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Jul 10, 2006 09:01 PM

Oakland Barbecue

Moving here a year ago, I was excited by the prospect of some good barbecue. Many friends from the East Bay hyped it to me. So far I've been pretty disappointed.

I've tried:
two branches of Everette & Jones (both awful)
Doug's (not too bad)
Flint's (ridiculous food and hostile service)
T-Rex (very enjoyable but sort of a different genre)
Bo's (my favorite so far, but I'm looking for better)

Is there some fantastic place I'm missing? I like pork ribs best and the crucial factor in my enjoyment is smoke. The sauce is secondary.


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  1. I have yet to find anything I consider 'great' as well. Although I did have the chance to eat plenty of kickass bbq when I was working for Absolute Barbecue Company in Redwood City...sadly they don't have a restaurant and only do catering.

    1. We're from Texas, have been here 7 years and pretty much still looking. Everett and Jones is awful. Bo's was "alright." There's a place in Santa Rosa that's pretty darn good, adverttise as having "real Texas BBQ." I've had it and talked with them and they actually went to Texas, had their pitt built there, purchased their sauce recipe there and do a pretty good job.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rtmonty

        Is it Stim's Texas BBQ?


        1. re: Gerard

          Yep, that's it. They had really good brisket and good ribs. Even the sauce wasn't bad. It wasn't Texas, but it was as close as I've found.

        2. re: rtmonty

          The Central Texan BBQ - Castroville. As good as it gets anywhere near....sawdust on the floor, genuine Texan as your host, this ain't California. Good eatin' on your way to Monterey - order Brisket. Comes with sliced onion, beans; bread.

          Beer's crap - no microbrewery in town. The usual brands. Interesting sodas.

        3. There's the poor neglected CJ's in Richmond. I admire it more on every visit.

          Richmond & Fairfield - CJs Barbecue & Fish – the rest of the story

          I liked it more than on this first visit.

          Richmond & Fairfield - CJ's Barbecue

          I had a memorable chicken there, but with BBQ joints it is always a game of chicken roulette.

          3 Replies
          1. re: rworange

            I'll check out CJ's. But you prefer Flint's? The day I went, Flint's was so bad it passed the line between subjective opinion into objective fact.

            What the hell is up with that place? Everybody I know whispers of it like they're in church and then tells me it's not as good as it used to be.


            1. re: Gerard

              Sheesh. Make me go back and read my own posts. That will teach me to be brief in the future.

              I liked the chicken better at Flints, but only marginally. At both places I think I just happened to stop by at the right time.


              I know Flint's never on San Pablo never opened on June 1st as the above link says. Don't know the status.

              I think the pork ribs at KC's (not CJ's) are the best in the Bay Area that I've tried so far for a traditional style ... just be sure that you get the horrid sauce on the side. I didn't like the other meat thouh at KC's. Haven't tried the chicken, though.

              CJ's does a nice pork rib. It didn't need the sauce and had a nice smoke. One of these days I'll try the baby backs.

              IMO, Flints has some of the better beef on this side of the Bay, but T-Rex just knocked everyone else out of the competition for me. I like the ribs at T-Rex, but like you said, it is a different animal, so to speak.

              I really like Flint's sauce even though others have said it isn't what it once was. It is different and while I ususally toss the BBQ sauce, I think food I can use the Flint's sauce for and finish it all up.

              Since you traveled as far as Bo's, you might give Gracie's in Vallejo a try.


              I only had the brisket which was very lean and full of smoke. Melanie mentioned something about the baby back ribs being good.

              1. re: rworange

                Back from CJ's. Not bad at all. I think I'd put it above Doug's, but I've only given each one chance. The sauce was forgettable, but the ribs were nice. I could've dealt with a little more smoke.

                I tried to do a taste test with KC's, but they were closed.


          2. You need to try Memphis Minnie's in the city. I find it the best barbecue in this area and at least the equal of the best I've had in Kansas City (lots of experience) and Texas (much less experience). Some people don't think so highly of it, but that's barbecue for you. I've been many times over many years (started in their prior location) and have found it "off" only once.

            Memphis Minnie's
            576 Haight, between Steiner and Fillmore
            San Francisco

            While you're in the city, you can also try the new incarnation (Lilly's) of Brother-in-Laws on Divisidero. I was just reminded of it by this message: I haven't been there. I used to like B-i-L, not as much as MM's, but it was real barbecue nevertheless.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Mick Ruthven

              I have tried Memphis Minnie's and thought it was pretty good. Not my particular Holy Grail, however. Lilly's I'll add to the try list.


            2. Anyone know if Ernie Goode's BBQ ever re-open somewhere? It used to be in Richmond then in Pinole, now gone.