Beef brisket at Phat Matt's
Given the reputation of the Bay Area as the home of the slow food movement, it may be surprising to learn that it is also home to an impressive number of slow-cookin’ barbecue restaurants. Most Bay Area BBQ joints serve a variety of meats, including beef brisket, ribs (usually pork), chicken (either pulled or on the bone), and beef sausage links. These are available as sandwiches, platters (which usually include two side orders), or combinations (2-way, 3-way, or even 4-way combos of different protein selections). Typical sides include baked beans, collard greens, mac & cheese, potato salad, and cole slaw. Some restaurants will offer sliced bread, some have corn bread, and some have both.
While purists may criticize Oakland- or Bay Area-style ‘que for its departures from the major regional BBQ traditions—Texas, Memphis, Kansas City, or the Carolinas round out the top four, but like any cuisine, numerous sub-genres also exist—most local places are worth checking out. There is a wide variety out there, but many of the Bay Area’s most famous restaurants have styles that are reminiscent of Texas barbecue, often with a soul food twist.
Take Everett and Jones, an Oakland institution since 1973, with a flagship restaurant at Jack London Square and another five satellite eateries, including one near the intersection of University and San Pablo in Berkeley. The family-run Everett and Jones serves up beef brisket, pork ribs, homemade beef links, and chicken, with a sweet and smoky sauce available in mild, medium, or hot. The hot sauce is definitely hot, so watch out! Sides include cornbread muffin, candy yams, and homemade greens. Wash it all down with an iced tea or their specially brewed Saucy Sistah Ale. Don’t just take it from me, the menus at the Jack London Square location showcase celebrity customers such as Bill Clinton, John Madden, and Whoopi Goldberg. Read the rest of this entry »