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Excellent Barbecue Off the Beaten Path

Sweet Lumpy's BBQ has been in Old Town for years, but with their recent move, I hope it sticks around.

Like many shops in Old Town, Sweet Lumpy's serves excellent food with an identity crisis.

The mishmash of cultures and ideas is one of the things I love about Southern California, and this is probably what was behind the Spicy Beef Burrito I had.

It was full of moist beef and a sweet, slightly spicy bbq sauce all wrapped up in a tortilla with nacho cheese and onions.

The atmosphere is very comfortable and just as jumbled. It's checkered table cloths, statues of pigs and peanut shell-strewn floors smack of the deep south. The saddles, lassos, horseshoes and pictures of cowboys on the walls ring of the wild west.

But, like other restaurants in Old Town -- Nitza's Pizza, I'm looking at you -- they pull it off wonderfully. Read about Nitza's Pizza by

There are a few downsides. Though only a few of the place's 16 tables were occupied, the server seemed rushed.

And despite having probably the second-best patio seating area in Old Town, it's so far off the beaten path, there's no chance for people-watching. It's on Mercedes and Third streets in front of the parking garage.

It was on Front Street until a recent move. That was, incidentally, the best patio in Old Town.

Sweet Lumpy's is a great place, but with the recent move, I worry they won't stick around. If you want some great barbecue, go there and help it stay -- unless you're allergic to peanuts.

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