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Mar 26, 2009 09:13 PM

Jones' BBQ, El Sobrante: It's the Bun, Baby

Looking for lunch near Thrift Town. Jones' lunch specials for $5.75 come on a bun with one side and a drink. This is very intriguing to me--when have you seen anything but flabby bread at a BBQ place? So I got the BBQ beef on a bun, not expecting



This baby came sliced in half and each half was wrapped. It was oozing many sauces, but that bun was crisped on the grill, friends, so it was holding up great. I have never had barbecue given the complete sandwich treatment before: lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, mustard (mustard!!!), and utterly tender and smoky slices of beef with a sauce I am obviously in no position to judge. What took this up to a new level of messy greatness was the devilish CRUNCH of the toasted surfaces of the bun, and the bland but chewy heft of the bread, playing against the noise of all those flavors within.

I don't know if I'll think this is the best barbecue overall, but this enters the pantheon of great Bay Area sandwiches. I'm going back for the tri-tip on a roll at $9.95. They also have blackened or grilled garlic shrimp on a bun, as well as links, fried chicken and catfish. And St. Louis ribs, spare ribs, brisket, and pulled pork, fried snapper and catfish and prawn dinners. And what was the magazine on the table ready for my perusal? "Fitness", of course!

Jones' BBQ Fish and Chicken
3550 San Pablo Dam Road (in the Plaza Sobrante)
El Sobrante

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  1. Looking at the online menu it seems they added a few items, revised some and extended hours

    Looking at my old menu, the pulled pork, tri-tip and woodsmoked BBQ Staint Louis Ribs are new (at least to me). The sliced beef is now called Slow Smoked Beef brisket, so they might have changed the recipe.

    Nice tip about the sandwich. I never ordered one because they were using Columbo rolls and I thought I'd skip the carbs and get the plate instead. It sounds like the whole is better than the parts. What side did you have?

    That's a good value too. They never changed the price of the lunch special after all these years.

    I liked the baked beans and sweet potatoes, but that was a few years back. I'll have to stop by and try some of the new items.

    Thanks for the report.

    Jones BBQ
    3550 San Pablo Dam Rd, El Sobrante, CA 94803

    1 Reply
    1. re: rworange

      I had the potato salad, which was the near-puree style and not to my taste.

    2. I tried this place a few years ago, thanks to RW's post but although I liked the food, the disorganized, ineffecient and slow help drove me crazy. If Steve wasn't there, forget. Three times I ordered the whole fried chicken to go from my car, still waited a looong time and then had to go through the "That's not what you ordered" "yes it is" game with another long wait to get the correct item. If the service is better, I would strongly recommend the fried chicken with a side order of bbq sauce for dipping. Sauce is extra cost but worth it. Good peach cobbler as I recall too.