The Coast News Group
Real BBQ is smoked low and slow like they do at That Boy Good. Photo courtesy That Boy Good
Real BBQ is smoked low and slow like they do at That Boy Good. Photo courtesy That Boy Good
Lick the Plate

Authentic BBQ at That Boy Good in Oceanside

I hate to say this, but there are some popular BBQ joints in San Diego and North County that take some shortcuts that would make a BBQ purist wince, and probably be hesitant to go back.

I’m not saying that I’m a purist by any means, but I do have a sizeable smoker in my backyard that I fire up on occasion to smoke a variety of beef, pork, and poultry low and slow with wood or mesquite.

I make my rubs and sauce which is not difficult to do, and BBQ a slow process that takes time…and forces me to slow down for a day. Any reputable BBQ restaurant should be following those same steps and it’s worth asking them.

I once asked a restaurateur how he made his pulled pork for his Tuesday pulled pork special. He laughed and told me it was from a pre-prepared foodservice bag. I almost walked out on the spot. Not cool.

Anyway, that’s my BBQ rant. Name a region of the US and there are people who claim the best BBQ comes from there.

Mark Millwood, chef/owner of That Boy Good BBQ in Oceanside has created his own style of BBQ that combines the best of all the regions.

Mark has an interesting background that has taken him all over the world and cumulated in him opening That Boy Good BBQ. I sat down with him recently to learn more.

Your dad was in the military and that took you all over the world growing up. How did that influence your culinary style?

I developed a sophisticated palate at a very early age; having lived in Japan, Australia, California and Mississippi, all before the age of 10.  My dad was a Naval Officer, which meant learning and experiencing a large array of culinary delights. My first restaurant job was when I was 13 washing dishes at a small diner in Hanford, CA.   By the time I finished high school, I was the lead line cook.

In 1990 I joined the Navy and cooked my way through Desert Storm & Operation Desert Shield.  Being in the Navy taught me creativity by turning a kitchen full of tidbits into a gourmet feast fit for Naval Officers.   After the Navy I headed to Boston to work at Barrett’s on Boston Harbor.  I fine-tuned his skills with fresh seafood, New England style cooking, traditional Portuguese, and classic Italian cuisine.

From Boston, I worked in Massachusetts, Mississippi, then off to Vail, Colorado and try my hand at working with some of the best chefs in the business to hone my culinary skills. From there I came home to California to the Ritz Carlton/JW Marriott in the LA Live arena then finally to Oceanside to pursue m dream of cooking the best Southern BBQ in North County.

Tell me about your experiences cooking for officers in the Navy, I’m assuming their food is a step above what the enlisted men and women ate?

On my first ship we had about 450 crew members about 40 – 50 officers, they ate the same food the enlisted ate, but on a pretty plate.”  The officer’s food was on a white table cloth where as the crew members were off a buffet line.

Given all your travels, growing up, in the military, and as a chef around the country, are there regional BBQ styles that stood out and that you emulate at That Boy Good?

Texas, Memphis, Carolinas and Kansas City have stood out.  I have taken a lot of the different methods and combined them to make what is I feel makes That Boy Good unique.

As I mentioned above, I have a real problem with restaurant that say they are serving “authentic BBQ” then you see they are buying pre-cooked foodservice ribs, pulled pork or similar. What are some of your pet peeves in the world of BBQ given that you take the time to actually smoke your BBQ and make your rubs and sauces?

Truth in menu and truth in advertising does not always hold true in this business.   If you say you are making it from scratch you should be making it from scratch.

I must say, your BBQ is excellent…the ribs, pulled pork, and smoked sausage are all top notch. That said, your fried chicken thigh sandwich is off the charts good. Can you share with readers how you prepare that?

We use a boneless skinless fresh chicken thighs, pounded out, marinated in seasoned buttermilk.  We dredge it in our house made seasoned flour and fry it until it is golden brown.

Your collard greens, slaw and beans are quite good also. How are you preparing those and are there other sides you would like to talk about that I did not get too?

Beans and Greens are using our house made bacon, our slaw and cornbread is my mom’s recipe.  Our mac n cheese is made with 3 different cheeses, fresh jalapeños and cooked in a traditional béchamel sauce.  Our house fries are traditional pommel frites…….amazing!

That Boy Good BBQ is located at 207 N. Coast Highway Oceanside. (760) 433-4BBQ or