Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

When you think barbecue, you typically think, “Hey, how do you actually spell ‘barbecue’?”  Good question.   Traditionalists, including myself, (and really who would you listen to otherwise?  I mean c’mon, if a white kid from California doesn’t know BBQ, who does?) prefer to refer to the culinary art form as “barbecue”.  Why, you ask?  Because, it’s a real word, that’s why.  Not some abbreviation (BBQ), not some syntactical abbreviationary hybrid (Bar-B-Que), and not some cutesy shortening with punctiationary flair (‘cue).  (God, I hate people who shorten words and put apostrophes before them.  It’s so cliché.)  Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, a newish establishment in Rocklin, insists on spelling it “Bar-B-Que” on all of their literature and signage, so one strike against them already.

It was a Wednesday night when Mrs. Eats, our friend Steve (who will be referred to as “Pork Smoker” from here on out) and I traveled up the road to Rocklin to try some barbecued goodness.  Not knowing what to expect, we were ready for anything, from dilapidated roadhouse to strip-mall eyesore, from roadside stand to roach coach.  What we weren’t ready for though, was an unholy gimongous monolith of a storefront, covering at least two acres and having more space under the roof than most airplane hangars.   As if the average patron wouldn’t intimidated enough by the enormity of the joint, he’d be totally overwhelmed by the interior.  Like some underworld combo of Walt Disney and Uncle Ben, the interior tries to be roadside diner, folksy back porch, country inn, “Song of the South” production, roadhouse, sports bar, emergency room, main street electrical light parade, and abattoir all at once.  From the coeds working the hostess stand with Lt. Uhura like ear-dangling comm devices to the coordinated servers in tight jeans and gingham shirts, the place reeked of facade.  I was amazed at the audacity of such an undertaking, totally taken aback by the physical engineering that must have gone into such surface-only Southern charm, and utterly repulsed by the unimaginable food that must be awaiting us at our supper.

But the food just wasn’t that bad.  Better than the facade, better than the scatterbrained teenage service, better than the unimaginably loud music and echoing dining room that made conversation impossible, the food held its own, neither overly impressing nor failing miserably.  The fried green tomatoes were passable, Mrs. Eats’s salad uninteresting, and the plate of barbecued meats shared by Pork Smoker and me pretty good.  The pork was tender, the chicken was flavorful, the ribs were well shellacked and the sauces pungent and sweet.  The highlight of the meal, though, had to be the sweet potatoes: pureed, sugary, velvety…yummy-y.  They were righteous.

Summary:  Despite the ridiculous Disney atmosphere, the food was not bad.  Worth going back for?  Well, if you take into account the crazy loud dining room, the sensory overload, the crappy service and the out of the way location, probably not.  Good sweet potatoes though.

Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que  6628 Lonetree Blvd, Rocklin, CA

Food** Service* Atmosphere*

2 thoughts on “Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que”

  1. i’m so tired of the loud places. what’s the point of playing really loud music, especially in family style places where you’re supposed to socialize and whatnot. Like Zocalo in midtown, great food but i can’t hear a damn thing. abd don’t get me started on the “how many flat screens can we fit in here” mentality.


  2. I decided to check out Lucille’s yesterday after reading sac-eats’ review. I used to go to the ones down south all of time with my brother when he lived in Pomona. I remember really liking it, so I was somewhat shocked to see the poor review of the place. All I can say is that expansion has not been kind to Lucille’s. My brother agreed. I think in their quest to expand they’ve lost a bit in the quality control area. The food was OK, but not worth the drive out to Rocklin.


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