I had lunch there today, the 1/2 order of brisket ($11-something) with their slaw and cornbread, medium sauce on the side.
- There was no offering of a smaller portion of brisket (no brisket sandwich) and it was a lot of food for lunch for most people.
- As soon as the very-nicely-arranged plate arrived with the thinly-sliced pieces of brisket neatly overlapping, I could tell at a glance that the brisket was very dry. Yep, absolutely the driest brisket I've ever encountered. There was some smoke flavor, but not much other flavor. It was tender, but the dryness overwhelmed any other impression. Note that I've had a lot of brisket at Memphis Minnie's and I never specify "fatty"; I take whatever they give me and it does vary, but it has never been remotely close to as dry as this was. Get this, after eating all the slices of brisket, there was simply no sign on the plate that the meat had been there. The plate under the meat was still dry.
I finally tried B's BBQ today. My impressions, not very good. I wanted to try everything so I got a 3-way combination with Pork Ribs, Beef Brisket and links. They include 2 sides but it's a dollar extra if you want greens or mac n' cheese, which is of course exactly what I wanted so I opted for just one side (greens) at no extra charge.
The plate of food that was brought to my table was enourmous, it was so much food... I don't understand why they just don't charge charge less (19.95 for a three way) and reduce the portion size.
I really was not impressed with any of it. The brisket was definitely not tender, it had a tremendous amount of fat on it. Brisket is supposed to have some fat but it should melt away in your mouth... not the case with this brisket. Not terrible but certainly not great either.
The ribs were passable but nothing special. Nothing about them really stood out...
I didn't like the links. I like most sausages but these were just not for me. Something about the spice combo was off. I overheard another customer saying the same thing about them. As a reference I love the links at Everett and Jones (the only thing I like there) and Uncle Willie's and most other places where they are home-made.
The greens I though were pitiful, especially since it's a dollar extra if you want them as a side! Not much flavor other than black pepper, large unruly pieces and pathetic little pieces of pork that were totally unappealing.
I did like the bbq sauce, I got the spicy version which could have been spicier. It's a thick red sauce, classic bbq sauce.
I wanted to like B's but something just isn't quite there. I think the electric smoker just doesn't yield the same results as wood smoke, the meat seemed smoked but the rich smokey flavor that great bbq has just wasn't there.
Oh well, there's always Memphis Minnies...
I had a similar but different take on B's...it took them 20 minutes to get my 2 way out to me....my brisket was totally 'fatless' so very dry..with not much discernible smoke. The ribs were no particularly meaty, moist or smokey...the cole slaw was average, and the spaghetti was laughable! I got the last corn muffin which had some nice'grit' but no real flavor...altogether not a good experience for me....this place has had good mentions, but it doesn't seem that consistency is a strong point. It is awash in cold fluorescent light, totally charmless, which I could definitely overlook if anything was 'lip-smakin'!
having just had dinner there a few thoughts on my second visit - last time I got takeout, this time I ate in.
They are still finding their way re service and food but I think they are doing an awful lot right.
- menu has a lot of good options, not just bbq meats (even decent options for vegetarians and they are doing some salmon dishes on Fridays etc)
- while the first time I are there the cornbread by the time I got it home was a bit hard, though flavorful, eating in the cornbread was clearly freshly made (indeed I saw them putting in a fresh batch as I was there) and perfectly soaked up the spicy sauce.
I've only had the pork ribs (my favorite bbq cut) and have been very impressed so far. By far the best bbq I've had in SF so far - vastly better than local favorites like Memphis Minnies or for that matter any other place I've tried (and I've been trying most places I've seen). Good quality, very well trimmed, nice smoke flavor and cooked right.
Now I personally like the type of sauce they are using - and I think it may be in part that they have some Chicago connection (they offer "Chicago Style baked beans" which I definitely like - and I'm a Chicagoan).
I had the texas slaw tonight as well and it indeed was nice - not too soggy, fresh taste and the raisins added a nice dimension of flavor - and were clearly not the cheapest raisins available (they were plump and both black and green)
Personally they are rapidly rising on my shortlist of places to eat at that are reasonably easy to get to from my home (I live along the 24 bus line which stops right across the street).
I think they will settle into a good rhythm in a month or two but clearly they are starting from a focus on tasty food at reasonable - though not entirely cheap - prices ($18.50 for a nice slab of ribs and two tasty sides plus two cornbread muffins is a fair price in my book). $18.99 if you want a combo of two of their meats.
In short a place I will be returning to in the future and which I wish the best.
Bs' BBQ & Grill
855 Divisadero Street
Hours - M-Th 11 am to 9 pm
F-Sa 11:30 am to 10 pm
Bs' Smokin' Specialties - From the Smokehouse:
Half Order w/one side $11.85
Full Order w/2 sides $18.75
Sides: Potato Salad, Texas Slaw, Spaghetti, or Chicago BBQ Baked Beans
(Extra Charge for Greens or Mac & Cheese)
Served with corn muffin or whole wheat bread
15-hour Beef Brisket
St. Louis Pork Ribs
Free Range Chicken
Pete's Louisiana Links
Beef Brisket, St Louis Pork Ribs, Chicken, Pete's Links (beef or chicken)
Two Way 2 meats-2 sides $18.95
Three Way 3 meats-3 sides $19.95
Large Platter 4 meats-3 sides $38.95
By the Pound:
Beef Brisket $25/lb
Slab of Ribs $26
House Smoked Salmon on Friday only $Market Price
Bs' Sides: half pint $3.50 Pint $6.50
Bs' Mac & Cheese
Chicago BBQ Baked Beans
Spaghetti w/ground turkey
Blue Cheese Tri-Tip Salad $10.75
BBQ Spiced Chicken Breast Salad $9.75
Portobello Mushroom Salad $10.25
House Smoked Salmon (Friday) $Market
Vegan Stir Fry $9.75
Pete's Smoked Links (beef or chicken) $11.85
BBQ Spiced Burger $8.25
Chile-Marinated Tri-Tip $7.75
Smoked Chicken Breast $6.75
Smoked Turkey Breast $6.75
Grilled Portobello $7.25
Choice of Bread: Ciabatta or Whole Wheat
Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Garlic Mayo, Spicy Mustard
Sides: potato salad, slaw, spaghetti, or BBQ baked beans
Cheese: Cheddar or Provolone $1.00
Sweet Potato Pie
Cream Cheese Red Velvet Cake
Drinks - 22 oz $2.25
No, no beef ribs on this menu -
I appreciate the freshness of the Texas slaw (with raisins) and the potato salad - both are flavorful and worthy of a chowhound deliciousness rating.
Next time I'd ask for the sauce on the side - the medium is not at all spicy and it is way too sweet for my taste. Both the brisket and the ribs are excellent cuts of quality meats. The electric smoker won't pollute the air on our Spare the Air days, but it also will not lure you in the door as the drifting wood smoke does at Lily's BBQ at Grove & Divisadero.
Sauce on the side is the way to go for me - and, HOT to offset the sweetness is jes' right.
We ordered the 2-way combo with beef links & chicken - Hot sauce on the side - with spaghetti and Texas slaw. The beef links are delicious and the chicken breast is moist! The spaghetti is thick with ground turkey and full of flavor. I still love the Texas slaw and the cornbread, too.
note: HOT bbq sauce here is not very spicy and might rate one flame on the Scoville Chile Flame Scale - maybe.