Hot!Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City

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7echo
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RE: Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2009/11/11 17:57:36 (permalink)
nosepicker

Maybe this will help with the recipe. My grandfather had heard that, in addition to the meat drippings, the bbq sauce had the "XLNT" brand of chili con carne in it. You can find "XLNT" chili con carne in most supermarkets.


I think you may be onto something. I grew up eating XLNT chili brick, my mom used it to make tacos. I can picture the texture of Stern's sauce, and I can see XLNT being used as a thickener. Maybe XLNT with brisket drippings and debris?? I may have to do some experimenting....Also, I remember Stern's had a more traditional BBQ sauce which they sold in bottles. The kind I am thinking of was hot, and came in a white cardboard container to be served with the brisket. It was more like a gravy I would say, but that's just my memories of it. For anyone not familiar, XLNT chili is sold in a frozen block and has no beans, just chili gravy with some meat in it.
#31
Roark
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RE: Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2010/06/01 00:06:01 (permalink)
Boy does this thread sound familiar.

I grew up in Wichita Falls, Texas, where we had what sounds like the spittin' image of Stern's. I'm referring to a place called Underwood's BBQ.

Best sauce I ever had and the meat was also not true BBQ.

There is one Underwood's remaining in Brownwood, Tx. I drove out there recently in the hope that the kids had stuck to the original recipes and qualities, but I am sad to say they have not. The old Underwood's is just a memory.

Anyway, I searched for years for the recipe and finally came across one in the Wichita Falls online newspaper, a few years back.

I heard mention on this thread of Stern's using the trimmings which was Underwood's basic secret, chilli powder, yep its got that too, coca-cola for a darker color and unusual flavor, on and on.

Anyway, I experimented with this recipe and found that the drippings do indeed need to be the base, not and additive. Get your trimmings and drippings the way you want them, then add the sauce until you get there. (and don't dare use diet Coke :))

So, as a salute to Stern's and all you Stern's Sauce lovers, I thought I'd share this recipe in the hope you might be able to alter it to fit your memories.

SAUCE RECIPE SAVED: Even though I couldn’t find the copycat Underwood’s barbecue sauce recipe that ran in this column long ago, alert reader Steve Litteken sent a copy of the original clipping he says he has “been making since this recipe came out in the paper.”
Although similar to the version that appeared July 1, this recipe was shared by a former Underwood’s employee who knew its secret. The cooking time is loosely described but I’d recommend simmering the mixture for about 30 minutes to let the flavors blend.
Thanks also to Paula Tucker who also hung on to her clipping. Thank goodness some people keep up with things better than I do.
ALMOST AS GOOD’ UNDERWOOD’S BARBECUE SAUCE
Ingredients
16 ounces tomato sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
6 ounces (3/4 cup) Coca-Cola (regular or diet)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ to ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Directions
Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over low heat until blended.

Good luck!


#32
jlamsell
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RE: Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2011/03/15 18:26:51 (permalink)
I too remembers Stern's with great fondness. I went with my parents and later took my own family. My father owned a joint on the old Ocean Park Pier called the Pronto Pups. He made his chili with XLNT also. Everything that I remember from Stern's was superb. Thanks for all the posts.
#33
mar52
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RE: Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2011/03/15 23:18:11 (permalink)
I love seeing this thread bumped up.
 
Still the best.
#34
playfulotter
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RE: Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2011/06/20 18:08:27 (permalink)
I remember Stern's BBQ fondly. when I was about 13 years old. My family rarely went to restaurants back then but we got take-out from Sterns once a week...I remember the beans the most..there were bits of meat in them and raisins I think too...yum! I don't remember it being in Culver City though..More like West LA but I could be wrong. Regarding XLNT chili..I just bought some today!
#35
7echo
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RE: Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2011/09/20 23:26:10 (permalink)
Anyone had any success with the Underwood's recipe?
#36
mar52
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RE: Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2011/09/20 23:34:14 (permalink)
Stern's sauce wasn't sweet so although I read the recipe, I wouldn't give it a try.
 
I can still taste Stern's sauce.  Just wish it were for real.
#37
dimmie2
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RE: Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2011/09/21 18:09:12 (permalink)
There was an Underwood's BBQ in Sherman, TX and we used to eat there quite a lot.  I'd give the recipe a shot.  An old man who had a catering business in Texarkana once said adding a can of coke to any barbq sauce makes it better.  I've tried that and it's true.
#38
Doug S.
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2011/11/20 12:51:43 (permalink)
I worked for 2 years during high school at Stern's Famous Bar-B-Que while Max still ran the place along with Hal.  It was not only a pleasure to work with this fine family, I had the opportunity to eat here daily.  While the bbq chicken was great, the bbq brisket sandwich was to die for.  I had the honor to work as a busboy, kitchen helper with Frenchie (head cook) and as a food server with the catering crew.  I can't honestly say I remember the ingredients of this great sauce, but I do remember that the drippings from the brisket was the main ingredient of the sauce.  I apologize to all of you out there for now remembering more, but this was in 1966/67.  I hope Hal reads this site as it is truly an inspiration to read so many positive words about a fine family and place to dine.  Hal, how about marketing your sauce?  Perhaps you would be doing the U.S. a service!!  It truly was the best!!  The only better sauces known to me is South Carolina mustered base sauce and North Carolina vinegar base sauce, but this is like comparing apples to oranges. 
I also worked across the street from the DesiLu Studios at another fine restaurant called the Culver House owned and operated by Bill Lane!  It was a dining experience to eat their prime rib, but their entire menu was fabulous.  Curly was the chef and his soups were delicious.  Do any of you fellow Culver City diners out there remember this establishment?
Doug Sagrillo 
#39
mar52
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2011/11/20 14:29:41 (permalink)
Doug!  I was there every Sunday with my mother and aunt picking up sliced brisket, rolls, sauce and cole slaw.  Occasionally I could talk my mother in to a pickle.
 
That sauce was so good that we pull out the soft bread from inside the rolls and rill it with sauce before loading up the meat.  I put my cole slaw on the sandwich which is something that now carries over to the closest thing I can find at Phillipe's (which isn't close at all)
 
Do you remember the guy at the take out station calling two women "The lean and thin sisters"?  My mom and aunt!
 
Where did you go to high school?  (Hamilton for me)
 
Where did you live?  Me... near Sepulveda and Venice.
 
I don't remember The Culver House, but I do remember the name.  Was Bill Lane the brother of Dick Lane, the voice for the Olympic Wrestling Auditorium  (Now a Korean Church)?
 
I presently live on property where Dick's brother Jim Lane (I think) was a golf pro. I might have been murdered. 
 
Memories are starting to jumble.  Maybe they even had something to do with the Lennon Sisters. 
 
Mumbling on...
 
Here is my Stern's:
 

 

#40
mar52
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2011/11/20 14:36:46 (permalink)
Woops!
 
I'm mixing up Lanes and Lennons.  Both Dick Lane and Jimmy Lennon were announcers at the Olympic Auditorium.
 
Sorry for the interruption. 
#41
mar52
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2011/11/20 14:42:39 (permalink)
Hi Doug, me again obsessing.  I didn't realize that was your first post.
 
WELCOME TO ROADFOOD!
 
Join us in all of the other threads.  This is a great place with lots of nice people who have lots of interesting things to share.
#42
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2011/11/21 09:30:31 (permalink)
mar52

I presently live on property where Dick's brother Jim Lane (I think) was a golf pro. I might have been murdered. 

 
But apparently you weren't, as the existence of your post proves...
 
Is there a story here?
 
Brad
#43
mar52
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2011/11/21 13:43:06 (permalink)
I had the names mixed up.  Big story.
 
Jimmy Lennon was the announcer at the Olympic Auditorium, the home to wrestling and the Roller Derby.
 
William Lennon was the father of the Lennon Sisters.  He was a golf pro at the Marina del Rey Golf Course.  My condo is built where the golf course stood.  He was murdered at work.
 
I think William and Jimmy were brothers.
 
Dick Lane is not Bill Lane although he was also an announcer.  It's easy to confuse me.
 
 
 
 
#44
ml2010
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2012/01/03 00:41:55 (permalink)
I have been watching these messages for years hoping someone would come up with at least some of the ingredients.  There has to be someone here who has come close.  My Mom and Dad when ever they went to Culver City would bring back Stearns Brisket. That sause was just amazing.  I have searched for years without any luck.  Hopefully someone will at least come up with some of the ingredients. I can actually make a great brisket, I just need the sause.
#45
ml2010
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2012/01/03 00:53:38 (permalink)
I think I found the ingredients. It's complicated.
  I found it under trademark for Stearn's Famous Barbecue Sause and it's last application owner was Harold Stern. 
   
#46
Foodbme
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2012/01/03 02:22:02 (permalink)
Found this info on the
Stern's BBQ - Uncle Phaedrus, Finder of Lost Recipes
hungrybrowser.com/phaedrus/m0212F10.htmCached - Similar
From: "MARGIE & BOB"  To: phaedrus@hungrybrowser.com Subject: stern here Date: Friday, June 03, 2011 1:58 AM  Hi margie stern here.stern's famous barbq ..i hear everyone is looking for us.we are not had to find.Bottom line.we are considering marketing a sauce over the internet that might be loved.  The original cannot be created without my grampa or me. cannot give the recipe as we are working at it.I know you understand!  Blessings, margie stern
post edited by Foodbme - 2012/01/03 02:23:09
#47
mar52
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2012/01/03 23:52:19 (permalink)
I don't think that they can bottle the sauce.  It was that different.
 
It also took a day's worth or week's worth of smoking briskets.  There was meat in the sauce.
 
Salivating just thinking about it.
#48
dmastalski
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2012/01/12 18:52:08 (permalink)
I sincerely hope that the message from Margie Stern is real and not a web hoax.  I've been trying to find the recipe for Stern's BBQ sauce for over half my lifetime!  All I ever find are other people looking for the recipe too!  I have never had a bbq sauce that has even come close. You're right that the sauce could not possibly come in a bottle, but it could be frozen.  My dad used to buy several quarts of it at a time and and stick it in the freezer.  I sincerely hope "Margie and Bob" come through with a sauce that can be purchased over the internet!
#49
mar52
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2012/01/12 19:06:07 (permalink)
Hi dmastalski and welcome to a fellow Stern's Sauce Lover.
 
If you've searched half your life we must have crossed paths some way, somewhere.
 
Frozen!  What an idea!
 
There are several generations that would stock their freezers with Stern's Sauce.  If I didn't have a second freezer, I'd buy one... it's that good.
 
Here's to hope and remembering!
 
 
#50
7echo
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2012/05/03 02:18:37 (permalink)
mar52 Stern's had two kinds of sauce. If you went to the sit down part of the restaurant, they had a pretty normal kind of sauce they served. To my recollection, it was a lot like Chris & Pitts' sauce that you can still get in the grocery store. The sauce everyone wants the recipe to was a thick, hot (like from the stove, not cayenne) sauce that came in white cardboard containers. It was almost like a gravy and had a lot of meat in it. The closest thing to it that I know is the bbq sauce at Pickle Bill's BBQ in Santa Monica, CA, which was also more of a gravy with meat concoction. Pickle Bill's needs it's own section, as it was fantastic. I can still taste their mac & cheese, nice browned crust on top...yummmm

I don't think that they can bottle the sauce.  It was that different.

It also took a day's worth or week's worth of smoking briskets.  There was meat in the sauce.

Salivating just thinking about it.


#51
EliseT
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2012/06/16 09:15:20 (permalink)
According to Phineas, Finder of Lost Recipes, the Sterns are in talks to market the sauce!
#52
lynnef
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2012/08/28 17:57:50 (permalink)
I just signed up for this link as I would LOVE the Stern's Barbecue Sauce available. The recipe would be GREAT BUT I would even rather be able to PURCHASE it!  If you need help in SELLING to major retail/distributors in Grocery - please contact me. I went there as a little girl until they closed! They were THE BEST!  My mouth is watering...and truthfully it was one of the few GREAT memories growing up. I am speaking about the incredible  meaty sauce -not the counter one. From what I am understanding frozen block would be best! Please let me know the progress for purchase or recipe. Thanks so much, Lynne
#53
jmudrick
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2012/09/09 23:36:03 (permalink)
I'd much prefer that Hal and Margie (my cousins) publish a recipe rather than a sauce. Fans will recall that in its last days Stern's did bottle sauce for sale. It wasn't close to the sauce we were all so fond of. I understand Hal's reluctance but I honestly believe the Sterns' legacy would be best served by that recipe no matter how difficult to prepare than by a bottled sauce that could never compare. Just my two cents. Reading all this I sure do miss my uncle Max. What a great guy he was.
#54
mar52
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2012/09/09 23:44:52 (permalink)
The bottled table sauce was ordinary and nothing like their fresh sauce.
 
It would work frozen but what would you ever do with all of the briskets? It was all the trimmings that made it what it was... spectacular.
 
As a weekly customer (and sometimes more) of Stern's I can almost taste that sauce.  Just wish it was real.
 
In another thread I basically said there weren't any decent barbecue restaurants in California.
 
I must amend that statement and state that there was one...  The very missed Stern's Famous Barbecue in Culver City, California.
#55
7echo
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2013/03/21 11:41:41 (permalink)
Stern's had a traditional red bbq sauce which they served on the table and in bottles to purchase for home use. It was ok, but just bbq sauce. The one everyone here longs for was served hot, and came in a cardboard container to take out. I cannot imagine any way it could be bottled, maybe frozen like and XLNT chili brick. I remember my grandmother having a big backyard bbq and sending grandpa to Stern's just for the sauce and beans. I was checking back here hoping for success, I guess the search for the Holy Grail of sauces is still on. I'm hungry just remembering the food there....
#56
mar52
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Re:Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2013/03/21 13:58:23 (permalink)
Exactly, 7echo.  The table sauce was ordinary.
 
You called it right... The Holy Grail of sauces.
 
Those that had in only once... would know.
#57
jmudrick
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RE: Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2014/01/28 02:22:35 (permalink)
I've set up a fan page for fans of Stern's on Facebook. I can't post a url, you'll find it at


Facebook dot com slash
Sternsfamousbbq
#58
7echo
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RE: Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2014/04/27 04:15:51 (permalink)
Just checking back...bummer, no new posts. Someday... The only thing i can add is there was a person on a Facebook page for Venice High clas of 1973 that claimed to have the recipe perfected, but all my inquiries came to naught. He was probably talking ****e.
#59
mar52
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RE: Stern's Famous BBQ in Culver City 2014/04/27 17:39:19 (permalink)
To have the recipe perfected you have to process 100's or more pounds of brisket every day to get the scraps and drippings. A single person alone can not come up with it.
 
I bought this a few weeks ago as I'll always be a Stern's BBQ fanatic.
 

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