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BBQ in the East Bay: T-Rex, Brick's Pig House, Chef Edwards, Flints??

I'm heading to the East Bay tomorrow and I can't decide which of these BBQ places I want to try. I've tried Flint's before, it wasn't good (although I really liked the links), but I'm thinking the right timing and location could score. I've never tried any of the other places I mentioned.

As far as what I am looking for I like a good smoky brisket, I also like pork and beef ribs and home-made links. I do like the sauce at places like Flints and don't really care if they cover the meat in sauce or not as long as the meat is well smoked and the place uses decent cuts.

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  1. I've found T-Rex's spareribs reliably great, that's my go-to place and order when I crave barbecue. Brisket seems more variable, great at its best.

    The best brisket I've had in the East Bay was Uncle Willie's in Oakland:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/379427

    I found Brick Pig's spareribs smoke-free and the sauce way too sweet.

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/328812

    Flints went so far downhill after one of its prolonged closings I can't believe they're still open. I don't know where (or if) they smoke the meat but the Shattuck branch never smells like barbecue any more.

    14 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Links:

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      T-Rex Barbeque
      1300 10th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

      Brick Pig's House
      5973 Shattuck Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

      Uncle Willie's BBQ and Fish
      614 14th St, Oakland, CA 94612

      Flint's Bar-B-Q
      6609 Shattuck Ave, Oakland, CA

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        I've stopped going to the Flint's on Shattack. They no longer cook there (the neighbors complained about the smoke).

        Recently, I did try the Flints in East Oakland at 6637 Bancroft Ave ((between 66th Ave & Havenscourt Blvd) and thought that it was "on" that evening. Great sauce, good ibs with some well-done crispy parts, and a heavy pound of link. It was substantailly better than Shattuck where they bring in cooked food from the Bancroft location and sell it until it is gone.

        For those who care, Bancroft has a touch more ambiance than Shattuck, with some (limited) insde seating and a safer-feeling neiorhood. The inside of the storefront is dominated by a large glass barrier with a couple of cutouts through which to pas money and food.

        1. re: Bob Copeland

          Thanks for the tip. I went to Flints on Shattuck a year ago after the re-opened and that explains a lot. It's a real shame that they're not cooking on Shattuck.

          1. re: Bob Copeland

            I'm totally confused here. A few months back when I was updating the place record for Flint's, I found about about the Bacroft location. At that time the only mention was a 2007 post on Yelp. So I gave them a call. The phone was disconnected. Did they re-open recently? I have personally watched the Flints on Shattuck cook food on site since re-opening. They stopped that?

            1. re: rworange

              I don't know when they opened, but, I think it's been awhile. It's still Flint's - their phone has been out of order for a couple of weeks - no urgency to have it fixed, I suppose.

              The last couple of times that I had been at Shattuck, they were not cooking. I was told that they cook at Bancroft and bring it over.

              The sauce still merits someone's wonderful comment that when they go, they want to be embalmed in Flint's Sauce.

              1. re: rworange

                By "watched [them] cook food" do you mean pull it out of a working smoker? I live nearby, and my nose tells me they haven't been running the smoker in the last couple of years. The last time I was in there (2006), they brought the food out from the back so you couldn't see what was going on.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  during the first couple months after they reopened i did see them pull it out of the smoker, and I remember the old days when you could smell the bbq as you drove by, but it's been a long time since I've smelled anything coming from there.

                  1. re: nicedragonboy

                    Yes, that is about the time I saw them using the smoker. They didn't have the other location until about June 2007 as the yelper made is sound like they were newly opened. Good to know the new location is better but very weird they don't care to fix the phone.

                    I updated the place record somewhere in April and when I saw that review I was going to add a second location and ask about it on Chowhound, but with no other yelp activity at that time and a dead phone, I thought they didn't make it.

              2. re: Bob Copeland

                Adding a link:

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                Flint's Bar-B-Q
                6637 Bancroft Avenue, Oakland, CA

                1. re: Bob Copeland

                  I can hardly breathe after reading Bob Copeland's statement that "Bancroft has a touch more ambiance than Shattuck" Flints. I was just laughing too hard. While I haven't been to the Bancroft Flint's, the ambiance at Shattuck Flint's could aptly be compared to a prisoner of war camp...with fewer people.

                  Glad to hear that at least one Flint's is still pretty good.

                  We used to get Chef Edwards' ribs, etc. when we did an office lunch and the ribs, at least, were very good. This, however, was more than 5 years ago and could well have changed.

                  1. re: oakjoan

                    Neighborhood and ambiance aside, I think the Bancroft location is the place to try, since the Shattuck location's just reheating their meat.

                  2. re: Bob Copeland

                    Safer-feeling neighborhood? There's nothing wrong with the Shattuck neighborhood -- I know several people who live around there -- one lives only half a block away, and in the good old days you could smell Flint's in their living room. On the other hand, that part of East Oakland around 66th and Havenscourt is pretty rough. Not that anything should keep you from good 'cue, but I think your characterization is a bit inaccurate.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Yeah, I was wondering if that was meant to be switched? Because the Shattuck location is in a significantly better neighborhood than the East Oakland one!

                      1. re: JasmineG

                        Perhaps I was too harsh with my sense of safer neighborhoods. While I'm not that familar with Oakland, the Bancroft location is in more of a small business district, with shops/stores near Flint's. The Shattuck location is a little more isolated, in a combination of residential and commercial buildings. It feels a little less safe to me than a commerical block, but, that is subjective. I've visited the Shattuck location for decades and have never had a problem. The one time I went to Bancroft was mid-afternoon on a Sunday and I didn't get any particular vibes about the neighborhood. I was just glad to find a Flint's that was open and had product. I suppose that Shattuck seems more isolated since it is not on a commerical street.

                        I feel more comfortable on a commerical street, which, of course, may not be true.

                  1. re: wolfe

                    link

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                    Bo's Barbecue
                    3422 Mount Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA

                    1. re: wolfe

                      Should've mentioned, I've been to Bo's, liked the brisket a lot, want to try some of the other places that are closer.

                      1. re: wolfe

                        I really like the brisket and ribs at Bo's. Links are good but not as chunky as Everett and Jones. It's a little trippy to be able to get good beer and wine at Bo's but something that I can get used to. I used to live near a local Everett and Jones and loved their ribs and links and sauce. Tried the new location down in Jack London Square and don't think it hold up. I'm not that fond of T-rex but it's all a matter of taste. I would go back to get their happy hour specials.

                        1. re: Cheesy Oysters

                          T-Rex's happy hour is great, but the only BBQ item on that menu is riblets, which are good but not in the same league with the spareribs.

                        2. re: wolfe

                          Bo's kicks serious barbeque behind. The brisket is FABULOUS. I wish I loved the ribs as much but I'm a sucker for the brisket. Mmmmm.. Love the live music, magazines for customers, great selection of wine & interesting beer. Love Bo's.

                        3. Haven't tried it yet, but Pit Boss in Richmond has been mentioned here a few times.

                          -----
                          Pit Boss Barbeque
                          12889 San Pablo Ave, Richmond, CA

                          1. Additional choice for brisket ok but not a good as Clark's that I ordered online.
                            Elves, Oakland.
                            http://www.chow.com/places/19821

                            1. I've found the brisket at T-Rex to be a bit dry, but the long cut short rib is HEAVEN. The mild sauce has about as much flavor as ketchup, minus the vinegar. Hot is substantially better. The short rib, however, needs no help.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: lexdevil

                                We liked the pulled pork at T-rex a lot and the sides were excellent if not strictly traditional.