Dear Mr. Gold:
Can you recommend anywhere to get takeout food for Super Bowl Sunday? Perhaps barbecue? Thanks!
–S. Goin, Los Angeles
Dear Ms. Goin:
Barbecue is a fine idea, in fact probably the best. My in-laws favor vast trays of jalapeño poppers from Costco, which are better than you'd fear they might be, and my idea of a gameday feast is probably a stack of vegan-friendly cornmeal-crust pizzas from the estimable Arcadia pizzeria Zelo's, but the brawniness, the messiness of great barbecue is just about perfect, unless your house is rocking flokati rugs, in which case you're probably forgoing the game for a 37th viewing of Blow Up anyway.
My first suggestion is to get your order in early at Big Mista, who sells at the Atwater farmers market on Sundays. Brisket, burnt-ends, pig candy, and collards are especially good, up there with the best in town. Pre-order!
They are sure to sell out early, well before noon. You can find order forms and a PDF menu here.
Phillip's Barbecue is known for its awe-inspiring racks of pork ribs, and the branch on Crenshaw and Adams is just a couple blocks south of the 10. Again, call in advance. Two minutes on the phone will cut your wait time, which still will not be short, by at least a half hour.
Woody's Barbecue, on Slauson near Crenshaw, is a bit out of the way, but is great at processing huge orders. Ribs are the thing here. I've catered wedding receptions from the takeout window at Woody's! The ribs from J N J are almost equally formidable.
Everybody, of course, will be ecstatic if you get beef ribs and brisket from Bludso's in Compton, which may be as good as it gets on the Southside at the moment. (Don't forget to pick up some greens too!) And there are always the awesome Texas-style mountains of brisket, beef ribs and home-smoked pastrami from Smoke City Market, on the meaty end of Sherman Oaks.