Holy Ground: Joe’s Real BBQ

Everyone has family traditions that never seem to go away, no matter how many differences + changes occur. A location that has grown to hold a place in our family’s hearts is Joe’s Real BBQ in Downtown Gilbert.

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Joe’s Real BBQ officially opened on January 20, 1998, when we were just four years old. We couldn’t tell you about our very first time experiencing their tasty BBQ sandwich + fresh homemade applesauce, but from what we remember, we’ve been eating BBQ there our entire lives. We would visit after basketball tournaments with our club teams, call it dinner for an ordinary Tuesday night + most importantly, share memories with both sides of our families, as we rely on it to be a common meeting place.

This BBQ joint holds a very special spot in our hearts because it was the memorial spot where we gathered to remember our Grandpa Rudd after he passed in December 2015.  All of our Dad’s side of the family came to Arizona (stayed in our house actually) for Christmas that year, although Grandpa Rudd didn’t get to make it to see everyone. Since there was no funeral planned, we shared a special moment at the place where we all felt closer to him + to each other.

We continue to eat here very often, + enjoy the memories that we have created + continue to create. Joe’s Real BBQ is a place where we gather as family, no matter how long it’s been, or how far we live. This BBQ joint is delicious, but it holds a lot more than just the amazing pulled pork sandwich + homemade Root Beer (which we highly recommend).

What are some of your family traditions that you resort to?


The Breakfast Club

“You ought to spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself + a little less time trying to impress people.”—Vernon, The Breakfast Club 

These are words to live by. Although the film, “The Breakfast Club”, is a classic, it’s not what I am going to discuss today. I had a lovely lunch date with our dad + wanted to highlight our experience with a local breakfast joint we have grown to love + visit quite often during the agonizing workweek.  

Located in Old Town Scottsdale, The Breakfast Club is minutes from my dad’s office, and just a couple blocks from mine, so we tend to meet up here for easy access and delicious brunch options. Just being in Old Town gives me the fancy + sophisticated feels. With the contemporary + clean layout, Old Town Scottsdale is a great place for happy hour with the girls, or a midday stroll window-shopping with the rents.


The Breakfast Club is a place that continues to cater to our needs with great modern + classy vibes, friendly service, + yummy food. They have the dining area, bar, + patio seating offered to enjoy your meal. Their breakfast options consist of fluffy pancakes, cinnamon-swirl french toast, stuffed-omelets, right-out-of-the-oven skillets, + hearty oatmeal. If you’re looking for more of a lunch choice, they also serve roasted hot sandwiches, easy-to-eat wraps, + leafy salads.



My heart wanted to order the BC Signature French Toast, aka “heart attack on a plate”, but my mind and body wanted something less destructive for my arteries. So, today I ordered the turkey club wrap with a side salad. The wrap had roasted turkey breast, crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, tomato, avocado, pepper jack cheese + chipotle mayo all wrapped up in a warm chipotle tortilla. My side salad was simple with balsamic vinaigrette. To drink, I usually just get water (sorry to disappoint). Everything I have ordered there has been so natural + yummy, and today was no different. My wrap was warm, yet the veggies were still cold + garden-fresh (magic?), and my salad was a perfect compliment.


My dad ordered the lean + green omelette, which contained eggs, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, onion, bell peppers + swiss cheese with a side of EXTRA CRISPY bacon, complimented with a glass of green tea. He finished his meal within minutes, and he will agree that everything he’s had here in the past has been delicious.


Usually at these lunch dates, it’s just me ranting about all the so-called “struggles” I’ve been going through since the last time I saw him (like 2 days ago, I try to see my parents pretty often). But I will defend myself + say that he makes me do it. He’s the one always asking the questions! I love having lunch dates with both my parents. Being the last of their children to officially move-out of their house, we are still their princesses (no shame).

Together, we recommend The Breakfast Club for your next brunch date. Thank you for lunch, Dad! Let’s do it again sometime.