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Croom’s Catering & BBQ offers full service satisfaction Phillip Brents | Sat, Mar 15 2014 12:29 AM

It’s evident after talking with Lance and Robin Croom for just a few minutes that both like to cook. Lance’s specialty is barbecue meats while Robin has a penchant for baking and cake decorating.

“We started out in our home doing catering,” Lance explained.

But the demand for the product eventually forced the Crooms to open a retail location.

“We were reluctant to leave the comfort of our home because there was no overhead,” Lance said, smiling.

But the couple, which embraces the ministry, had a calling.

The first location was small, seating about 25 customers, but the couple spent 13 years there.

“Initially, we were going to do catering, but in order to cut our overhead, we needed to do barbecue,” Lance said.

The two ends of the operation helped make Croom’s Catering & BBQ a success.

When larger retail space recently opened up nearby, the couple jumped at the chance to expand their operation. The new location, which opened in January, can seat up to 108 customers and features three large screen TV monitors.

Longtime customers have followed and a growing legion of new customers continues to discover the restaurant tucked between buildings on a commercial corner bordering H Street and Broadway on Chula Vista’s west side.

“We really love what we’re doing and want people to find a chance in their busy day to try our product,” Lance said. “We appreciate their business and put out a good product.”

Full service
The large kitchen should help in the catering operation that includes weddings, quinceaneras, birthday parties, graduations, bar mitzvahs, large private parties and small gatherings.

The catering operation covers the entire county and includes drop-off or full-service. Custom cakes are made for all occasions, and catering is not limited to barbecue.

“We do everything — anything from croissant sandwiches to grilled salmon and filet mignon,” Lance said.

“It’s a lot under one roof,” noted Robin, who is assisted in the kitchen by valued bakery chef Lucette Roldan.

The Crooms’ motto is quality, care, integrity and love of service. There is an emphasis on all four items, but especially love of service, which is personified by longtime server Miss Dea.

“We’re all on the team together,” the charismatic Miss Dea said.

As for the style of barbecue, Lance describes it as “Southern-style, wet.”

“That means sauce,” he said.

Lance said the sauce recipe came handed down through the family from his grandfather in Kansas. The taste is exceptional. The sauce comes in two varieties: mild and spicy. The spicy flavor is bold but not extreme.

The sauce goes great on any type of meat: chicken, ribs (beef or pork), tri-tip or pulled pork.

The tri-tip is a house specialty.

Tasty appetizers range from bacon-wrapped hot dogs to traditional hot wings, from chili and cornbread to barbecue smothered fries, from spinach dip and chicken strips to a cheese and cracker sampler, all for under $6.

The barbecue fries are smothered in sauce and topped with pulled pork. They’ve become a house favorite.

Desserts include peach cobbler (the top seller), banana pudding and the brownie a la mode, which Robin said is “quickly climbing up the chart” in terms of popularity.

The photograph on the wall certainly does justice to the yummy dessert selection. The brownie is topped with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, chopped almonds and drizzled with butterscotch and chocolate syrup. It easily feeds two persons.
A barbecue value family special feeds four for $24.99.

Wednesday’s special features a whole sweet potato pie for $5.

Croom’s is currently promoting its Gospel Brunch, which offers an all-you-can-eat special every Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Cost is $22.95 for adults and $10.95 for children (12 and younger).

Dishes offered include grits, eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, potatoes, fresh assorted fruit, turkey lasagna, meatballs, fried catfish nuggets, hot links, biscuits and gravy, yams, collard greens, rib tips, pulled pork and assorted desserts along with orange juice, coffee and sweet tea.

Two live music sets featuring a local gospel artist are scheduled: noon to 12:45 p.m. and 2 to 2:45 p.m.

Croom’s is located at 534 Broadway, Chula Vista, next to Atlantis Laser Tag and behind the Vibra Bank.

Business hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Military personnel and seniors receive a 10 percent discount.

For more information, call 585-7072 or visit the website at www.croomscatering.com.

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