61. Three-Meat Combo at Robert Earl's BBQ

A photo posted by Charles Lam (@charlesnlam) on

Behold the beginning of our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

I'm convinced Robert Earl's BBQ in Long Beach is the best Texas-style barbecue in Southern California and until someone can show me better, that's what I'm sticking with. The best part of the three-meat combo dinner, then, is that you don't have to worry about missing out on anything.

Always get the brisket (tender beyond fork and enveloped in a lovely smoke ring) obviously and the ribs, whether pork or beef is your thing, but what else was good that day? Ask the staff because they're some of the nicest people in Long Beach.

The sides are great too, and while your choice of slaw, beans, and potato salad is solid, don't be afraid of the extra dollar to jump up to the collards or mac and cheese. (If your veg friends are complaining that you brought them along, let them know that all of the sides are surprisingly and deliciously vegetarian).

Most importantly, if they have banana pudding, get the pudding.

Then drive home with your little barbecue baby safe in the passenger seat and feast. And then nap. And then 12 hours later, feast again because there's no way you actually finished everything the first time.

The List: 63. Yaki Dog at Burntzilla 64. Fruit Sorbet at the Playground 66. Dulce de Leche Walnut Shrimp Taco at Dos Chinos 65. Buñuelo Waffle at Waffles Inc 67. Cajun Seafood Pasta at The Big Catch 68. Belgian Fries at Wursthaus 69. Scoops x Contra Ice Cream Float at Scoops Ice Cream Santa Ana 70. Buttermilk Panna Cotta at Lola Gaspar 71. Hummus at Mick's Karma Bar 72. Savory Baked Goat Cheese Bread Pudding at Eat Chow 73. Sicilian Style Pepperoni Pizza at Perry's Pizza & Italian Restaurant 74. Kabocha Honey Nuts at Kabuki 75. Smashed Potatoes at Standing O 76. Dim Sum at Seafood Cove #2 77. Loco Moco at Bread Crumb Ohana Cafe 78. Bratwurst at Barley Forge 79. Beef Noodle Soup at (Wafting Fragrance) Noodle House 80. Taco de Nopal at Urban Cactus 81. Fried Chicken at Crazy Chi-Mac 82. Mole Tots at Amor y Tacos 83. Khao Soi at S.T. Noodle Bar 84. Chili Cone Queso at Cozy Cone Motel 85. Crispy Smelt at Big Catch Seafood 86. Teriyaki Chicken Plate at California Plate 87. Combo Plate at MasalaCraft 88. Cornbread Waffle & Chicken at Mrs. Bea's 89. Everything at Crispy Town 90. Kurobuta Pork Belly Bánh Mì at Mendocino Farms 91. Tostilocos at Tortas y Biónicos "Nice" 92. Milanesa at Delicias Peruanas 93. Super Nachos at Kelly's Korner Tavern 94. Tortas at Sliced and Diced Eatery 95. Seasonal Dumplings at Coconut Rabbit 96. Burrito de Birria de Res from Burritos La Palma 97. Bò Kho at Song Long Restaurant 98. Pancake Sandwich at Willowick Golf Course 99. Tahdig at Tanor Fresh Mediterranean Grill 100. Quatro Formaggi Panini at Old Vine Cafe

Follow Stick a Fork In It on Twitter @ocweeklyfood or on Facebook! And don't forget to download our free Best Of App here!

You can also follow Charles Lam on Twitter @charlesnlam and Instagram @charlesnlam. He's less sardonic there, we swear.


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