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Nov 5, 2008 12:49 PM

Good Brisket in Vallejo?

o.k., this may sound odd isnce i live here, but i wanted to make sure i haven't missed anything.

Does anyone know of any good brisket in Vallejo? I've been looking at the various posts here & see none, plus these posts are getting a bit dated. Gracie's has brisket now but alas, not to my liking...staff there even described it as only "o.k." I think I've had it at Michael's Southern Delights, but as you can tell it didn't take.

I seem to remember someone recommending a Texas outfit now based in Sacramento, does this ring any bells?

Am i going to have to resort to mail order (The Salt Lick comes to mind)? FYI, I grew up in SF & i have no fond memories of brisket...perhaps i was merely a ribs kinda kid...

thanks in advance for your help.

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  1. Haven't tried smoked brisket in Vallejo, but since you mentioned SF, Memphis Minnie's requires mentioning. They have the best brisket I have ever tasted, and that from a certified bbq judge for whatever that is worth (just means I have tasted a lot of brisket).

    Other Bay Area briskets worth mentioning are Bo's in Lafayette (the use CAB) and Pit Boss in Richmond. The brisket at Roadside BBQ on Geary in SF was also exceptional the last time I was there. Apparently the have recently changed there technique.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Civil Bear

      Oh yeah...

      Memphis Minnie's BBQ
      576 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

      Roadside BBQ
      3751 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

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

      Pit Boss Barbeque
      12889 San Pablo Ave, Richmond, CA

      1. re: Civil Bear

        I didn't like D's Bar-B-Que as much as Memphis Minnie's, but it is better than Gracies. Don't remember specifics though

        Been meaning to try King Albert's BBQ, but not sure if they made a go of it.

        It is not specifically bbq, but does anyone know if House of Soul makes brisket?

        What about near-ish in Napa ... though I have yet to try the brisket at either ...

        Red Rock Back Door BBQ


        I didn't think Bulldog BBQ in Martinez was anything special and I'm a little ticked at them for trying to get rid of the Martinez beavers.

        Could the place you are thinking of be Shaw's Texas BBQ? They have a truck and are at some farmers markets.

        1. re: rworange

          House of Soul doesn't make brisket, and I can't recommend the "bbq" ribs either. They're ovenbaked then reheated in a pot of sauce. Stick with anything fried there.

          1. re: rworange

            Agreed about D's over Gracies, but can't remember if they have brisket.

        2. You're pretty much outta luck in Vallejo! Take a 20 min. trip up north to Napa and get yourself a Beef Brisket Sandwich at the Bounty Hunter. Dee-Lish!

          12 Replies
          1. re: brucemac707

            You've got a point. Bounty Hunter's is great. They offer it on a sandwich, otherwise you have to get a $30 platter of brisket, pulled pork and ribs.

            1. re: Dan Wodarcyk

              Thanks "mucho" to all! I've been away fr this board for awhile & am glad for the help!

              Civil Bear - Memphis Minne's has been on my radar for awhile but don't get into S.F. too often anymore. I'm adding Roadside BBQ to my list! The other 2 are a bit outside my current "traffic pattern."

              rworange - D's, King Albert's & HOS have been on my target for awhile, the force tells me I'll be @ King Albert's soon. Napa & BBQ sounds like a combo to try...It could be Shaw's...I'll check w/my Hercules friend, she is a food fiend & I'm sure she's been to the farmer's mkt.

              Dan Wodarcyk & brucemac707 - Bounty Hunter's is now on my list! I don't see any problem w/consuming a $30 platter of BBQ (inclu. brisket)! :}

              Thanks all again! Ohhh baby!

              BTW, has anyone ordered anything online from the Salt Lick? for that matter, Charles Vergo's Rendevous out in Memphis?

              1. re: DinoTheOriginal


                I haven't had Salt Lick's brisket but I did order a whole brisket from Willie Ray's in Beaumont, TX and another from Clark's Outpost - Tioga, TX. Of the two, I preferred Willie Ray's as it was less smoky than Clarks. And, I enjoyed the BBQ Pork Roast from Willie Ray's more than the brisket. In each case, I reheated the meats in a slow oven for 1.5 to 2 hours before eating.

                After going to Austin last year on Roadfood's Brisket Tasting Tour and trying brisket and other items at Louis Mueller, Southside Market, Kreutz and Smitty's Market, I found that the particular piece of meat and whether it was lean or moist made all the difference.

                My limited experience with Willie Ray's and Clark's may reflect that.

                1. re: Bob Copeland

                  Loved the Clark's smoke and all. Had a previous Texas brand but it was inedible because it was much too salty. Forgot the name and I guess I could have done the Smithfield Ham bath routine but just wrote it off. Would do Clark's again.

                  1. re: wolfe

                    Just a quick request that if you're going to continue the conversation about BBQ outside the SF Bay Area, that you start a new thread on General Chowhound Topics (if you're looking to discuss places that do mail order) or Texas (for local Texas discussion), or South (for Memphis and other Southern cities). That'll help keep this board focused on the local sources, as well as have that more general discussion on the boards where others would expect to find it. Thanks!

                2. re: DinoTheOriginal

                  Hey Dino, I haven't ordered meat on-line from Rendezvous, but I have had their ribs in Memphis. They cheat a bit and use baby-backs grilled directly over coals, but the flavor is fantastic. They apply a vinegar/water mop at the end followed by a healthy coating of their dry rub which can be ordered on-line. Tasty as it is, it does contain some msg.

                  1. re: Civil Bear

                    CB- Raichlen has an approximation for Rendezvous ribs in one of his books- they are relatively fast and easy to cook, and the flavor is great. If ever you want to do ribs more quickly than a drawn out smoking, they are phenomenal.

                    1. re: P. Punko

                      Yes, I have tried Raichlen's version and loved it! I actually prefer his version of the rub, but when I did a blind head-to-head taste test with family (rub only) every single person but me picked Rendezvous.

                      p.s. the Raichlen version sprinkled over buttered popcorn is awsome!

                  2. re: DinoTheOriginal

                    Dino, make sure you report back and let us know what you thought of the Bounty Hunter!

                    1. re: brucemac707

                      o.k. got to Bounty Hunter. Good news: I found a new place for wine. Bad news: I apparently have a predisposition that all pulled BBQ should be pork shoulder. And that brisket is either sliced or whole (no, I haven't found anyone crazy enough for the latter, tho I might consider it if I had a place...& the economy wasn't in the tank).

                      Taste. I'm going to go ahead & say I liked it. My hesitation comes from (above aside) the impression that most of the taste was from the sauce. Despite being from CA, I think I may have developed an affinity for "dry style." I guess I'm just used to expecting the flavor of my meat coming from...the meat. What else? Heat & ambiance. It had good heat, but a bit "sharp." I love spicy stuff but not just for the spicy part, I love spicy, very flavorful stuff. If vinegar is involved, all the better! It was also kind of a nice place...the interesting decor I liked but the BBQ was served on a floor tile...pretty much qualifies it as a nice place in my "book." Putting the 2 together, well I will go ahead & admit that I am of the spicy food-fan column of the "sweat-ers." This as opposed to the "sneez-ers" and "cry-ers." I was a bit uncomfortable but my good old friend BBQ was there to keep me company thru it all.

                      Would I try it again? Yes. But probably the sandwich this time (yup, got the platter!).

                      So no Salt Lick reports, eh? Oh well.

                      I agree the Rendevous method is cheating a bit, but I understand the results are worth it.

                      "Roadfood's Brisket Tasting Tour"? Ohh, man!

                      Alright! no more here on non-SF area BBQ! I'll ask on gen topics...apologies on my reply etiquette/laziness, just seems kind of odd to reply 3x to one I typically drop in only once in a while!

                      I'm not done yet though! I still have some tasty research to do!

                      1. re: DinoTheOriginal

                        Thanks for reporting back. This won't help too much but on my way back from Napa I took a detour to see if King Albert's was still there. Yes it was. Didn't have time or stomach to stop though. For some reason I had the impression it was a mobile operation and not in a building. The last report back in 2007 on the brisket wasn't good, but they had just opened and they seem to be hanging in there.

                        Bounty Hunter Rare Wine Co
                        975 1st St, Napa, CA

                        1. re: rworange

                          I'll see about dropping by King Albert's tomorrow...hopefully they r open on President's Day...

              2. Earl's Texas BBQ maybe?

                I passed by their trailer on Spring today and they had a sign up that they were doing a grand re-opening at Foster Lumber Yard on Solano March 7, 2009. Prizes and stuff to celebrate.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: DinoTheOriginal

                    I haven't seen any eof near FLY. However, I haven't driven by on a weekend yet either. Haven't seen them during the week when I've been up that way.