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Best BBQ Brisket in the Bay?

iafigueroa Nov 26, 2009 02:42 PM

I wanted to get your input for the first of hopefully many crawls based on specific dishes I'm setting up with some friends. I would love to hear who you folks think makes the best BBQ brisket in the bay.

My current favorite is by Uncle Frank's in Mountain View, but I'm hopeful that you guys will lead me to something even better!

Uncle Frank's BBQ
2135 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View, CA 94043

  1. m
    mikeh Dec 24, 2009 05:20 PM

    Surprised no one has mentioned Gorilla BBQ in Pacifica. www.gorillabbq.com (Note, this is not a personal endorsement given I haven't been there, but I've heard good things from others who may or may not know what they're talking about when it comes to BBQ).

    (Also, I just returned here from North Carolina where we have some killer BBQ brisket, but the last time I was out here the briskets at Memphis Minnie's and Uncle Frank's failed to impress. Minnie's was too fatty, and Uncle Frank's had an overpowering smoky flavor to it. Now if that's your thing that's ok, but there's a refined technique to bbq too that you basically throw out the window if all you want is to impart the smokiest flavor possible, which I think does a disservice to the artform).

    4 Replies
    1. re: mikeh
      Civil Bear Dec 25, 2009 07:31 AM

      I suggest you give Memphis Minnie's another shot. Ask them to slice from the flat if you prefer your brisket more lean. Personally, I have yet to try any brisket in NC that comes close to MM's.

      1. re: Civil Bear
        mikeh Dec 25, 2009 11:48 AM

        Will definitely give it another shot per your rec. NC of course isn't known for brisket - it's all about the chopped pork shoulder (west) or whole hog (east), but there's a place called the Original Q Shack in Durham with an owner from Texas that does fantastic brisket.

        1. re: mikeh
          Civil Bear Dec 26, 2009 12:41 PM

          Yes indeed. Pork in NC is a whole other matter. Not surprisingly, many joints don't even serve beef!

      2. re: mikeh
        Shane Greenwood Dec 26, 2009 05:31 AM

        Gorilla BBQ is fantastic, but their ribs are better than the brisket. I would put them after MM in the brisket pecking order and at the top of the list for ribs and sides. They also have some good veg options.

      3. c
        Claudette Dec 22, 2009 06:11 PM

        The brisket at the Line Shack in San Jose is better than Uncle Frank's, Sam's, and Andy's. You don't need the sauce (which is Texan, housemade, and terrific, btw).

        Pass threads: http://search.chow.com/search?query=L...

        7 Replies
        1. re: Claudette
          RWCFoodie Dec 24, 2009 12:44 PM

          Yes, the brisket at the Line Shack was delicious - sadly, I just heard from a friend that they are closed... rumor is that bldg owner wants to remodel.

          I wish much luck to David Dang, the Line Shack chef/owner and I hope that if he happens to read this he will let us know if he reopens in another location.

          1. re: RWCFoodie
            hackattack1 Dec 24, 2009 02:18 PM

            Macks BBQ in San Carlos is worth the drive.

            1. re: hackattack1
              Shane Greenwood Dec 26, 2009 05:38 AM

              Mack's BBQ is good. They are not as smoky as some other places mentioned here. Being in a business/retail area they are prevented from running a full scale smoker. They use an electric smoker contained in the kitchen and get pretty good flavor, but not the deep smokiness you'll find elsewhere. Do give them a shot if you're in the area. The brisket and ribs are good, so is the smoked tomato dressing they put on the salad. Super nice people running the place too. In an area as Q-challenged as this, it's a solid option.

              1. re: Shane Greenwood
                Shane Greenwood Jan 21, 2010 06:34 AM

                adding link

                Mack's BBQ
                1754 Laurel St, San Carlos, CA 94070

            2. re: RWCFoodie
              mdg Jan 2, 2010 02:31 PM

              Rats! Closed before I could get a chance to try it. Thanks for letting us know - I drove by it on my way back from Sam's and it sure does look closed. If anyone hears about a reopening, please let us know. 2009 was brutal to Silicon Valley barbecue with Uncle Frank's and Line Shack closing...


              1. re: mdg
                Shane Greenwood Jan 2, 2010 03:14 PM

                Didn't know Uncle Frank's was closing. Not surprised since they had a fire and frankly, the place hasn't been the same since Frank left.

                1. re: Shane Greenwood
                  RWCFoodie Jan 2, 2010 03:19 PM

                  I hadn't heard that Uncle Frank's had closed either but I wouldn't be surprised.... too bad because when they first moved to the Mt. View location it wasn't bad.

          2. c
            Cheesy Oysters Nov 27, 2009 11:02 AM

            Bo's in Lafayette.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Cheesy Oysters
              Civil Bear Nov 27, 2009 12:09 PM

              Yes! I forgot about Bo's. Excellent Niman Ranch brisket second only to maybe MM's, IMO.

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

              1. re: Civil Bear
                wolfe Nov 27, 2009 12:28 PM

                Bo's as is all the local briskets including MMs occasionally inconsistent. My wife requests Bo's but the last time she asked "Is this from Bo's". She figured I snuck in one of my low priced don't want to drive to Lafayette alternatives. It was from Bo's and is wasn't good.

                1. re: wolfe
                  Thomas Nash Dec 22, 2009 03:08 PM

                  Memphis Minnie is superb -- approaches some of the best in Texas. Ask for the fatty end. Getting a random end may be the source of the inconsistency mentioned above... I am not sure if this is the explanation, but so far whenever I ask for the fatty end, it's been very good. Somehow at Louis Mueller's (Taylor, TX) it's always the fatty end (the 3 times I've been there). Don't know how they do it. Special cows.

                  1. re: Thomas Nash
                    wolfe Dec 22, 2009 03:33 PM

                    Hey Thomas you are preaching to the choir.
                    and second reply upthread.^

              2. re: Cheesy Oysters
                efmgdj Dec 22, 2009 12:07 PM

                Anyone know if Bo's has anything for the vegetarian in my group?


                1. re: efmgdj
                  wolfe Dec 22, 2009 12:18 PM

                  Not unless they consider chicken a vegetable.
                  "Each order is accompanied by a piece of baguette, mixed greens, steamed yams, and a scoop of light, eggless potato salad that tastes of pickle relish."
                  I don't remember getting mixed greens in the to go pack.

              3. Civil Bear Nov 27, 2009 09:12 AM

                Memphis Minnie's hands down. Their brisket consistently has the right tenderness and smoky flavor. They lose points for their sauces, but you really wont need any.

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

                5 Replies
                1. re: Civil Bear
                  Mick Ruthven Nov 27, 2009 10:17 AM

                  Second for MM's brisket. I really like their South Carolina mustard sauce on pork, but not on brisket. Their Texas red sauce is "quirky" to me and not what I'm used to. The North Carolina vinegar-based sauce I think you have to be brought up with to like :-) But as said, you really don't need sauce on the brisket if you don't like their sauces.

                  If you're in that area, you might as well also get some brisket at Da Pitt on Divisadero. It's good enough to be in the running and you'd get to see which you like best.

                  Thread about Da Pitt.

                  I'd also be curious how you compare the BBQ at MM's and Da Pitt with Uncle Frank's. I found Uncle Frank's quite variable and usually quite mediocre. But the last time was a few years ago.

                  1. re: Mick Ruthven
                    Robert Lauriston Nov 27, 2009 10:22 AM

                    Third on MM's brisket. I thought their sauces were weird, but when the brisket is smoky I don't want sauce anyway.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      wolfe Nov 27, 2009 10:49 AM

                      "There can be only one"

                      1. re: wolfe
                        Robert Lauriston Nov 27, 2009 12:08 PM

                        Until I do a head-to-head comparison, I'm perfectly comfortable saying they're both best.

                        Uncle Willie's sauce (hot version) is the best I've ever had.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          wolfe Nov 27, 2009 12:20 PM

                          Best brisket, best sauce is another thread.

                2. Robert Lauriston Nov 27, 2009 08:43 AM

                  Uncle Willie's.

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

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    wolfe Nov 27, 2009 08:59 AM

                    I would suggest Memphis Minnies and I have have tasted Willie's and am not prepared to say uncle.

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