little ol’ Orange County! I’m talking about the classic meats - like ribs, tri-tip, brisket on the weekends (get there early), pulled pork, chicken, brats - as well as burgers, Cubans (the sandwiches), mac and cheese, loaded and then loaded some more fries, chili verde, black beans with tri-tip, cornbread...

They do it up right, is what I’m trying to say. Oh, and all smoking and pickling is done in-house, including a secret technique for the ribs that I can’t detail here with any specificity other than to tell you that it freakin works.

Hungry yet?

pepper, pork, poutine, vegetable, beef, sauce, meat
Photo courtesy of Niyaz Pirani

I don’t recall ever passing up an opportunity to order something with the word “attack” in the name. This policy once again served me well here, bringing me to the Mac Attack Fries. BBQ rub fries, chili, mac and cheese, pulled pork, and finally BBQ sauce. A good word for these is “HUGE!” Actually, I can’t take credit of that. It’s just a direct and accurate quote from the menu.

A lot of places don’t really get a good vertical on their loaded fries, which when one is as inundated with Instagram posts of loaded fries as I am, really helped these Mac Attack Fries stand out to me. And of course they taste amazing.

steak, sauce, barbecue, beef, pork, meat
Photo courtesy of Niyaz Pirani

Like I said, whatever Meat Up is doing to their ribs back there is working. The texture was right in that sweet spot between totally tender and slightly chewy - my personal preference for ribs - and the smoke balance was perfect.

Aaaaand then I drowned them in Meat Up’s fantastic cracked pepper BBQ sauce (as seen in that killer action shot), because that’s just how it’s done.

Photo courtesy of Niyaz Pirani

You know the old adage that an artist/musician/chef can’t choose what painting/song/dish their fans will choose as the fan favorite? That’s the very slightly tragic story of this tri-tip sandwich. Apparently so many people tried to order a straight up tri-tip sandwich during Meat Up’s early days that they had to add the "Just a Try-Tip Sandwich" to the menu, where it’s remained among their bestselling items since. As much as I feel Meat Up’s pain here, I’m a super boring person, so I was all about this.

Half pound mound of excellent tri-tip, nest of fried onions, bun from local powerbakery OC Baking Company. Nuff said.

Now if you don’t like a lot of meat (how/why have you read this far?), here’s some sides, which haven’t got quite as much meat in them.

beef, cheese
Photo courtesy of Niyaz Pirani

#cheeseporn anyone? A bite of chili verde definitely did not go amiss to cut the by-now very rich ensemble with a bit of heat. But, since the rule here is that everything has to have meat in it, Meat Up added their excellent pork, as well as a bit of cheese melted atop.

cake, cream, corn bread, dairy product, sweet
Photo courtesy of Niyaz Pirani

Rich beans with little tangy bites of tri-tip throughout. Bean-y. Tri-tip-y. Solid. A good chunk of cornbread nicely rounds out the experience.

Meat - or meet, whichever - up with your friends at the brick-and-mortar out Placencia way, where you can also partake of the 25 craft beers on tap, or catch the just-launched Meat Up truck around OC.

Check out Meat Up BBQ's menu, and find them on the usual Facebook/Insta/Twitter.