It’s the height of BBQ season and Marie Callender’s has their own BBQ-inspired menu to celebrate. I was curious to check out their menu and see how their BBQ matched up to what I’ve had (and made) in the past, courtesy of Murphy O’Brien Public Relations.
There are four items dedicated to BBQ: turkey sliders ($9.99), pulled pork sandwich ($10.99), tri-tip salad ($12.99) and a build-your-own-platter ($12.99). The alluring thing about any of these choices is that they all come with a slice any pie of your choice. (Cheesecake and promotional pie slices are not included.)
The best option outright was the build-your-own-platter. There is a choice of two meats (tri-tip, shrimp skewers, ribs, chicken breast and chicken tenders) and two sides (mac ‘n cheese, baked beans, sweet or regular potato fries, coleslaw, potato salad and mashed potatoes). The sides are all standards of what is expected at a BBQ.
We opted for the ribs and chicken tenders with loaded mashed potatoes and mac ‘n cheese. The chicken tenders are what you expect but seems an odd inclusion in a BBQ-inspired meal. Three beef ribs were served on the plate and fell off the bone. They were nicely seasoned and appeared to be smoked since there was no evidence of char. The accompanying BBQ sauce could have used a bit more heat and wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet like I’ve had at most other places. It’s a good sized meal that is neither too big or too small.
Their tri-tip salad is enormous enough to feed two people and every forkful had something going on. Mixed lettuce, gorgonzala and shredded cheeses, diced purple onion, tomato and hard boiled egg accompanied the sauced tri-tip meat. I found there were too many ingredients and everything was chopped too small. My suggestion to improve on this dish is to go with one cheese and leave the BBQ sauce to the side. It’s a nice alternative for the salad set while still getting some BBQ. While checking out the menu, I noticed that they also offer an all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar for $8.99 with a purchase of a beverage.
There are two locations in San Diego County: one by San Diego State and another near Poway. Their BBQ menu items are available for a limited time.
*The meal was courtesy of O’Brien Public Relations. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for the review.