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Apr 16, 2008 11:12 AM

New or less-mentioned BBQ in the city of SF

Ask for barbecue recs and the same names come up over and over ... whatever your opinions might be ... Memphis Minnie's, Big Nate's, sometimes Roadside ... Brother-In-Law's BBQ then Lilly's BBQ now Da Pitt BBQ

But what about the ones that get no love here? LInks to all of these joints in this Place search

Has anyone tried Pete's Tavern that just opened near the ballpark?

Just a reminder that in May, Al's Backyard BBQ is due to open

The most interesting to me is Ironwood BBQ at the the golf course.

It has one of only three custom-built Memphis Wham Turbo BBQ pits on the West Coast. Meat is dry rubbed and 100% oak wood fired. Meat is seasoned and marinated overnight to let the spices work into the meat. It is then cooked for 12 hours at 205 degrees.

The Wham Turbo was the inspiration of John Wilington who the Smithsonian Library has named as an icon of traditional American BBQ. The company sent one of their reps to personally train the pitt master at Ironwood. More info on website.

A little plus it seems to me is that Ironwood does events and they can do finger food for as little as $8 per person or BBQ for $11 pp. It seems there are always questions about inexpensive event options ... any good?

There was one inquiry in 2006 ... one person said meh on her one try ... and never another mention. It gets positive mentions elsewhere on the web.

Anyone tried Pittman's BBQ on 3rd?

How about Johnson's Arkansas style BBQ. Meat smoked using oak, apple, plum or other fruit wood?

Jordon's House of Ribs?

Pete's BBQ on Mission ... or is that bbq meat like chicken, ribs and links done on a rotiserie?

Not to wander outside of the city limits ... but that is what is on the web. Any small joints that you might pass by and no one mentions? I'm giving Oakland as an example ... around MLK there is what I think of as the iron oil drum BBQ triangle. I'm still working through them.

In basically the same area there are three places I know that bbq using those black oil drums ... Burley's car wash (an interesting story), Elves and the 1/4 pound burger joint.

Is there something similar in SF ... little corner lots or over-looked joints doing BBQ

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  1. There are numerous reports on Johnson's linked from its Places entry. I found the meat was overcooked and had no detectable smoke flavor.


    1. The chicken Pete's at 20th and Mission is not BBQ in the traditional sense (never had the ribs, so cannot comment there). The chicken is rotisserie cooked- think those big racks of chicken spinning around in the back of CostCo- and slathered with their sauce. The sauce is a little salty and thin for my taste, but I eat there about once a month or so when I'm in the mood.

      The turkey (oven roasted BTW) if usually quite good and they make a mean sandwich with it, but it tends to run out about 2-3pm or so.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Seatown Jonny

        +1. Pete's is rotisserie, not BBQ. The ribs are cooked on the rotisserie just like the chicken. Although the ribs are nice and tender, the flavor and texture are really not different from just oven baked. The stand out at this place is getting a huge plate of meat for less than an Alexander Hamilton. They also have to-go.

        1. re: jerry i h

          My friend always insisted on going there when we were in the neighborhood. It was, he claimed, the only place you could get a tri-tip sandwich and have them put in a crisp slice of turkey skin. He was probably right about that, but I think it matters if that is what you are looking for. I never had a problem snacking on my sandwich, though.

      2. I've heard about Ironwood quite a few times but it's out of the way and in a golf course at the edge of the fog machine. A warm, sunny day might be a great day to try it.

        1. You did see this (albeit brief) report on Ironwood from three days ago, right?


          4 Replies
          1. re: tex.s.toast

            Thanks for the save. It sounds like it suffers from much of what BA BBQ suffers from -- low turnover, product not moving fast enough...meat sitting around and drying out. Q seems to have "sweet spot"/limited time of where it's perfect, fall off the bone juicy...and if you can't move it, it gets bad.

            1. re: tex.s.toast

              Refrigerated and then microwaved! Aaack!

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Yep, we went over to Ironwood one day to try their bbq and were told to come back on a Tuesday because they ONLY bbq on Mondays and then serve it the rest of the week or until they run out. When we went, they only had pulled pork (not very smoky at all) and chicken (didn't taste) left. We haven't been back because we didn't even want 1 day old bbq -- they don't sell the stuff on Mondays.

            2. I tried Pittman's a while back:
              I give it a big thumbs down. The brisket was tough, stringy, dried out. OK, here is one for you: as you ride the 3rd streetcar going from Pittman's going towards downtown, I spied 2 more BBQ joints. I do not remember the names, but I intend to try them this summer.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jerry i h

                They are probably Jordan's House of Ribs and Olivia's

                Hope you report back.