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Flint's on Shattuck

After hearing that Flint's was open again I checked it out.

First couple of things I noticed: no smokey smell in the air outside and when I approached I heard the employees inside hollering and I thought to myself, "they're open but are they yelling at each other? Whatthehell?"

Once inside I realized the counter person talking to some friends, hanging out. It was slow time at 3 p.m. and then her friends cleared out. She greeted me with a nice "Hi darlin'" and then launches instantly into, "Pork Ribs, Chicken, Beef Ribs" (that's what they had). I tell her, "Pork Rib dinner, mild sauce". Three minutes later I'm gone.

Driving home I'm thinking, "it smells the same".

When I finally got to sit down and eat my reaction was "the meat is good as ever, falls off the bone, still smells smokey, but the mild sauce was just a little bland" but pretty much inhaled it any way. Still good.

Over all impression: still worth it, 85% of what it use to be...maybe onder the medium sauce next time. Attitude-wise, to quote a friend, "less Billie Holiday more Mary J.", i.e., it's a generational thing.

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  1. Very interesting. Thanks for taking one for the team and posting. Even if the sauce is a bit different, one way I can tell for sure that this isn't the Flint's of old: "She greeted me with a nice 'Hi darlin'..." In dozens of visits to the "old" Flint's, I don't think I ever got more than a surly grunt of recognition/contempt. But it sure was worth it...

    1 Reply
    1. re: DRR

      Great news that it's open and that the quality is comparable to before; Flint's always was my point of reference to Bay Area BBQ. Once I was recognized, I usually got a friendly response from the help behind the counter, only had a surly response the first few times.
      Thanks for the post!

      1. You could be right...or like everyone else you may hit a bad day or time. I did notice nothing was going on inside as well, and I did notice there wasn't any smell of smoke outside, yet in the car it smelled the same as ever. What can I say, I use to live 4 blocks away and use to go every week or so during college in the '80s so I think I have perspective on it.

        Re: service, as totally corny as this may sound, when going to an African American establishment, I use manners appropriate for a church bazaar, polite, respectful and have a sense of humor. Or it could be the demi-fro and Samoan-esque feature.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ML8000

          I've lived four blocks away for ten years, and even before that I thought they were the best ribs in the area. Until they were closed by the county health department two years ago, I found them pretty consistent. What I got from the new place wasn't in the same league at all.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            my 3 or so Flint's Redux trips have ranged from not bad (day or day after they reopened) to "I'm in absolutely no rush to go back." And I haven't been back in a couple months.

        2. Just had a conversation with a co-worker about 'cue and she told me that the former cook at Flint's died without passing on the sauce recipe.

          I was also pleased to find out that another co-worker who made some incredible ribs at office picnics is related to the KC BBQ clan, which explains why they are my favorite joint. Another co-worker is related to the folks at Dorsey's Locker. So much for six degrees of separation.

          5 Replies
          1. re: chocolatetartguy

            Thanks for the inside scoop. That's a sad story and explains things a bit...and it reminds me I should sit down with my Mom some time and ask her about some recipes.

            The sauce did seem to be missing something, a little tomato base, some spice and a secret incredient. (A friend use to swear there was a hint of Hoisan Flint's sauce and something else he could never ID.)

            1. re: chocolatetartguy

              Interesting. Someone on another board posted a recipe for BBQ sauce a few years back that she claimed her husband had bought off a Flint's employee they had befriended ages ago. They bought the recipe long before the fire, I wonder if it is "the one." I remember a lot of Liquid Smoke being added, though the recipe resulted in a very large quantity of sauce.

              1. re: Leadbelly

                Doesn't sound right to me. The ribs used to be smoky but the sauce wasn't.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Hard to imagine, given the amount of liquid smoke added to the recipe, but you cook the sauce for about 8 hours, which transforms it and the liquid smoke mellows out to something hardly detectable. It is a delcious sauce, but not having eaten at Flints for years and years, I can't really compare it to the "original".

                2. re: Leadbelly

                  In the name of community service and well being, someone should hook up the new management at Flint's with the holder of the recipe.

              2. Just picked up a three-way combo with the spouse. Unfortunately, he likes chicken so that took the place of the links I wanted to add to the beef and pork ribs. The meat was wonderful without any of that odd "is it slightly off?" flavor or that "boiled too long and then tossed on the grill flavor-lack" flavor of many other places. Pork fall-off-the-bone as described above. But the sauce, though pretty good, was lacking some depth of flavor and had an odd hint of burn or bitterness, almost tasting like they added some of the cheap mole mix from TJ's.

                And the sides suck. Canned beans. Supermarket mustard potato salad. Food to throw away.

                But we'll be back for more of the ribs. And those spicy links.

                1 Reply
                1. re: lintygmom

                  Have you been to Flint's before? That burnt chocolate taste is their signature. I've never tried it under the old ownership. I lucked out on one visit and had the most amazing chicken in my life. I probably just hit it at exact right time and haven't ordered it since, afraid to ruin the memory.

                  They were supposed to open the other location on San Pablo in Oakland, but no signs at all of life.