Saturday, April 01, 2006

bbq ribs at lozano’s car wash

today's lunch - Harold's ribsIt is a funny title, but by now you have learned that I take my food seriously. And Harold Willis, the lifetime Palo Alto resident who BBQs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the corner of Lozano’s Car Wash, makes some seriously good ribs.

I do admit that baby back ribs and a coupon wash is an odd combination, but when you learn a little more about Harold it all makes sense. As a teenager, Harold worked for the Lozano family. After a stint in the military, he managed Lozano’s car wash for 16 years before running the meat department at the mid-town Safeway for another 20. Now retired, Harold can be found at his shoeshine stand at Lozano’s weekdays or working for his church. But, a constant all these years has been Harold’s pursuit of the perfect BBQ.

When he was at Safeway, his ribs developed quite a reputation. I remember having them more than a decade ago and being disappointed a few years back when Harold retired. So, I was delighted to stop by for a car wash one weekend afternoon and see Harold cooking in front of his grills.

Harold’s BBQ is a dry, Kansas City style. There is no dripping sauce to get on your shirt or overwhelm the flavor of the pork. However, his masterful technique insures that there is plenty of sweet, juicy goodness locked in.

He sells his ribs hot off the grill in full ($20) or half ($11) slab quantities, and he is happy to slice them for immediate consumption. Harold cooks each Friday, Saturday and Sunday it isn’t raining, and he usually sells out by early afternoon. Go early on big sporting event days, and buy a little more than you think you will need. Everybody loves Harold’s ribs!

Harold’s Ribs at Lozano’s Car Wash: 2690 El Camino Real, Mountain View,CA (650) 941-0590