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Where intelligence ‘meats’ the grill at IQ BBQ


What’s in a name? At IQ BBQ, it has to do with all employees and partners are former teachers, parents of students and students of Horizon Christian School. Pit Master and co-owner Tyrone Hopkins, former Dean of Students and Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Horizon Christian School, put away his basketball and returned to his roots, smoking and catering barbeque.

The youngest of 11 children, Hopkins’ favorite pastime (besides sports) was cooking overnight with his father.

“This was a great way for father/son bonding. In Atlanta, where I grew up, barbeque is only pulled pork,” he said.

Image by Ahmad

Although Hopkins is a barbeque purist, he also smokes brisket, ribs and chicken. He cooks at night pulling many all-nighters at the restaurant. His brisket takes about 10 hours.

Hopkins’ wife Porscha and daughter Kameelah focus on side dishes.

“We put just as much effort in our side dishes as my dad does in his meat,” Kameelah said. Side dishes include coleslaw, which has a sweeter base using mayonnaise and sugar; baked beans in which you won’t find meat; collard greens cooked with turkey instead of traditional pork; and a stellar mac ‘n cheese that sells out every day.

To pay homage to Porshca’s California roots, IQ BBQ periodically features a Savory Saturday where they offer brisket tacos and brisket burritos.

“Sometimes we have Blinky Bread: a Panamanian bread with brisket, brisket burnt ends, coleslaw, pickled onions and bbq sauce,” Kameelah said. They call it “Southern flare with California style.”

Additional meats include hot links, chicken drummies and chicken. For some Southern hospitality try the grilled cheese, and add either brisket burnt ends or a piece of brisket. The Durty Mac is a bowl of their delicious mac ‘n cheese topped with a choice of meat and sauce — definitely comfort food.

Image by Jonathan Taylor

Plan your weekends accordingly, because IQ BBQ is only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. or when they are sold out.

IQ also caters small and large events. They will cater your meals for holidays and they will even stay and serve, for an additional fee.

If you are wondering what to do for your Thanksgiving meal, you can get a meal from IQ that includes a full smoked turkey and two side dishes to be determined (last year it was mac ‘n cheese and collard greens) and dinner rolls. Just order one week in advance and pick up Thanksgiving morning.

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IQ BBQ is ocated at 8733 Broadway, at the end of Spring Street and the intersection of Highway 125 and 94 in La Mesa. You can order online at

— Robin Dohrn-Simpson is a local food and travel writer. Reach her at

Source: La Mesa Currier

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