Back in July, I received a Facebook message from a guy telling me that he couldn’t believe Cactus Hugs had not written about his BBQ pop-up and guaranteed me it would be delicious. He told me that he was serving up smoked meats like ribs, tri-tip, and pulled pork which sounded great. He also told me that he was doing it at the Red Barn, which was WTF??? So I went and the food was even better than advertised, and, even better, I got to meet that guy who messaged me and gained a new friend. And now that friend could use a little help and is willing to share some delicious Holiday main courses in return.

“I love to see that smile when someone bites into my BBQ, it’s pure euphoria,” Reggie Martinez told me back in July when I visited him at the Red Barn in Palm Desert. I could tell this guy loved cooking and he really cared about the quality of his meals. Reggie made everything himself. The ribs, the chicken, the pulled pork, and the sides – and, man, Reggie can cook up some freakin’ good mac and cheese.  Reggie also waited and bused tables. Dude was a one-man show.  And he was so good at it.

There’s a reason that Reggie’s business, The California Barbecue Company, has five stars on Yelp even with 66 reviews: his food is great and he is just an incredibly likable person.


I didn’t bring my wife with me that first time I went to see Reggie.  She soon became angry with me for constantly taking about how delicious his barbecue was, so soon I brought her in too.  She also was instantly hooked on his food.

As the months went on, I checked in with Reggie from time to time after we met and things were going well for him – well, until he was forced to move from the Red Barn in August as management there wanted to go in another direction.  Reggie quickly relocated to Club 5 in Indio and, once again, his business took off.  I mean, people love good barbecue and Reggie loved giving it to them.

Then, in November, I went onto Facebook and saw some bad news:

Reggie was hospitalized with some medical issues and, due to doctor’s orders, he has not reopened his business since.

He tells me he is doing a little better now, health-wise, but, as many of you have had to learn first hand, not working and hospital bills can quickly lead to financial troubles.  And now, Reggie could use a bit of a hand headed into the Holidays.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  He is not asking for a handout (I should note that he didn’t even ask me to post about this, I offered when I heard what was happening) – instead, he is offering up some delicious main courses for your Holiday parties, Christmas dinners, and, well, just anytime you want a delicious piece of meat!

You see, while running a one-man restaurant is against doctor’s orders, simply cooking is ok.  So you can help a guy out and get a terrific main-course for you family meal or office party at the some time!

Reggie is offering up a few things this month:

  • A smoked turkey breast for $35
  • An entire deep fried turkey for $65
  • A Holiday Ham for $45
  • And, for those that want to really feast like a king, a premium, top-quality 5 to 6 pound prime rib for $100 to $125

You can call or text Reggie at 760-863-6971 to place an order – but, he warns that you should do it sooner rather than later as he can only accommodate so many orders.

I am glad Reggie is feeling better and, honestly, I can’t stop thinking about putting some of his mouth-watering grub on my plate this Christmas.  Perhaps, some of you will be able to as well.