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Everett and Jones Oakland BBQ: any good?

  • e

Has anyone been there? Is it any good?

Do you have any suggestions on what to order?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Yep, I like Everett and Jones, especially the smoked chicken salad. But I have to tell you I have become a Chef Edwards BBQ convert as of lunchtime yesterday. More choices, sides, and the awesome piggly wiggley.

    18 Replies
    1. re: Gatun

      That piggly wiggly just sucks you in, doesn't it?

      Next time try the bread pudding (although the last time I was in the chocolate cake looked awesome -- very "homemade" looking in a good way).

      I used to like E&J but I haven't been there in years. Their Jack London Square location does have the advantage of being one of the few serious BBQ places that's actually a nice place to eat (although Chef Edward's funky, downhome lunch counter ambiance is fun).

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I had never seen one before and saw the guy at the counter get one, I knew right away it was the famed piggly wiggly. I think I will have to go to Chef Edwards at least once a week! There are so many things to try. I had the sweet potatoe pie for desert last time and was eyeing the cobblers(?) and bread pudding.

        1. re: Gatun
          Burke and Wells

          A true Yankee question this:

          What is piggly wiggly? I've heard of the supermarket chain, but this sounds like a dish--a dessert? Inform this happy chowhound, please! Thanks!


          Link: http://www.burkeandwells.com

          1. re: Burke and Wells

            Piggly wiggly is Chef Edward's specialty: a mound of thin sliced roasted pork on a roll slathered with BBQ sauce. It's not only delicious, but a great bargain: $4.25 including a cup of Mama's vinegar-dressed coleslaw (a boon for those of us who hate mayo).

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              My complete review of Chef Edward's and the famous Piggly Wiggly is waaay down the board (over 6,000 messages ago!) -- here's a link.

              Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Thats what got me interested to make the lunchtime trek.!! Thanks so much for the review.

              2. re: Ruth Lafler
                Kate Heathcott

                I don't know what you people are talking about--Everett and Jones is a phenomenal rib place. Now if you are not a fan of butterylishious pork ribs, then DON'T GO. If you are, and I do consider myself a connaisseur of the barbeque pork rib--head over to any of the locations. Also, the links are the best that I have ever had, ever. I hate to say this but I had been a diehard fan of Big Nate's in SF, but have recently converted to E&J. My new ranking is

                1. Everett & Jones (Oakland)
                2. Big Nate's (SF)
                3. Brother In Laws (SF)
                4. Butta's Mo Betta BBQ (MI)

                And I guess that I kinda understand what you are saying about the Jack London Square location but a good part of a for real barbeque is the true ambience which their other locations have.

                1. re: Kate Heathcott

                  Hey Kate -

                  have you been to Memphis Minnie's (Haight St.) yet? It's a big favorite on this board since it's opening last year.

                  I devoured some Big Nate's last week, and I have a hard time figuring out how one would improve on that, but I am definitely NOT a connoisseur.

                  I CAN NOT wait for the upcoming BBQ Chowdown!

                  1. re: Fatemeh
                    Randy Salenfriend

                    Are you perchance lunching @ Memphis Minnie's tomorrow with a group (small) of us??

                    1. re: Fatemeh
                      Kate Heathcott

                      After reading all of the postings--I agree there is definitely an ebb and flow of quality wherever you go. And I accept as well, that different people have different tastes--but really I feel confident in the ordering of my picks.

                      I haven't been to Memphis Minnie's. I sorta felt like she was a latecomer and not as authentic somehow.

                      I will check it out--

                      What are you talking about the chowdown? What chowdown?


                      1. re: Kate Heathcott
                        Rochelle McCune

                        "I haven't been to Memphis Minnie's. I sorta felt like she was a latecomer and not as authentic somehow."

                        What????? I have never before heard that a barometer of authentic BBQ was being in business continuously in one location.

                        FYI - Bob has been doing BBQ for years. He has traveled extensively throughout BBQ Meccas in the U.S., studying the BBQ Gods, i.e. the competition. Also, he had the bad luck of losing the lease on his previous San Francisco restaurant locations. You can say he sucks, say you disagree with his BBQ philosophy of long smoking times, but I feel its is trully inappropriate to question whether he is "authentic" based on the fact that his current location is a "late-comer".

                        1. re: Rochelle McCune

                          Whoa, Rochelle! Chill! Kate already said she would check Memphis Minnie's out ... what more can you ask?

                        2. re: Kate Heathcott

                          memphis minnies has been around for many years. the haight location is the newest since losing their lease in protrero a few years back. there smoked ribs kick ass and don't forget to try the hot sauseges.

                      2. re: Kate Heathcott

                        'We' are talking about personal preferences. Depends on what I want to eat BBQ'ed is where I go.Enough said

                        1. re: Kate Heathcott

                          Personal preference, mostly.

                          The last time I was dragged down to the Everett & Jones at Jack London Square, my ribs were disgustingly fatty, and the meat was so overcooked it was hardened (seems hard to have both of those happen, but it did). I'd rather not experience that again, so I'm staying away from there.

                          Besides, there's just something immensely satisfying about ordering a "piggly wiggly".

                          1. re: Kate Heathcott

                            As often reported on this list, quality can change with every visit to any of the B'cue places. You never know when you'll "hit" or come away with a tough piece of gristle. It's happened to me at Nate's, Brother in Laws etc.(and someone yesterday said the same about Flint's.) I personally like Everett and Jones, especially the very comfortable Jack London Sq. location.. I have found them more consistent than these other places and I do love their sauce..."sweet and hot" (others don't like it 'cause its' "sweet and hot!!!")... different folks different tastes. At the moment my favs. are:Flint's, E&J's, then Brother in Laws and Nate's are tied. next, Bo's (in Lafayette) and Minnies are tied...meat is good, but I don't care for their sauces. (again, my taste) The hugest, best, and most succulent beef ribs are from Jerome's in Petaluma. These are in a class by themselves, sometimes I go up to Petaluma just for them! I did copy Chef Edwards address, so I'll try them next. Thanks for all your different opinions, it's what makes chowhounding so rewarding.

                  2. re: Gatun

                    Could you please advise the address/location of Chef Edwards BBQ? Thanks very much.

                    1. re: DavidT

                      1998 San Pablo AveĀ 
                      Oakland, CA
                      (510) 834-9516

                      but next time take 15 secs to do what I just did...yellow.com is amazing. rarely fails. use link below (and bookmark!)

                      Link: http://www.yellow.com

                  3. k
                    Kathleen Mikulis

                    To be honest, my dining companion and I weren't too impressed when ate there. Food just seemed all around mediocre. And I think the meat may have been fatty but I'm not sure.

                    1. Our last visit to E&J will definitely be our last one ever. We were unimpressed with the food and the menu choices, and I didn't care much for the sauce. I won't even mention the disinterested service.

                      The Piggly Wiggly sounds great. It makes me think of my favorite BBQ place: Dr. Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas BBQ in Van Nuys.

                      All these postings on BBQ have gotten me fired up to try Memphis Minnie's tonight. I hope it's as good as the Chowhounds' descriptions.

                      1. E & J's is delicioso. Much more impressed with their ribs than with the Piggly Wiggly.

                        ...just my 2 cents...

                        1. And the BBQ winner's are:

                          1) Flint's
                          2) E&Js
                          3) Brother's

                          1. Wow, no better way to get SF 'hounds posting fast and furiously than to pose a question about BBQ... What's up with that? Is there something particular to BBQ that generates such passion and loyalty?

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Millicent

                              Yeah, I think you'll hear it said that BBQ is one of those foods that raises "religious" arguments. People feel very passionate about the various methods and styles of preparing BBQ.

                              I think one reason is that we're applying a very broad term to a wide range of methods, styles and ingredients. Unlike other kinds of cuisine, where a change in the cooking method or ingredients would generate a different name for the dish, the term BBQ is applied to foods as different as beef ribs cooked over mesquite and served with a spicy tomato-based sauce and finely chopped roasted pork served on a bun with a vinegar based sauce. No wonder there are arguments about what constitutes "real" BBQ!

                              1. re: Millicent

                                BBQ is one of the few american "cuisines" with strong regional differences but a core commonality. Kansas City, Memphis, Texas, Carolina, they're all a bit different, and of course each one thinks they're the best. I'm sure there must be some other similar category of cooking like BBQ that has such strong regional differences, but I'm having a real hard time coming up with one. (this could be a good thread by the way on the general topics board - regional variations of common american cuisines!!)

                                I was once talking to the marketing manager for KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce, and when she heard I was from Memphis, she said, "I just can't figure out why we do so poorly in Memphis, it's such a BBQ town." Well, she obviously didn't understand BBQ - no one in Memphis would be caught dead buying Kansas City sauce!!! There is nothing in Memphis that people are more passionate about than BBQ - not Elvis, not the blues, not Ole Man River.

                                1. re: brad kaplan

                                  Thank you, Brad and Ruth. Your answers make a lot of sense. There was a thread on the General Topics board about regional variations in donuts --probably arising from one of the perennially-recurring Krispie Kreme threads [g] -- but people don't seem to feel as strongly about donuts as BBQ.

                                  1. re: Millicent
                                    Shepherd B. Goode

                                    Most of us have tried to barbecue something. Many of us think our own killer sauce recipe outdoes anything on the market. We've been there, or some amateur approximation of there.

                                    I've never tried to cook a donut.

                                    Although, those biscuits in a tube, ya cut 'em in quarters, ya deep fry 'em, ya sugar 'em--hippie donuts!

                              2. I think E&J can be a hit or miss proposition. Personally, I like it but I also know several people who can't stand the place & prefer Flint's (which is also excellent). The service can be hit or miss too but I get the feeling they hire neighborhood kids and this may be the first job they've ever had - which is cool in my book.

                                The only BBQ I can't recommend 100% is Brother in Laws on Divisadero in SF - unless you get the brisket or the sausages, which are good. Avoid the pork - it's too fatty.

                                1. s
                                  Shep aka 2 Cheap Hungry Guys

                                  Location, location, location. I've always favored the E&J on A Street in Hayward (east of 880, 0ver the railroad overpass, just past the next light, on the left), for overall quality and quantity. The Berkeley store on San Pablo is nearest my home, and has the friendliest servers, but the portions and cuts aren't so hot. Fruitvale, haven't been in years, first place I ever tasted E&J. They've had good stores on Third St. in SF, and in West Oakland. A movable feast.

                                  Hate to say it--been to Chef Edward's twice, not happy either time. First time, the ribs lacked flavor, and had a...I don't know, a gummy texture, neither chewy (as I prefer), nor tender. The sauce didn't help. Second time, the sliced pork soaked in watery juice, but still somehow dry, had no taste, neither did the sauce. This meat appeared to have been sliced off a processed roll with a deli slicing machine. On the bright side, every side dish I've had there was great, especially the greens and blackeyes. The sweet potato pie was especially fine, flavorful but not overly sweet, and light in texture. I'll try the Chef again, for the brisket, but I dunno, maybe I'm going to the wrong Chef Edward's?

                                  Link: http://chowhound.safeshopper.com/21/c...