People often confuse grilling with barbeque. They are, in fact, opposite ends of the spectrum. Grilling is about cooking meat very quickly at a very high temperatures over an open fire. Barbeque takes time. Good barbeque takes lots of time. Rob Serritella, Founder of Holy Cow and BBQ Aficionado noted “We take about 16 hours with the brisket.” Taste it, and you will appreciate every minute. It’s that good.
Walk up to the counter at Holy Cow, place your order and find a seat. Everything that arrives at your table will meet the highest standard you can apply. Rob is very serious about barbeque.
Starting with the sides; cornbread is served as a mini-loaf offering the best of both worlds. A bit savory with the tangy green of chopped chives, it’s also a bit sweet with some applesauce in the batter, served with a dark and robust style of maple butter. The cole slaw – you WERE NOT thinking of eating ‘cue without slaw – is crisp and clean almost to the point of being bright, fresh shredded cabbage, mostly green but with a touch of red, dressed with just enough liquid to make the greenery swim without drowning. Potato salad, made from Rob’s grandmother’s own recipe, keeps to the slaw-level of being moist but not wet. My own grandmother might have laid on a bit heavier hand with some pepper, but it’s a very good potato salad.
Keeping the sides light is key to enjoying the main attraction, because the meat is the kind to deserve center stage on the plate. You can enjoy every part of the menu, and still leave the table satisfied rather than stuffed.
One example – the tri-tip beef. Some of the tenderest, most flavorful beef around, Rob says that the ticket is local suppliers, consistent standards, and that long, slow barbeque. Using wood chips of hickory and pecan keeps the temperature intense while the meat is cooking, and the smoke makes for a dark, subtle sweetness that permeates the meat completely without overwhelming it’s own flavor.
Don’t eat meat? There are still lots of menu items to enjoy, not the least of which is the Brentwood Chili, a vegan bowl of three kinds of beans nicely sauced with the magical addition of farro, giving the dish a welcoming texture. The salads work well, and the Real McCoy and the Kale Cesar would feed any vegan or vegetarian happily.
If you are a carnivore, the ribs are not to be missed. Order some to eat there, and then order some more to take home. And then don’t be surprised if you are back the next day for some ribs.
Sauces run the whole spectrum. Whatever you can love as barbeque sauce is on hand – There is sweet, dark, tangy, red, green, all of them thoughtfully on the side so that you get to decide how much and where.
“[Barbeque] just makes people happy, plain and simple. ” Rob and his excellent pitmaster Glenn Walton have everything at Holy Cow to make a memorable meal.
Since today is (kinda, sorta, ) a birthday for them, they are celebrating by offering The Hog, (see photo above) a delicious pulled pork sandwich topped with crispy fried onions for just $5 (regularly $11), along with $3 side dishes and $5 beers, all day on Friday, September 29th (dine-in only) until they run out.
So, que on up – bring friends, bring an appetite, and bring a discriminating palate. They will all leave happy.
4130 Sepulveda Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90230
(in the Culver Crossroads center)
– Photo credit Shelly Blaisdell