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One Hungry Nerd

Wood Ranch Grill, Mission Valley SDCC Attendees Hidden Gem

Wood Ranch BBQ and Grill in Mission Valley


There are so many things to think about when getting ready for the undertaking that is San Diego  Comic Con. One of the things at the top of con-goers minds is where will I be able to get a good meal. Those lucky enough to get a hotel in the hotel lottery will find plenty of choices in and around Gaslamp, but what about those staying a little further away in Mission Valley.

Mission Valley houses hotel circle which includes a number of hotels reasonably priced for SDCC attendees. Finding a great place to eat in this area might require a bit more legwork than finding a place in Gaslamp. The Nerd Element visited such a place in Wood Ranch BBQ and Grill in Mission Valley. The restaurant, while located in southern California/ LA recently expanded to the San Diego area and is ready to serve SDCC Mission Valley occupants needs. Check out our experiences below as it might lead you to your new favorite place.



We discovered a hidden gem right off of the freeway that would be great for con goers. Wood Ranch is a So Cal staple with 15 locations throughout California.

Upon entry we were shown to our table and drink orders were taken. I had a Raspberry pomegranate martini (?) that was so good I needed round two. It had fresh juice with a hint of lime and plenty of fresh raspberries. The alcohol wasn’t overpowering and would be a refreshing treat at the end of a long day at the convention.

As we were starving and had already plowed through their signature garlic rolls we decided to place an order of chicken barbecue potato skins. They were absolutely delicious. The skins were just crispy enough and it was a nice precursor to the meal that was about to be served.

My meal consisted of tri-tip cooked medium loaded mashed potatoes with bacon and cheddar, and signature peanut coleslaw. The tri-tip was tasty as were the coleslaw and potatoes. Bring your appetite because they do not serve small portions. I got the 7 ounces even though there’s a choice of a 10-ounce piece of tri-tip and with the appetizers drinks and rolls, it was more than enough.

Raspberry Pom MartiniTri-Tip


Upon entering Wood Ranch Bar and Grill I immediately noticed the size of the location. This would be a great place to service the number of comic con attendees that stay at hotel circle. In addition, this is a very family friendly place which is a big plus for a lot of families that frequent the con. Family friendly is a large need not met within the Gaslamp district. Garlic rolls graced the table almost immediately after being seated. These rolls were absolutely delicious. Be careful ladies and gentlemen these are dangerously good, and you could eat three of them without even blinking! I had to limit myself to one as to not fill up before getting our meal.

BBQ Chicken Potato Skins


At the recommendation of the waitress, we ordered chicken BBQ potato skins for our appetizer. These were not your typical potato skins. These potato skins equal the size as a regular baking potato cut in half which is about twice the size of a normal potato skin. If someone asked me to describe the perfect potato skins, this is what I would describe.  The skins were extremely crispy but not burnt and the cheese was plentiful but not overbearing. The BBQ chicken gave it a bit of a tangy taste which brought the entire skin together. I would definitely recommend trying these on your next visit to Wood Ranch.

BBQ Pulled Pork


For my meal, I ordered the pulled pork with Wood Ranch famous peanut slaw and a premium side of roasted brussel sprouts. Most meals come with two sides and you can upgrade to a premium side for a dollar or so more. Let me just say that I loved these roasted brussel sprouts and I would have been content with eating a plate full of them as my meal. The sprouts were roasted with a bit of crispiness and seasoned very well. The famous peanut slaw was excellent.

My meal came with regular coleslaw on the side so I was able to compare the two and it was no contest. If coleslaw is a personal favorite, definitely try the peanut coleslaw, you will not be disappointed. The pulled pork was cooked just right still juicy and not dry. The pork came with a bit of the vinegar based bbq sauce but not nearly enough needed to cover all the pork you are given.

These are not small portions, the chances of you having leftovers is very high. Overall, I was happy with my meal. For comic con goers in the mission valley area looking for a good BBQ restaurant that is family friendly with plenty of seating, this place is for you.


Are you in Mission Valley looking for a family-friendly restaurant to eat at? Check out Wood Ranch BBQ and Grill, located right next to the Double Tree Hilton. The address is  7510 Hazard Center Dr #215, San Diego, CA 92108 in the Hazard Center Plaza. 

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