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Kaminski’s Sports Lounge Barbeque
12735 Poway Road, Poway 92064


By Mary Paulet, guest reviewer


January 15, 2011 (Poway)--If you are looking for a great barbeque restaurant sporting an interesting décor,  then Kaminski’s Sports Lounge may be exactly what you are seeking. This eclectic sports bar-themed barbeque joint features such items as a football from the Chargers’ Super Bowl appearance and a World Series jersey autographed by former Padres manager Bruce Bochy, a basketball signed by the Harlem Globetrotters, and other sports memorabilia all prominently displayed.


Conveniently located on Poway Road between Silverlake and Carriage, this Mom-and-Pop restaurant is owned, operated, and frequented by local Powanians as well as hungry travelers. Owners Stan and June Kaminski arrived in Poway in 1961and have owned four restaurants (The Totem Pole, Poway Mine Company, and Kaminski Park Sports Bar and Grill.) After an electrical fire destroyed the building in 2007, they reopened as Kaminsky’s Sports Lounge Barbeque. Now three generations of the Kaminski family work there. In addition, it is a favorite of the local Poway High School basketball team.


Their barbeque techniques are rooted in the South—and in the Midwest. June Kaminski grew up on a farm in North Carolina famed for its “hog heaven” slow-smoked pulled pork served up to hungry farmhands, according to the restaurant’s website. Stan Kaminski was raised in Michigan, where he learned the secret of savory barbequing from his father, a butcher who made fresh-smoked meats.


“We have some killer barbeque sauces,” Stan Kaminski told me. One of the restaurant’s specialities is Kaminski’s tomato -based home-made barbeque sauce that is truly out of this world. Another is an East Coast specialty, Carolina barbecue sauce, which has a strong vinegar base. My preference was the tomato, which was smoky and hearty. (With bottles of sauces at the table, you can sample both!)


Naturally, there has to be something to put these sauces on, and Kaminski’s delivers. They offer fantastic barbecue platters featuring chicken, beef and pork ribs, beef brisket, and pulled pork perfectly accented by the in-house barbeque sauce. The chicken easily comes free of the bone onto a fork.


These meaty dishes are served with a choice of two side dishes. Some of these delectable choices include cole slaw, sweet potato fries, beans, potato salad, potato chips, and salad. This reviewer would highly recommend the sweet potato fries. They serve these with a tasty dipping sauce. The coleslaw was a perfect blend of spices, though the baked beans were bland to my taste. Other offerings include pulled pork appetizers which our editor savored, salmon dishes, and ribs. Kaminski’s also offers a multitude of sandwiches such as pork, chicken, and sausage as well. These sandwiches are priced at eight to twelve dollars.


For vegetarians, the restaurant serves up vegetable burgers and salads that are plentiful enough for a meal with enough ingredients to satisfy. There are other delectable entrees that are too numerous to mention.


Portions are generous The whole chicken dinner costs around twelve dollars and is large enough to comfortably feed two moderately hungry adults. The house specialty salad is enough to provide a meal in and of itself. It includes tomato, cucumber, red onions, shredded carrots, as well as spiced pecans. It is served with house vinaigrette. (This reviewer would suggest asking for dressing on the side as the amount was so generous that the vinaigrette somewhat overwhelmed the rest of the salad.)

Besides great barbeque, the place serves up decent desserts as well. I highly recommended the mud pie. This decadent dish features chocolate cake with an overabundant serving of ice cream that spills over the cake right onto the plate

The service was fast, friendly, and efficient. A greeter welcomed this reviewer promptly and accommodated a specific seating request. The waitress came promptly and cheerfully took a drink order, which was delivered promptly. Since there were two people dining and sharing entrees, the waitress took initiative, anticipated what was needed and separated both entrees onto two plates After a meal full of attentive service and ample refills; the bill was accurate. Barely any time elapsed between handing the waitress the check and the transaction being processed.


This would be a fantastic place to hold a large event as Kaminskis features a separate room that can hold one hundred. They are also starting a catering service that promises Southern hospitality and full event planning--worth serious consideration.


With hours running from 11 a.m until midnight or later (1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays) Kaminski’s is a good choice for lunch, dinner, or a satisfying late-night snack.


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