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“DO NOT GO HERE”
Review of St Francis BBQ

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St Francis BBQ
Ranked #45 of 201 Restaurants in Camarillo
Cuisines: American, Barbecue
Restaurant details
Torrance
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“DO NOT GO HERE”
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Went to try St Francis bbq on a Sat nite. Entered at 6:30, no one inside.
New waitress, did not know the menu, and we ordered. The order came back wrong, and the owner blamed it on her, he would not stand behind her.
We had beef ribs, and baby backs. The beef ribs were very tough, and no flavor. The baby backs were average at best. Tried the Peach Cobbler.....it tasted like canned peaches. I've eaten at Southern BBQs many times, I do not understand how this place is here.
The owner came to our table and asked us how we liked our meal. He was VERY RUDE and HOSTILE towards us. I would NEVER go back. I could tell you more, but it is more of a waste of my time.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Dean S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melvin J, Owner at St Francis BBQ, responded to this review, February 24, 2013
I received a telephone call on the day in reference from a customer that had dined at my restaurant earlier in the week and had showered me and staff with praise over the quality of the food and service. He indicated that he would be bringing an associate to join him for dinner that evening, and again to share with him another enjoyable dining experience.

After their arrival and before they were even seated the associate appeared to have gone into the attack mode, observing, “no one was in the restaurant”, considering that it was around 630 pm, which is early for many diners and not knowing that a large percentage of our business is take out and pickup.

The associate was quick to engage me about another restaurant that he had visited recently, in particular, the size of the steak that he had been served which he described as very large. I could see why he had placed so much emphasis on size of the steak as a measure of quality as it would be consistent with his physical statue. It was apparent to me early on that he really wanted steak for dinner over ribs.

I visited their table while they were eating to get feedback. The comment from the associate was that the baby back ribs were good and it was readily apparent since only bones were visible on his plate. He also indicated that the beef ribs were not as tender even though again, I observed only bones remaining on his plate. No other comment was given regarding food or service. Other customers soon begin arriving and that should have added some credence to the “why are we here” question! Obviously I was shocked and dismayed after reading the associate’s comments in the review.

I will not let this “ah [--]” review wipe out “the thousands of Atta boys that we have received over the last 20 + years at this location. Our longevity here is an indisputable testimony to our family’s legacy that validates that we are respected, soulful, experienced and well seasoned in this business. Our many well-intentioned customers reassure us of this fact every day.

This associate indicated that he lived in Torrance, CA and considering what appears to have been an attack mission, I am reminded of the experience of an ex aerospace coworker during the early days of our space exploration work together, who was only able to purchase a house in the city of Torrance through a 3rd party due to his race. This associate’s behavior and attitude reeks of that time period and seems to hover over us even today and color the interactions and objectivity of some individuals.

Mel J, Owner
St. Francis BBQ
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    14
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    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Best southern food since I was in Arkansas last year!”
Reviewed July 13, 2012 via mobile

Yummy southern food. We split a BBQ feast and the catfish and they were both wonderful! Even the cornbread is delicious. I am from Arkansas and this is real southern food. Could use more fried items on the menu but this is the most I have ever seen in California. Some menu items are a little pricy but they are worth it. Not a fancy place but just like they have in the south.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Melanierich12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camarillo
1 review
“Excellent BBQ!”
Reviewed February 15, 2012

My husband and I had dinner at St Francis recently. As with every dining experience we have had there over the years, we are always amazed and thrilled with its uniqueness when compared with the other restaurants we have dined at in the area. The restaurant is always impeccably clean, soft jazz music streaming in thr background. The service is great, the southern ambiance is genuine and consistent with the best barbeque and homemade side dishes around. I ordered the pulled pork dinner with cole slaw, black-eyed peas and cornbread. Yum, this was the ultimate meal for me. My husband ordered the tri tip dinner with macaroni and cheese and collard greens with garlic toast. He was equally thrilled with the authentic flavor that comes with the homemade approach to cooking. This place is unique in every way, they even barbeque in an outdoor pit! However, when you consider that they have had the same cook since day one (20 years), it becomes apparent after the dining experience that this is not an ordinary barbeque joint. No hype here, the proof is in the cooking.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Stacie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camarillo, California, United States
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The owner is rude, crude, and his BBQ and attitude is terrible Never Again”
Reviewed December 14, 2011

I just went to St Francis BBQ today and ordered pork ribs. They were the worst and most toughest ribs I had ever had. I asked the waitress to give me some pulled pork instead and she took them back. A few minutes lady the owner showed up in a kind of rage showing anger, hostility, and other negative actions towards me. He sat down at my table with the ribs I returned and used his fingers to rip them all apart in front of me stating that I was the only person who ever complained about his ribs. I told insulted me by saying maybe this is the first time you ever had ribs and then he talked about the other BBQ restaurants in my area and said that they don't know to make ribs. This guy was totally a nut case and could not stand someone saying something about his food. The pulled pork he gave me was cold and strong tasting and also awful. While he sad in anger at my table he also spoke in a very loud voice for other people to hear him. This place is called St Francis but it is anything but Christian. I will never ever go back there again to eat anything because the owner is a total jerk with anger issues and he hates white people!!!!!! I left there feeling angry and mad and if my wife was not there, I would have really told him off because he is a big jerk and is the most insulting nut I have ran across in years!!!! DO NOT EAT THERE!!! THE OWNER IS A BASKET CASE AND THE FOOD STINKS!!!!!

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Tom44445
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melvin J, Owner at St Francis BBQ, responded to this review, January 30, 2012
Response to Tom44445
December 14, 2011


With considerable trepidation and despair, I offer the following response to a review posted by Tom44445, on December 14,2011 which had the personal impact of a terrorist roadside bombing. Totally unexpected, and largely indefensible.

St. Francis BBQ is a family owned and operated southern BBQ restaurant and has been operating at this location for 19 plus years and is known for its exceptional food quality and the only authentic southern barbecue (Memphis Pulled Pork) restaurant in the area.

We are considered to be a legend in the BBQ business dating back to the 1950s when Grandpa Luther’s BBQ was opened in Humboldt, Tn., and later Uncle Saint opened Armour’s BBQ in the early 70’s. The fact that this family legend has survived two major recessions and the triumph of the Civil Rights movement is a source of pride, and is attributable to the attention and care we devote to our food, service and customers. We have always been receptive to feedback received from customers, and respond accordingly.

Recently, the customer cited above commented to one of our server’s that the ribs he had been served were tough and the meat did not fall of the bone as he had expected. He asked that his order be changed to pulled pork. His wish was accommodated, and followed up with a visit with the hope of gathering/sharing information related to the complaint. During the visit with the customer, I shared with him our technique for cooking ribs the old fashion way, seasoned over charcoal in an outdoor closed pit. This approach is rarely used by restaurants in today’s mass production environment. Instead, many restaurants boil ribs to make them tender (fall off the bone) and then grill them to enhance the appearance. Obviously, the flavor and texture is sacrificed at the expense for softness of the meat.

Customer was receptive of the information given to him at the time and responded in a manner consistent with the impression that he was satisfied with my overview of how we barbeque our ribs. He gave absolutely no indication that he would go and rant about me and the business in such an unfavorable manner. I consider this review inflammatory, outrageous and totally out of character with customers that visit with us weekly.

My family, staff, customers, and everyday associates are all accustomed to functioning in a multiracial environment. I am bilingual and race netural, having traversed the globe twice and interacted with people around the world of all races.

It disheartens me to know that individuals are in this world searching for opportunities to attack and destroy innocent, hardworking people who are only trying very hard to enjoy their work, provide a service to the community and be a good citizen.

I have had the honor and pleasure of being the head cook at St. Francis for 19+ years and would like to personally invite first time customers to visit with us and make their own evaluation of our offerings. I promise you that you will better understand my response to the rant cited in this rebuttal. Our food is prepared the Old Fashion Way, slow…slow…slow and is healthy, wholesome, nutritious and reasonably priced.

Owner,
St. Francis* BBQ
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camarillo, California
Level Contributor
156 reviews
123 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Not great but...”
Reviewed December 3, 2011

I must say, I am spoiled by CJ's BBQ in Oxnard because I thought St. Francis BBQ was average at best. My wife and I along with our 3 kids went on a Friday night and the place was busy. Unfortunately by being busy meant not the best service. However, the staff was extremely nice.

The food was inconsistent at best. The meats were good but the sides were ok. My cornbread muffin was dry and crumbly, and the mac and cheese was dry. Was it worth the price? No, in my opinion.

The decor is cool and the atmosphere is great, however the seating inside is a bit tight. You definitely have more room outside. All in all, if you are in Camarillo and want BBQ, this place is worth a try. But if you want good food for a great price, CJ's BBQ cannot be beat.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank USCfan30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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