The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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The finer points of BBQ and nearby finger-lickin’ joints

In my quest for the ultimate BBQ knowledge, I sat down with 20-year veteran chef Lenny Bent. When this guy isn’t feeding your American Idol or fueling the Mind of Mencia, he’s running around the kitchen conjuring up the best ways to make food all while listening to me jabber about “Mission: Impossible III.”

“Now Albert, do you know what BBQ means?”

I had question marks over my head and a stupid blank look on face.

“It’s OK, not many people do. BBQ is described from the pig. Bar (the snout) Be (the belly) Cue (the tail). Also you have to know that barbecuing is not grilling in the backyard, there is a huge difference. Grilling involves no time and skinny meats while true barbecuing takes upwards of eight hours and very large portions of meat,” he explained.

I never knew any of that so I was eager to get tips on how a broke college student like myself could cook some barbecue with great taste that was easy on the pocket.

“Tri-tip. Buy tri-tip. It’s great-tasting, easy to make in anyway, and is real cheap compared to most barbecue meats,” he said.

“Now in making it, make sure that your sauce complements your meat and doesn’t over power it. Also take into consideration what you’re cooking on whether it’s gas, electric, charcoal, or wood because you can definitely taste the difference. One of the most important things about barbecuing is being patient. Low and slow is how you should be cooking.”

If you want to learn how to cook like Bent, pick up his new line of sauces and spices while learning how to cook from his free online video tutorials at


9545 Reseda Blvd.

(less than a mile from campus)

Open daily after 11:30 a.m.

Health Grade: A

In my ignorant bias of food, I decided to bring along my friend Jeorg-E with me to try this place out. It’s conveniently located down the street from CSUN and has plenty of parking on its property. It also sits across from Baskin Robbins and 7/11 for you to go to afterward because this place only has gelatin desserts.

Once inside you’ll be promptly greeted and seated as you look upon a buffet-style meal. It’s basically one of those places you see at the mall where you pick your ingredients and they cook it all on some giant pan for you to watch. I didn’t like that. I found it annoying to have to prepare my own food when I’m eating out. Whatever, though, at least I knew what was going in my bowl. Now these bowls are rather small so for the extra $1.25 you should upgrade your meal to an all-you-can-eat because as stacked as you make your bowl, it shrinks to about half the size after it’s cooked.

On the buffet table you can choose from a variety of vegetables, sauces and powders to add to your meal which comes with noodles, your choice of beef, chicken, pork, turkey or lamb, accompanied by a rice ball, egg roll and some egg flower soup that is overpowered by the added corn. Nonetheless you get unlimited refills on your drinks and the service is great. I had someone cleaning, refilling and replacing my bowls and cups every few minutes. The environment was friendly as well. The seats were comfortable and they play K-Earth over their intercom system. The bathrooms were also remarkably clean.

Now when it was all said and done, my meal cost me $7.49 with an additional $1.90 for my drink. The food was OK, nothing great. This isn’t one of those places you think of when you’re hungry. I found that all the meats tasted the same because of the sauces and getting in and out of the parking lot was a pain because of the traffic on Reseda. Even though service and the environment were above average, it didn’t outweigh the lack of taste. I go to a restaurant to eat more than anything else.


10825 Sepulveda Blvd.

Mission Hills Ca, 91345

(6.28 miles form CSUN)

open daily after 11:30 am

Health Grade: A

Now me and my good friend, Uno the Sexy Man Beast, love going here. Yes it’s a little bit pricier than McDonalds, but you will most likely take food home every time you go. The portions of food are massive, depending on what you order of course, but the priciest thing on the menu is a $19.95 whole rack with a few sides of your liking.

The atmosphere here is very friendly and comfortable, it’s a sit-down restaurant but nothing to worry about when it comes to dress code. They serve a variety of meats with their plates and the garlic bread they use for sandwiches is amazing. Be sure to ask for it, though, or you’ll get normal bread. My only complaint about this place is that depending on what time of day you go the service will be slow due to the fact that they seem to be under-staffed it gets crowded there. So its not that the service is bad, it just gets slow, but in their defense, the people are very friendly. And like Reseda, Sepulveda gives crazy traffic to get OUT, not in, to this place. But hey, there is plenty of parking.

So whenever you’re in Mission Hills I’d highly recommend you go to the Bear Pit and get The Kodiak Sandwich and a side of hotlinks. You wont be disappointed.

Albert Aguilera can be reached at

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