State of the East Bay BBQ Scene

I got four slabs of ribs from Smoke for a party and they were very good. I guess they’re St. Louis cut. Next time I’ll talk with them in advance and see if they can smoke me whole untrimmed slabs.

I was talking with Chef Steph of Lapin & Loire and he highly recommended Genny’s BBQ, which I’d forgotten I knew about. So that’s on my list to try. It took over a former Flint’s location

I was very happy with my meal at Stay Gold Deli - particularly the brisket. Good beer and wine list too.

Stopped by Stay Gold again on Sunday. They were out of brisket, but the pulled pork, pork link and ribs were excellent as always. I also like their pickled vegetables and fruit. The cole slaw, mac salad and potato salad are adequate, but the meat is where it is at. A great bunch of beers from Novel Brewing made it an enjoyable day.

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In the east east bay, Pleasant Hill, I love the St. Louis ribs and jerk spiced smoked chicken wings at Slow Hand. Skip the brisket as it is dry. Good selection of local beers on tap.


The ribs are excellent at Slow Hand.

Got takeout from Stay Gold. Brisket had good texture but so much pepper that I felt like I was eating pastrami and wished I had some rye bread. Ribs trimmed more than I prefer and again a huge amount of pepper. Hot sauce was excellent. Mild sauce was that vinegar and mustard style which I don’t really get. Cole slaw was good.

I’ll go back on a nice day and hang out in the beer garden.

We were walking by 4505 in SF on our way to lunch and decided to change plans and get a rack of spare ribs. Perfect texture, neither chewy nor falling off the bone. I’m not sure they rub or baste them with anything but salt, very straightforward pork flavor, mild smokiness. White bread it was served on was first-rate, opposite end of the spectrum from Rainbo. Sauces are eccentric, mixing the totallly mild molasses one with some Tabasco-ish hot sauce vaguely approximated classic BBQ sauce.

Potato salad was less chunky than I like but the seasoning was great. Cole slaw was excellent. I don’t think they put sugar in either.

No need to cross the Bay for this when we have Smoke.

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Smoke lost its lease, but will be reopening at Spat’s.

Unfortunately, given that the owners are property flippers, that’s probably a temporary home.

Pig in a Pickle BBQ at the Emeryville Public Market has excellent moist brisket. I would have been happy to be served this in Texas. There is also the option for lean brisket, but why bother?


Looks promising.

Reading about Horn, which was supposed to open today, left me craving barbecue, so I got a slab from Smoke. Good but I wish I could find someplace that smokes full-cut ribs.

1:00 on a Saturday the line was down to the corner, not sure if it went around.

I pre-ordered on Wednesday afternoon. No line at the pickup window in back.

Slab was still wrapped in I think the paper from the smoker

Not full cut but as close as I’ve gotten in the last few years. Excellent textures, not very smoky, not much flavor from the rub, just unctuous porky goodness. To my taste it needed a little sauce to cut the fat. Horn’s sauce was good but more going on (coffee notes?) than I really wanted. I liked the leftover Franklin sauce better. We had some Eagleton sauce (noncommercial from Tulsa) that was perfect.

Collards, beans, and slaw were all excellent. Didn’t try the potato salad as we were backed up on potatoes from our CSA box so made some.

I’ll try the brisket or beef rib one of these days. No pre-orders available at the moment so I guess you need to know which day to do it.

Pre-ordered a slab of ribs, two pounds of brisket, and all the sides. Meats, beans, and greens were great. Meat comes from Cream Co.

We make better slaw and potato salad, so won’t order those again. Nobody liked Granny’s potatoes. Sorry, Granny.

Well that doesn’t sound good.

i guess you never really know how an establishment is doing financially just from outside appearances… somehow from the widespread acclaim, the aesthetics associated with them having preorders through Tock (as opposed to one of the other online ordering companies e.g. foodbooking), and the pricepoint of their meats, i sort of assumed they would be making a killing…

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more bad PR for horn bbq - this one seems a bit … ehh

Smoke reopens Saturday at the Longfellow Food Hall ghost ktichen.

Smoke did not reopen Saturday. The county did not approve using the smoker. Sounds like they’re going to look for another location.