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Advance planning for BBQ tasting

  • r

Okay, SF Chowhounds, we're going to try to make this happen.

I've been reading about how they did it in LA (and I'll get in touch with the organizer for more detailed tips/suggestions).

They compiled a list of places they wanted to rate, then people who RSVP'd they were coming were assigned a place off the list in their general geographic area to bring BBQ from. I believe they got both ribs (pork, I assume) and brisket from each place, and medium sauce (or hot, if only hot and mild were offered).

So while the details of time/date/place are being ironed out, we need to compile a master list.

Since will be a contest, limit yourself to *one* place (of course if someone has already suggested your favorite, you can use that as an opportunity to put in a plug for different place).

I thought about doing this by e-mail, but why deprive the board of a really comprehensive list of all the best 'cue in the Bay Area?

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  1. r
    Rochelle McCune

    Sign Michael & I up for Memphis Minnie's

    What about sides? Should we bring any?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Rochelle McCune

      Now this, I am down with. Hopefully more info will follow?


      1. re: Rochelle McCune

        "of course, we could also call up the rendezvous in memphis and have them fed ex some out! ; )"

        Great idea! maybe after a judgement is rendered, several more tastings could take place comparing Bay Area samples with regional fare from farflung places. Perhaps regional boards around the country (world?) could conduct tastings, and those judged 'best' by each region's tasters could be shared nationwide. Expect two of us, and I will bring Rob's Rib Shack or Terry's Southern BBQ.

        This is just the kind of info I would look for in Chow News.

        Link: http://chowhound.safeshopper.com/23/c...

        1. re: MarkB

          Count two more in - we're East Bay folks so let us know what to bring - we're near E&J, Doug's, Flint's (both locations).

          And yes, this is perfect ChowNews info - stay tuned!

          Link: http://chowhound.safeshopper.com/23/c...

      2. I'll bring some ribs from Bobby's Backdoor BBQ in Richmond. What day are we thinking of for this extravaganza? Something other than a Saturday night would be best for me...

        1 Reply
        1. re: gordon wing

          We're still working on logistics, but it looks like we'll probably be doing a Sunday, early evening.

        2. I'm there...!

          Put me down to bring Big Nate's...

          1. Since people are getting ahead of the process by assigning themselves BBQ stops, I'll just clarify that you don't have to commit to the tasting to nominate your favorite 'cue.

            Right now I'd just like to compile a list of favorite BBQ joints (although the commitments made have been duly noted!).

            Love the enthusiasm, though!

            1. So far, I've only tried the various Everett and Jones so I don't really have a fave. But I'd love to try all the different places out there. Depending on the date and time, I volunteer to bring E&J from the San Pablo and University location!

              1. I guess since we're in san francisco that brisket will do, if we were in the south it would have to be pulled pork and pork ribs. If I had to pick one side to taste test, it would be sweet potatoes, with greens right behind that.

                A few places near me are (not endorsements per se):

                Ma Pinkie's in San Mateo - decent ribs, never had the brisket.

                Uncle Frank's in East Palo Alto - scary neighborhood alert - so-so ribs, good brisket.

                Armadillo Willy's - chain alert! but the ribs are actually not bad (never had their brisket), they are indeed slow smoked, and one of their sauces is pretty good too if I recall.

                of course, we could also call up the rendezvous in memphis and have them fed ex some out! ; )

                1. You can count me in to bring Brother In Laws on Divisadero.

                  1. I hope it will be a Sunday when I'm in town, but I'm definitely interested, and will find some BBQ place that hasn't already been covered. Make that two places for me.

                    1. Truly a stroke of genius. You can count me in to bring something from Brother-in-Law's on Divisadero. Haven't had a lot of BBQ since living in SF, so this is perfect. Did a tasting of sauces on opening day at Copia, but this sounds 100 times better.
                      Thanks- NR

                      1. Where is this likely to happen? It sounds intriguing. We like Armadillo Willy's -- the meat--the sides are only ok. --Kim

                        1. r
                          Rochelle McCune

                          Here's some tips on how to judge good BBQ. Hmmm, I may have to go to BBQ Judge School and become certified.

                          Might I recommend that all samples come with the sauce on the side so we will be able to look for the smoke ring and taste w/ & w/o sauce?

                          Link: http://members.aol.com/EatQ/JudgingTi...

                          1. In the East Bay we need to include Doug's in Emeryville, Flint's (they're still in business aren't they?) and Bo's BBQ out in Lafayette is good (he uses Niman & Fulton Valley Ranch meats)
                            And there is the place(s) out in Pinole that have been mentioned before also.

                            1. Fantastic! Please put me down for 2 and also perhaps I can negotiate with Fatemeh about which categories of Nate's to bring. We truly need the Memphis Pork.

                              1. Could I be counted in too? I'm totally naive when it comes to 'cue, so I don't have a place in mind. But I'd be more than happy to chip in my share of the costs. And it would be an education for me.

                                1. Put me down for 2 and I'd like to bring something from Memphis Minnie's.

                                  1. Dear Chowhounds,

                                    Not sure if I will attend said tasting, but someone should bring BBQ from Pittman's Pitt on Geary at Fillmore. The ambience was encouragingly low-end on a recent visit, and the rib tips also pleasing to the Antipodean palate.


                                    1. Great Idea Ruth!I will go to Petaluma to pick up Jerome's...As to the suggestion someone made for sauce on the side, Flint's will absolutely, positively NOT put it on the side ,,I had some yesterday, and that was their response to me! Jerome's, after they smoke their meat, put on their sauce and quickly grill it to carmelize the sauce somewhat...so, I guess we might have to go with the individual 'Cues cookin' traditions. But please reserve a space for me!and thanks again for getting it started. Derek

                                      1. s
                                        Shepherd B. Goode

                                        I can go for Flint's, the Market & San Pablo location only; Carmen's on A Street in Hayward; Ernie Good's in Pinole, although they seem to have dropped a notch since moving out from Richmond...weird, can't think of anyplace good in East Oakland or 'Dro. Flint's at 66th & Bancroft, never been there. Don't know if Old Southern is still open, wasn't much impressed a couple years ago.

                                        How about portions? Some places will require advance notice to order slabs, or a whole brisket. This is gonna be fun.

                                        Link: http://www.chowhound.com/boards/sitet...

                                        1. We're interested in this tasting, too. There are three of us who want to go. I don't have any other places to add to the list, but I'll look at the San Bruno Ave./Third st. area for some possible candidates. That's not too far from our house. Of course, the best local 'cue I've tasted is the stuff my husband smokes in our backyard. Maybe he'll find the time to do some ribs in the pit -- don't count on it, though -- the Spring quarter has just started and he's really overloaded with course preparations.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Nancy Berry
                                            Zach Georgopoulos

                                            I can't remember the name of it, but there's a place on San Bruno Ave. right next to what used to be the Avenue Theater (I think it's some kind of church now). If you're in the area, take a look to see if you can find a name.

                                          2. Ruth, major Chowprops to you for getting this rolling. As a participant in the LA BBQ Chowdown, I am thrilled to see the concept taking root up there, and you already have an envious level of commitment. Thi Nguyen, our LA organizer, will surely give you any organizational tips to help ensure you use what worked for us and void what didn't. If this keeps up, you'll have to use a hall at Moscone to hold everyone! I will be following the event closely, vicariously savoring the sweet, smoky aromas. Grab your slabs, 'Hounds!

                                            1. I'm a carless Cal student, so it might be hard for me to bring ribs, but I'd like to participate. I can bring money, or I can try to get some ribs. Alternatively, I could bring root beer and lemonade, which I think go well with 'cue.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: David Boyk

                                                With the response we're getting, I think we'll be asking some people to bring drinks, so stay tuned.

                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                  Caitlin McGrath

                                                  If this many people truly attend, you may actually need more than one person to bring samples from each venue to have enough to go around!

                                              2. Newbie Jim here, but what luck that I happened upon this. I've got to nominate Cliff's on Bayshore, just off 101 at the 3rd St/Bayshore exit. Not sure if this is in SF or Brisbane, but their ribs (they have 5 varieties, but the Original Baby Backs and Alabama smoked are the best of the lot), links, and brisket are all aces in my book. And their gumbo rocks as well. (My first time there, the first words I heard, shouted from the back of the kitchen were "We got gumbo!!!" I knew I was in the right place.)

                                                Not sure if I'll be able to make the tasting or not, but Cliff's definitely deserves to be included. Keep me posted.

                                                1. z
                                                  Zach Georgopoulos

                                                  I'm just catching up here, so I haven't read all the replies. If no one else has voted for this, please include Cliff's out on Bayshore.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Zach Georgopoulos
                                                    Zach Georgopoulos

                                                    Ah, now that I'm caught up, I see that someone already nominated Cliff's before I did. So I'll nominate one of my favorite weird barbecue places: House of Catfish & Ribs, in Daly City.

                                                    1. re: Zach Georgopoulos

                                                      Hey Zach, would you mind telling us more about what's weird with House of Catfish and Ribs? Maybe start a new thread even.

                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                        Zach Georgopoulos

                                                        Hmm. Tried posting this reply before, but it didn't take. There's nothing that weird about it except for the hokey name and the fact that they keep thoroughly inconsistent hours -- my kind of place! Otherwise, it is a pleasant hole-in-the-wall with juicy falling off the bone ribs and fresh crispy-fried catfish. Haven't been in a year, but I really liked it.

                                                  2. b
                                                    Burke and Wells

                                                    Burke and I want in! But we don't have any 'cue to nominate. The only place we've tried is Memphis Minnies, and that's already accounted for--several times over.

                                                    How can we help? Sign us up!


                                                    Link: http://www.burkeandwells.com

                                                    1. We're interested. Everyone has already spoken for our local joints (Flints, E&J); any suggestions of what we might bring?

                                                      1. I nominate Pack Jack's in Sebastopol, but only the lamb ribs. If we stick with Sunday, I can bring these, plus mild, hot, sweet sauces and sweet potato pie.

                                                        Link: http://chowhound.safeshopper.com/

                                                        1. c
                                                          Cyrus J. Farivar

                                                          I'm in a similar situation as David Boyk (further down), and I think it would be prudent for us to pick a place that is convenient to public transport (ie, BART), and/or have people carpool...specially good for us carless students!

                                                          1. ruth,

                                                            count me in although both of my favorite places have been spoken for already. keep us up to date on thoughts, plans, places, etc. i'm dying for more information!


                                                            1. Would love to go (schedule permitting) and can pick up from Pittman's (although it's not my fave), Cliff's or both.


                                                              1. Hi:

                                                                If it's going to be on a weekend, put me down for 2. I am right next to Ma pinkies in San Mateo. This will finally give me an excuse to try them out.

                                                                1. Let me know the time and place. If possible, my wife and I would like to go, too.

                                                                  1. b
                                                                    Brandon Nelson


                                                                    Count on Tanya and I. I notice that the East bay and S.F. are well represented. I will get the North bay in on the act. We will either bring Q from Pipkin's pit in Vallejo or Red Rock here in Napa. I'm torn because Red Rock ( or local place) does tri tip rather than brisket. If anyone else is coming from the Sonoma county area I think Rasta Dwights is a worthy add to our growing list. They too gave up on brisket for tri tip though. Keep us posted on time and place Ruth!

                                                                    1. Any news? My impression is that a barbecue tasting will take place somewhere in San Francisco at some time on Sunday, Feb 10.
                                                                      Is this true? Will assignments be made? Will this be complete potluck? Should sides be brought? What quantities? Will there be a posted list or eMail communication regarding what 'cue will be represented, and brought by whom? What about dessert? Should this wait until warmer weather and be held outdoors? Need any help??