As a meat-and-potato town, Bakersfield loves its barbecue.

If that sounds like you, try Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, a chain restaurant that opened up in Valley Plaza Mall in December 2014 at the front entrance. It’s got great bluesy, Southern vibe decor with an island-style bar in the center. The menu is a full selection of comfort foods and when they say “smokehouse barbecue,” they mean business.

The smoker is right there in the backside for all to see.

General Manager Craig Darrell gave us a peak into the smoker. They use the low-and-slow method with hickory wood. He even let us ring the bell, which means the doors to meaty goodness are opening.

Barbecue lunch platter ($17.99):

This one can vary depending on your tastes with meat choices. We tried the beef ribs, chicken and tri-tip. These came with a crunchy, sweet coleslaw that really accentuated the meat’s tanginess. The chicken really stood out as juicy, tender and flavorful.

Also as a starter, we had fresh-made biscuits with a lightly sweetened top and apple butter. Put all these flavors together and you've got yourself a hearty meal. My companion had the pink lemonade, which is one of their specialties. Made with fresh strawberries and served in a mason jar, it really adds to the Southern experience.

Pulled pork sandwich ($9.99):

This is hand-shredded pork piled high on a lightly toasted potato bun. We are at a barbecue restaurant, so bring on the barbecue sauces! They have three sauces to choose from: original, hot and spicy, and Memphis style. For our pulled pork sandwich, we thought the Memphis was a good pairing. It also comes with sweet potato fries that go well with the sandwich. As a bonus, Lucille’s barbecue sauces, dry rubs, hot sauces and T-shirts are available at the shop located by the entrance.

Lunch specials are available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you are in the happy-hour mood, they have a large selection of beers and wines, coolers, cocktails, margaritas and martinis. This is Monday through Friday, 3 to 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. until closing every day. They have TVs lining the bar so you won’t miss a thing. They also offer catering and a family size menu for your office or home get-togethers.

Thank you to Craig for being such a gracious host – that’s so Southern. 

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