Blazing Saddles (CLOSED)

Monday, November 24th, 2008

The first rule of good barbecue is a bad location. Maybe bad is too strong a word. More like quirky. Off-the-beaten-path. Follow-your-nose kind of stuff.

And far be it from us to criticize anyone perfuming the block with hickory smoke and sizzling sides of beef and pork, most of our favorite rib shacks tend to be, well, exactly that: bare-bones eateries more concerned about secret sauce than Michelin stars.

Blazing Saddles is that kind of BBQ joint. The type you don’t stumble upon but go out of your way to find. Red and white checkered tablecloths, burnt-wood art and cowboy knick-knacks at the hind-end of an industrial mini-mall.

Unsaddled by ambiance. Full of potential.

Follow your tingling ‘cue-dar to the smoking Conestoga wagon that’s their local grilling and smoking station. The Corsi family (John, Nancy and their son, Dominic) have been operating a family bbq catering business out of Sonoma since 2005. When the Santa Rosa retail space opened up recently, the crew moved part of their operations to the northeast downtown space offering both take-out, dine-in and delivery.

The secret, of course, is in the sauce. Deep, dark and rich with plenty of sweet that’s been winning the family awards for several years. Best bet: BBQ Tri-Tip sandwich with housemade sauce, on a toasted hoagie with pepper jack cheese ($7.99). Use the buddy system when eating any of these sandwiches. They’re immense.

Don’t skimp out on the sides. Blazing Saddles makes their own fries, deftly seasoned with parmesan, garlic and parsley. You will dream about these fries for days afterward.

Also worth trying are their daily pasta specials slathered with their award-winning tomato sauce. It’s a rich and meaty and I’d be willing to be a whole lot better than your Nonna’s.

Blazing Saddles also serves up burgers, St. Louis Style pork ribs and sandwiches, along with onion rings, vegetarian beans and coleslaw.

The restaurant is open for breakfast (muffins, breakfast sandwiches) and lunch from 7am until 3pm daily.  It’s worth noting that the restaurant delivers if you get your order in by 11am.

BYO Wetnaps.

Blazing Saddles BBQ, 821 Russell Ave., Santa Rosa, 707.528.3388.


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Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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  1. For some reason only half of the post is being displayed, is it my browser or the website?

  2. From what I hear Blazing Saddles has closed both the restaurant and catering business. Any confirmations?

  3. Hey “marcia m” I guess you were right after all:
    “But you can’t please everybody and some folks have nothing better to do but complain, so stay home and cook for yourself.”
    Apparently more than just myself took your advice.

  4. The spot has closed!

  5. Been there and have been back often. I like to try different meals but because I enjoyed each of the previous I have to force myself not to stay with what I know and liked in the last time. Problem is I have had so many different dished that are great I don’t know which I have again. Just try this place once and I am sure you will go back for more. The guys working there couldn’t be friendlier.

  6. After hearing from many about the great sandwiches, my resident food critic fuzzy jack and I tried Blazing Saddles – we split a pulled pork and tri tip sandwich – Both were disappointing in the volume of meat and the flavors – the photo of the sliced beef sandwich run in the pd didnt come close to the sparseness of meat in our sandwiches.
    We will give it another try – while the hosts were quite polite, its hard to tell your host that the place didnt measure up.

  7. They are real clear about their hours. Monday through Friday 10-6:30 pm. Give them a call. Maybe they will be open on weekends eventually but with the economy the way it is gotta start slow. Give them a chance.

  8. says daily. Not on a Sunday tho…….. no sign in window. No one there at 1pm

  9. all of you have your own opinion. when i went to blazing saddles i loved it. i think they are better than porter street bbq who just closed there shop on mendocino. they are very friendly and you gotta give credit to their cooks cuz they try to make everyone happy. i was lucky the day i went in because i got to meet the crew. all of them are very nice people and they do make you feel like you are at home. John and Dominic run the front while their Chef Juan and his assistant chef Tim are awsome in the kitchen. now they can count on me coming there as a regular customer. Now to you people who are complaining about their hours they want to stay open till about 9:00 or 10:00 but because of the state of economy is going thru. you got to understand that

  10. COMPLAINTS ARE A GOOD THING!!Some of you don’t grasp that the whole purpose of these types of forums is for folks to exchange opinions and experiences so that we can all be better informed consumers.Those wo don’t get it have obviously never been in business. Any business owner (ESPECIALLY restaurant)who doesn’t crave feedback is doomed. Nearly every hotel/motel on the planet offers comment cards.some restaurants do but more should.It shows they care.
    Restaurants have the highest failure rate of any business.Personal fortunes,family inheritances and monies borrowed from friends are lost due to ignorance.Commercial financial assistance for foodservice is difficult if not impossible.Potential investors require a solid business plan before even considering financing a restaurant. “I got some charcoal and uncle Jeds secret sauce” is not a business plan.
    I have owned 2 successful restaurants in Sonoma County for 25+ years and our secret recipe for success is this:1.Have visible management that randomly polls customers about their dining exoerience.2.Deliver outstanding quality products at a fair price.3.Be open to change.
    To the casual reader all critisisem should be viewed with a grain of salt. But to the business owner it should be their bible.
    Ignorance is only bliss untll your bankrupt.
    Sorry, in my opinion these nice people don’t know what they’ve gotten themselves in to as their food is very mediocre. Stick with the catering. Most attendees at a catered event couldn’t care less about taste or quality.

  11. Great to find great BBQ joints in NorCal and awesome that it is a family run joint.
    keep writing.
    I am in San Francisco and love Bay Area finds.

  12. Well, parking is a challenge but worth the wait or short walk from the street. We had pulled pork and the pulled chicken special that were both quite tasty. Great BBQ sauce, finger lickin like the critic referred to. Prices were good and service great. Real friendly folks seems as though they’ve known you for a long time. Good homey feel to the place. Yes we too paid before our food came out but this is not a restaurant with full servie. This is more of a deli type place so paying ahead was no problem. Food is cooked fresh, sliced fresh etc so we sure did not mind the wait and no one else did either. So,len maybe you just need to be patient and chill out a bit or you had a bad day cuz most everyone else like the service, the food and the prices. But you can’t please everybody and some folks have nothing better to do but complain, so stay home and cook for yourself.

  13. Found this hidden spot today just a little after noon. The timing was right as my friend & I got the last of the 6 or 7 tables for eat-in.
    We both ordered the tri-tip sandwich, which seems to be highly recommended in this forum. It took more than 20 minutes, close to 25 minutes, before this simple order of sliced meat on bread arrived. Now there was a constant stream of phone orders and walk-ins for take away, but 20 minutes to put sliced meat on bread?
    The sandwich was good, not great, but good; no smoky flavor, just roasted beef. As pointed out by another poster, there is a grill, not a smoker, in front of the joint.
    I very much liked the sauce on my sandwich. It was served with tomatoes, red onions, lettuce, and a spear of dill pickle. For $7.99 I was expecting to also get at least a little coleslaw or maybe some baked beans?
    While the sandwich has an adequate amount of meat, frankly it was not enough food for lunch. I guess you are expected to order a side of fries $2.50, Garlic fries $3.95, or coleslaw/potato salad $1.95?
    I might be tempted to order a take-away in the future, maybe the ribs at $9.99/half & $17.99/full rack, but I doubt it.
    As mentioned by another poster, parking is problematic, as Blazing Saddles is located at the (dead) end of a small strip mall. I am sure the other operations in this confined space will be complaining about Blazing Saddles patrons talking up all the parking spaces.
    There is a Blazing Saddles BBQ web site
    but try and find it with Google using “Blazing Saddles BBQ Santa Rosa,” and do NOT look for an online menu when you do find the web site.
    Another ‘oddity’ is the bill is paid before the meal is served. I do not think I have been in any other sit-down restaurant where this is the case.
    They serve breakfast (at a BBQ place??) and lunch, and now close at 6:30 PM; new hours posted on the whiteboard. Come on, any ‘normal’ BBQ house would do lunch and dinner. I guess the young crowd that runs this place has things to do in the evenings?
    Santa Rose needs a good BBQ house, but Blazing Saddles does not get my vote as good, it strikes out on three counts = smoked flavor, quantity, and value; service would be a fourth ‘strike.’

  14. Had a pulled pork sandwich from Blazing Saddles. First clue that they were serious about BBQ was four or five tri tips cooking over an oak fire in an old wagon with wooden wheels converted to a grill. They apparently load this wagon onto a trailer and take it to their catering gigs. I thought he fact that they were cooking the meat over real wood in the parking lot was a good sign. The pulled pork was good with crusty bits adding a little texture interest. Pork was good and tender, but not a lot of smoky flavor, not surprising if they cooked it like the beef; that is, grilled, not smoked. Roll was soft and nicely absorbed the BBQ sauce, which was thick and sweet; it was OK if you like that style. Cole slaw was not served on the bun as with a real pulled pork sandwich. Slaw was also sweet and creamy and also good if you like that style. Would definitely go back and try the tri tip, the ribs, and the fries. Good addition to the area in that they serve honest food that is simply prepared and well priced.

  15. Well anonymous they do serve beans READ the Menu. It is kinda different having Pasta Sauce at a BBQ place but it won a huge competition so give it a try. I did and it is just like what I remember as a kid. It was wonderful. I’d want it on my menu if I won that kind of a competition against all the SF icons. They do have awesome BBQ too and Dominic is a great front end manager. Very friendly, outgoing, great smile and very welcoming. Just like goin home for a meal. Way to go Blazing Saddles. Keep it up.

  16. Well anonymous read the menu they do serve beans. Been their twice and they do have a great Pasta sauce. Just cuz it’s BBQ doesn’t mean they don’t cook other stuff real good. Since they do why not offer it. And the BBQ is GREAT!!!Glad they are here. Dominic is wonderful at the front counter. Great personality. Way to go Blazing Saddles!!

  17. In the best of all possible worlds, we’d be eating bbq at Mueller’s in Taylor, Texas, or the City Market in Leuling TX or…
    But even with gas down around 3 bucks a gallon, that’s a real commitment!
    I’d DROP the pasta and tomato sauce. No bbq joint in TX…the real bbq joints where you pay for your meat by the pound and it’s served on waxed paper… would serve those items. Better to FOCUS on a very few items of true bbq, sides of cole slaw, potato salad etc…and do those well but skip the rest.
    So Russell Avenue it is!!! :-)

  18. What, they call it Blazing Saddles, but they don’t serve beans?

  19. My 2 cents on this place; they kind of suck.Award winning PASTA SAUCE does not make for good bbq. They only have like 4 bbq items on the menu. The rest is breakfast,salads,& a chili verde burrito? What’s the concept? The ribs were VERY average.The seasoning(rub?)was overly peppery and salty.The sauce was better than most but the best bbq should require no sauce.The seasoning and smoke should enhance the flavor of the meat and not be covered up by the sauce.
    Prices are a little on the high side;$9.99 for a half rack of ribs-no sides,for lunch? Add a side,a drink,tax &tip and you’re pushing $18.00. Lest we not forget their “pasta special of the day with award winning sauce at a whopping $12.95.Must be they’re secret ingredient is gold nuggets.
    Did we forget to mention they close at 3:00? Bbq for dinner….Faggetaboutit. I wish them success (nice folks-great service) but I’m afraid their doomed.Suckie location with really bad parking. Especially when the owners vehicles were occupying 3 spaces both times I was there.

  20. All you people that have nothing better to do than complain need to get a life and cook their own food from home. I have ate there sereval times the food is awesome!!!!

  21. Well, guess how I found Blazing Saddles bbq? I was at the Boss of the Sauce Competition in San Francisco as a community judge. Tius is one of the largest Pasta Sauce competitions in the world. Thirty participating restaurants, caterers were there including well know SF landmark restaurants like Tarantino’s, Alioto’s, Zuppa, Caesars and Lucca for a few. There were 100 judges and 5 celebrity judges. The 100 judges selected the top 5 and the celebrity judges took it from there. Guess Who won 1st Place. Our very own Blazing Saddles from Santa Rosa. So am I ever thrilled. Now I get great BBQ and can pick up their award winning Pasta Sauce frozen to take home. WOW are we ever lucky!!!!!!!!! Just think to have this type of celebrity in little ol Santa Rosa!!!! And to the guy that thinks their BBQ sauce is from Sysco…get a clue and a taste bud.

  22. Geez man… if you want great authentic southern food, GO TO THE SOUTH. If you want great BBQ here in Santa Rosa, GO TO BLAZING SADDLES. If you just want to argue, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

  23. grilled meat: tender cuts of meats cooked from high radiant heat from below, broiled meant: tender cuts of meats cooked from high radiant heat from above, barbecue: tougher cuts of meats cooked slow from mostly low indict radiant heat. Southern barbecue: no such thing, the south has many different regions that all have different styles of BBQ, sauces, sides . . . If the meat is grey it was grilled , if it’s pink or redish 1/4 inch from the skin or all the way, it was barbecued. Smoke does play a VERY important role in barbecue, It’s part of the cook process in making the meat tender. What we have here is good ol Santa Rosa BBQ Style, not Southern, Texas, K.C., Carolina, Mississippi, Memphis or any other regions barbecue. AND it’s not bad . . . .

  24. Well, I must say as a natural born southerner I know my BBQ and this place (been there 3 times) has it down. Their BBQ sauce if hot means temp not spicy, vs cold. The pulled pork with cheddar (read the menu, Perry) has cheddar on it but from my experience they will customize so have it with the onions and applesauce next time. Don’t slam it if that is how you ordered it and decided it’s not like Busters. PS. Busters buys all their meats from Cash N Carry not quality meat that these folks use. And to David, the Sauce is not SYSCO you obviously do not know your BBQ sauce. And if you all want smoky meat go somewhere were they smoke it and then you have to slather it with bbq sauce or it tastes like a mouthful of smoke. Just like the rib cook off in Sparks, NV. all the meat is smoked so they way to tell if one is better than the other is to put the bbq sauce on cuz that is what you are really judging. For you 2 that claim you were ill well….don’t know what to make of that maybe you ate too much…This is the best bbq place I have found in all my years being out of the South.

  25. Went here for lunch on Wednesday and the food was pretty good it seemed, Two Trip-tip sandwiches and a basket of fries, although some hours later both myself and my girlfriend both became ill and were vommitting and feeling sick the whole next day til now, although i don’t wish any ill upon the friendly folks of Blazing Saddles, i won’t be returning soon and thank you for ruining my Thanksgiving appetite.

  26. Yes David…. You are alone here. The tri-tip is better, but the pulled pork rocks too!

  27. Stopped by for lunch on Wednesday. Ordered the 1/2 rack of ribs and a pulled pork sandwich. They were out of tri-tip when I arrived. The ribs were wicked good. They had a nice crust on the outside, were not over cooked and the sauce was very tasty. Dominic brought me what he said was going to be a “hot” BBQ sauce but I detected no heat. Still tasty however. The pulled pork sandwich was nothing to write home about. The bun the sandwich came on was toasted on the flat top before the meat goes on and the “butter” or oil that they slathered the bread in to brown it tasted and smelled weird. The pork was just ok and they served it with melted cheddar (?) on top. I’ve never seen that on a pulled pork sandwich before. All in all I will definitely be back. P.S. If you want a real pork sandwich then nobody; in my opinion, beats Busters in Calistoga.

  28. Am I alone here? Stopped in for lunch the other day and had the pulled pork sandwich. It was extremely mediocre. The meat had no smokiness and the sauce tasted like some generic sauce from Sysco. The people were very nice and I don’t wish ill upon them, but the food was not up to par.

  29. They delivered to our office. We had tri tip sandwiches and salads. They were unbelieveable and the sandwiches got their hot, right in the middle of what I am sure was their busiest time. So the next day we went over for lunch. There were 3 of us so we had ribs, pulled pork, and a 16 oz saddle burger. They were all to die for. The meat is all BBQ’d so you don’t need the sauce and the meat doesn’t taste like a mouthful of smoke it is rich and fresh. The BBQ sauce is the icing on the cake so you really must try it. Then we had garlic fries and fresh onion rings. Lip smackin good. Wish I could have had room for a huge brownie but just too full. The most impressive part of our lunch was the service. They make you feel right at home sorta like you are in a big kitchen at their house. It was the best and is our new favorite spot to dine.

  30. Blazing saddles is awesome. We have eaten there twice and had fabulous service and great BBQ. It’s nice to know someone knows how to BBQ and does a great job. KUDOS

  31. Do they serve normal fries? Without Parmesan and garlic? Love sweet smokey BBQ sauce, can’t wait to try it. With normal fries of course.

  32. The food from Blazing Saddles is awesome! I have had a few things on their menu, and I have to say that the tri tip sandwich is my personal favorite. the sandwhich is good and the bbq sauce that they add to it makes it just outstanding. The St. Louis ribs are mouth watering and just fabulious. The emplyoees are friendly and the service is fast. I plan on being a regular to this promising place.

  33. i went there for lunch today, excellent food at a reasonable price. dominic was very nice. Service is excellent and fast.

  34. I went to Blaaing Saddles with a friend for lunch today and we liked it very much. Her fish and chips were terrific. I had the tri tip sandwich and wouldnt share a bite or mine either. Very good sauce, altho a bit mild for me. There were people lined up out the door for their q!! Will definitely be back to try the St Louis ribs and the pulled pork.

  35. I went to Blaaing Saddles with a friend for lunch today and we liked it very much. Her fish and chips were terrific. I had the tri tip sandwich and wouldnt share a bite or mine either. Very good sauce, altho a bit mild for me. There were people lined up out the door for their q!! Will definitely be back to try the St Louis ribs and the pulled pork.

  36. I went to Blaaing Saddles with a friend for lunch today and we liked it very much. Her fish and chips were terrific. I had the tri tip sandwich and wouldnt share a bite or mine either. Very good sauce, altho a bit mild for me. There were people lined up out the door for their q!! Will definitely be back to try the St Louis ribs and the pulled pork.

  37. I went to Blaaing Saddles with a friend for lunch today and we liked it very much. Her fish and chips were terrific. I had the tri tip sandwich and wouldnt share a bite or mine either. Very good sauce, altho a bit mild for me. There were people lined up out the door for their q!! Will definitely be back to try the St Louis ribs and the pulled pork.

  38. Just had lunch at Blazing Saddles, still can smell the sweet bbq sauce on my fingers. My tri-tip sandwich was fabulous! I don’t know about your suggestion of the buddy system though – you couldn’t pay me to share! So glad there is Great BBQ in Santa Rosa again!

  39. Just ask him!

  40. Impressive stuff from a 97-year-old. :)

  41. I’m not a meat eater, but it’s about time. A decent, cheap rib joint has been a solid idea for a decade in this area. Someone tried and failed in Windsor, but, well, it’s Windsor. I want to root for that town, but the locals never seem to give a damn enough to save it from perpetual status as a nondescript commuter town. If the sauce is as good as described, I’ll be by to pick some up for my seitan sandwiches after I finish slapping around some silly Obama supporter for wearing an Obama shirt to an anti-Prop 8 rally (he opposed gay marriage, remember?). I digress.

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