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Wanted: BBQ to go

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I am looking for good BBQ brisket and chicken for a birthday party in the East Bay. Some places will only do whole meals but I will be making the side dishes to save some money. I expect about 60 people. Suggestions?

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  1. Which places have you checked w/ already?

    1 Reply
    1. re: kc72

      Tried Bo's in Lafayette - too expensive, Maverick's in Contra Costa - never responded to the internet form, Lawrence Meats in Alamo - waiting for a bid, Bonehead's - only does full meals.
      We live in Contra Costa but would gladly go to Berkeley or Oakland.

    2. Taste of Joy on Lakeshore is a new favorite of mine. Great brisket, pretty good chicken. Their BBQ dinners normally come with sides, but the owner/chef is a nice guy and seems eager to please, so if you give them a call, I'm sure you'd be able to work something out. They're a small operation, though, so I'm sure they'd need a lot of advanced notice for such a big order.

      Taste of Joy Barbecue & Southern Bistro
      3909 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA

      1. Try the Back Forty in Pleasant Hill.

        Back Forty Texas BBQ
        100 Coggins Dr, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

        1. Give Uncle Willie's brisket a try. I don't know about their chicken, I never order that at BBQ places.

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

          1. Check with the Brick Pig House on Shattuck. Stop in and try some. Easy to shape your order size with their menu.

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

            2 Replies
            1. re: wolfe

              Brick Pig doesn't take orders for more than 50 --- "it's a quality thing."

              1. re: ola

                Did you talk to them or just read the menu. I'm sure with enough advance they could prepare for more than the menu says. They seem like they really try to please.

            2. Armadillo Willy's in Dublin is used to bulk orders and does meat only as an option

              2 Replies
              1. re: tomatoaday

                We're going to try their BBQ this weekend. TY.

                1. re: WCFoodie

                  Thanks for the suggestion. I just talked to Kinder's and they are emailing me a menu and cost sheet.

                  1. re: ola

                    I'd also stop by Kinders and give it a try. It is BBQ by virtue of sauce being slathered on meat.

                    1. re: rworange

                      Why isn't it BBQ? They smoke their meat...

                  2. re: WCFoodie

                    I tried Kinder's and wasn't crazy about the meat. It seemed that the BBQ flavor came mostly from the sauce. Prices were great though.

                    1. re: ola

                      We tried Kinders in Hercules last weekend just for eat in sandwiches. Meat ok, sauce ok, bread low quality. Dutch crunch roll tasted like Safeway, really ruined the sandwich. We ordered hot Ball tips but between cold bread, lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise, sandwich was lukewarm at best. Nice unsweet beans. Not impressed enough to return, especially when so close to Red Onion in Pinole!

                      1. re: tomatoaday

                        Does Red Onion have BBQ now? Or just better sandwiches? If you are going for a sandwich, have you tried The Powder Keg yet, just down the street from Kinders?

                        1. re: rworange

                          Looking at the Red Onion menu, it's burgers, sandwiches, cheese steak, pasta, fish & chips. No BBQ.

                          1. re: rworange

                            No, I don't think Red Onion has added bbq. I was just lamenting the fact that drove up from Alameda and could have had a great burger at RO and instead blew our hunger at Kinders on a blah sandwich. It marred a beautiful Saturday having time to waste for once. Live and learn... although now I am curious about the Power Keg.

                            I find Alameda lacking both in quality burgers and deli sandwiches. In fact, for a largish town, we seem to lack a lot of "greats" but that is just my opinion. Probably a different thread.

                            1. re: tomatoaday

                              I wouldn't think Powder Keg is worth a drive from Alameda ... but I'd say the same about Red Onion. However, if you are in the area, I'd pick Powder Keg first, no contest. Report attached to this place record

                              Powder Keg doesn't offer anything that closer Berkeley or Oakland restaurants do. However, for this neck of the woods, it is nice not having to drive to those cities.

                          2. re: tomatoaday

                            I've had good experiences with their pre-marinated meat taken home to grill or smoke. Not a fan of their sandwiches.

                            1. re: adrienne156

                              I know you mean Kinders but you got pushed so far down it looks like you were referring to Powder Keg.

                      2. another idea: Sunrise Catering in Walnut Creek. they do bbq.

                        1. Why not make it easy on yourself, get Curly's cooked baby back ribs and BBQ chicken from Costco. Several years ago I did that on an outdoor BBQ and there were raves. I also had links, and brisket is easy to fine.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: OldTimer

                            We're squeezing 60 people and a reggae band into the back yard and it will probably be at least in the mid-90s so I don't want to add a BBQ to the mix. But I will try the costco ribs another time this summer.

                          2. I picked up ribs from T Rex this weekend, you could check to see how much they ask for brisket for a party. The ribs aren't a bad price, and I've liked their brisket a lot (sometimes) in the restaurant.

                            1. I love K C Bar-B-Q, so I would definitely check in with them. I'm sure they do catering, and they offer whole sides of ribs. I'm betting they'd be happy to provide all-Q no sides.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: BernalKC

                                We hit KC for lunch. I really liked their sauce - not too sweet with a little heat that sneaks up on you. Chicken was excellent - moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. Chopped beef also good. I love the decor.
                                We picked up a catering menu and they are definitely a finalist.
                                Thanks, BernalKC

                                1. re: ola

                                  I just had lunch there today and I think the sauce has changed oh-so-subtly. There is the same sweetness that many people object to, but there is a bit more kick. Their Q skills are as good as ever. Are they still in the running?

                                1. re: Cynsa

                                  Might be the best in the area, but there is no way I can drive 50 miles round-trip to pick up food for a party. I'll try it when I'm in the city.

                                  1. re: ola

                                    They only deliver or cater. You don't pick it up.

                                    1. re: wally

                                      Looked up their site and it looks wonderful I don't see chicken, though and need an option for our non-meat eating friends.

                                      1. re: ola

                                        Personally I'd get roast chicken and BBQ brisket at two different places.

                                        Uncle Willie's caters large orders and I thought the brisket was great. They do chicken as well.


                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                          I would second that plan. You could buy a bunch of roast chickens from Costco which are an unbeatable value, then with the money you save buy brisket from Bo's (the best IMO) or Uncle Willies (maybe 2nd best and cheaper).

                                          1. re: slipson

                                            My wife liked Bo's to the exclusion of all the other briskets I brought home.
                                            The last time, March , she said is this from Bo's?. She figured I was substituting one of my cheaper places. It was from Bo's and it wasn't up to his usual standard.

                                          2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                            Husband and I are hitting Uncle Willie's this weekend along with Brick Pig House and Joy of Tasting. I'm on my way to Sunrise right now.

                                            1. re: ola

                                              Sunrise: excellent smoked chicken, good sauce but a bit sweeter than I like, brisket too dry, excellent beans and potato salad, bland cole slaw and tasteless sweet potatoes.

                                              Still looking...

                                              1. re: ola

                                                I thought you said no sides.

                                                1. re: ola

                                                  We were there so we tried the sides. I don't plan on ordering any for the party though.

                                                2. re: ola

                                                  You might want to check on Taste of Joy, we tried to go there a couple of weeks ago and they were closed at an odd time, and since then I've walked by a few times and they haven't been open at all.

                                                  1. re: chompy

                                                    Oops, that's what I meant...Taste of Joy. We'll give a call before we go. Thanks for the heads up.

                                                    1. re: ola

                                                      Taste of Joy is only open Wednesday through Sunday, and only until 6:00 p.m. Do call, since they've been dealing with some repairs lately and so are sometimes closed unexpectedly. I've been liking their BBQ more and more, though.

                                                      1. re: abstractpoet

                                                        We bought a combo (chicken and ribs) from Uncle Willie's, Everett and Jones and Taste of Joy. We had planned to also pick up from Pig Brick House but it took almost three hours to get the combos and so we quit at three.

                                                        My husband, son and I all tried them - blind tasting. Uncle Willie's was the clear winner for all of us.

                                                        My husband liked the E&J sauce (a bit sweeter than the others) the best but the meat was too much like dry pot roast. All of us ranked Taste of Joy third. The chicken skin wasn't at all crispy, the sauce thin and the brisket too thin cut for our tastes. The food was good but it tasted more like home dinner than barbeque.

                                                        Maverick's, a catering only company, is dropping off some BBQ on Monday.

                                                        So far, we like the chicken at KC's the best and the brisket at Uncle Willie's. But if we end up getting everything from one place, it is Uncle Willie's.

                                      2. Saw this in the paper this morning, you can probably sample some other places you may not have tried yet.

                                        3rd Annual King of the County BBQ Challenge and Music Festival.

                                        Free parking and admission


                                        1. My party was yesterday. We ordered from Uncle Willie's BBQ on 14th and Jefferson in Oakland. We ordered brisket for 30, links for 15 and chicken for 15. The quantities were generous and we have lots left over. They only serve in increments of 15 so ordering less was not an option. Cost of the meat was around $450.
                                          The food was outstanding. Everyone wanted to know where it came from and I regret not getting business cards to have on the buffet table.
                                          I would definitely order from them again.