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Mar 21, 2009 07:43 PM

Buster's BBQ in Calistoga?

Yesterday, I happened to drive by Buster's BBQ in Calistoga on my way south on Highway 29. The smoke was rising over the wood-based fire in the parking lot. My wife and I wondered: what is that place?

It looks very "authentic" vs. the more sophisticated, upscale BarbersQ in Napa (which is delicious).

Has anybody been to Buster's? Recommended main and side dishes?

I appreciate your advice as I think I will drive back there this week. It looked like too much fun.


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  1. It smells great doesn't it? I just drove by as well. Their menu is on the website which on the Place record link below. There are also links to a few favorable brief mentions here and there.

    Since search is a little screwy right now, Here are some relevant links

    There are a few one line mentions when someone just said they liked it. There are warnings the hot sauce is very hot.

    This old link wasn't as favorable, but it was a while ago

    I have it on my to-try list. Hope someone has some details.

    Buster's BBQ
    1207 Foothill Blvd, Calistoga, CA 94515

    1. Same thing with me. Have driven by many times, seen the smoke and the huge slabs on the grates, but never stopped. Will make a point of stopping in next time.

      1. I wrote this a couple of years ago, but I suspect it's still valid.

        I've eaten at Buster's several times over a few years. They cook the meat over an open wood fire, not a closed pit. The tri-tip was fine as long as you like it well done. The ribs were a bit tough, probably because of the faster direct-fire method rather then long, slow, indirect cooking. But if you're in Calistoga and in the mood for it, it's fine. It's just different from what we usually expect at real bbq joints.

        1. Buster's is not bad at all but it's not fantastic bbq either (I think that it smells better than it tastes). You do receive huge portions for the money and it's a convenient place to go after an afternoon of wine tasting up valley if you don't want to deal with a sit down restaurant.


          1 Reply
          1. re: Bon Vivant

            Busters is only ok bbq I wouldn't go out of my way to go there if your nearby and craving Q its ok

          2. Have you tried Buster's yet Cortez?
            It's been a year or so since I last visited. My friend from Montana refers to places like this as "hot and a lot" places. Food's OK, they give you a big portion, but previously nothing to rave about. The meat was kind of chewy . . . . They do offer a seriously hot sauce option on the Q if that's something you like. Too hot for my taste though - they will let you sample so you can decide. Lately I've just opted to go more upscale and have some really tasty and tender ribs at Rutherford Grill. It's been a while since my last Buster's visit though, and I'd be curious of your experience and any updates.

            1 Reply
            1. re: vday


              I did ultimately try Busters. I liked the old school atmosphere -- miniscule kitchen, separate covered structure for eating, grill out in the parking lot. But, the food was very average -- ribs grilled directly on the grill (vs. slow cooked on the side) and a bit chewy as posted above. All in all, fun but not repeatable.

              Have not been to Rutherford Grill for the ribs. Thanks for the tip. Have been once again to BarbersQ off Trancas. Wonderful. Pulled pork sandwich, butter lettuce salad and brisket were my favorites. Ribs and chicken wings also good. Nouvelle BBQ.

              Lastly, I do get the daily menu posting for Ad Hoc in Yountville and it recently featured a BBQ night (ribs, brisket, etc.). I couldn't go but wanted to. Anybody had the BBQ at Ad Hoc?