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Aug 12, 2010 02:31 PM

Good brisket, if you can get it, at Oakland's Double D BBQ

I figured I'd start a new thread, to avoid confusion, since the only other one on Double D I've seen ( ) is listed under the restaurant's old International Ave. location.

Anyway, I finally stopped in at the new location (on 1st Ave., very close to International) for lunch today after a couple of unsuccessful attempts--their hours (12-6 only, and closed on Wednesdays and Sundays) aren't the most customer-friendly. But a little past noon today the restaurant was open and doing fairly brisk business. Apparently, a lot of cops frequent the place during their lunch break. It's a small space, all counter seating plus a few picnic tables outside.

I found the menu a little bit off-putting, since it only offers the various meats by the pound--the sides are separate (and also sold by weight), so you have to pay $2 for a tiny tub of potato salad. From what I can gather, you used to be able to get a $5 lunch plate (or a $10 dinner) that came with sides. No more. Seems like now they've basically taken their catering menu and made it the menu for the restaurant, too. I think there may have also been a couple of sandwich options, but not for the brisket, which is what I had come to try.

At $15 a pound, the brisket (untrimmed) is the most expensive item on the menu, and the smallest amount they'll sell you is a half a pound. That's more 'cue than I'd wanted for lunch, but I figured I'd let my waistline take the hit for the sake of journalistic accuracy. Got a side order of potato salad, which was actually pretty good, but I don't know if I'd bother with it next time--I took a few bites and packed the rest to bring home.

The brisket itself was very good, though--definitely not just boiled and dumped in sauce ( ) or previously frozen ( ) as had been reported about the old location. I forgot to order the sauce on the side, so the meat came drenched in it--but even still, I could definitely taste the smokiness of the meat. I'm no expert, but I thought it was as smoky as any I've had in the Bay Area. The brisket was quite tender, but not falling apart, with some nice burnt edges and a good amount of fat. The tomato-based BBQ sauce was tasty but didn't have much (if any) heat to it.

The meat also came with two slices of what I would describe as above average supermarket sandwich bread--above average in the sense that it was fresh, wasn't plain white Wonder bread, and didn't seem like it had been refrigerated. It was good for soaking up the sauce, and I suppose you could build yourself a little sandwich if you wanted.

Just as a point of reference, I thought that while the sauce at Double D (which I'll definitely get on the side next time) wasn't nearly as good as the hot sauce at Uncle Willie's, the brisket itself was just as good as, if not better.

I'd go back and give their ribs a try, maybe their links too.

Multiple reports on Yelp mention them running out of the brisket (along with various other menu items) by later in the afternoon, so if you want to try the brisket--which I recommend--you probably need to come by at lunch time.

Double D BBQ
1240 1st Ave, Oakland, CA 94606

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  1. I had some of Double D's pulled pork at a party this weekend. First-rate. Great rub, smoky, moist, deep flavor. The guy who brought it said the spareribs were also great.

    1. Just polished off the remnants of a pound of brisket I picked up at Double D on Saturday; even microwaved at 50% power for a bit, this stuff is fantastic- bark that can only be described as spectacular; rich, flavorful beef with good smoke flavor and just the right amount of fat; pitch-perfect tenderness. I called ahead shortly after noon on Saturday and was told they had plenty of brisket.

      I like to buy 'cue by-the-pound (it's up to $18 now) anyhow since the sides at BBQ restaurants are usually so dreadful. The bread's taken a dip since abstract poet's report; I got generic supermarket wheat bread. The hot sauce on the side, thinner than most, was vinegary, balanced with a sweet tomato note and a bit of heat.

      That sauce didn't match up to Uncle Willie's, but when I went there a few weeks ago I got uniformly wan, gray, tough chunks of brisket with nary a hint of the smoker and the bark was MIA. I need to go back to UW's and see if it was an off-day, but Double D's brisket is better than I recall UW's being in any event.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Pius Avocado III

        The bread was pretty generic when I went too--just not as sad and misshapen as what I've been given at, say, Willie's.

        Would have to do a back-to-back taste test to be sure, but I'd generally agree with you that the meat was a lot more memorable at Double D's (whereas the sauce is the star at Uncle Willie's). Gray and tough I haven't experienced at Willie's, but wouldn't be at all surprised to hear if that kitchen is inconsistent--there's a lot of junk on the menu.

        Pius, did you happen to notice if the hours at DD's are still as limited/restrictive as before?

        1. re: abstractpoet

          their website says W-Su 12-6pm. is that what it was before?

          1. re: abstractpoet

            Sorry, I didn't go pick it up myself as I had ribs and Taylor's links going in my own smoker at the time. MY GF asked for a takeout menu and they didn't have any. I did time my visit by the hours posted on the website as drewski mentions, and had success.

            While we're on the subject of barbecue restaurant bread, I found the slices at Phat Matt's to be several cuts above the crowd- thicker slices from a firmer, more toothsome loaf of supermarket wheat, whole grain perhaps.

            1. re: Pius Avocado III

              Double D's answering machine now says hours are 11-5, Thursday through Saturday.

              1. re: Pius Avocado III

                Yeah, that's what the website says now too. Looks like he's concentrating more on his catering business...

                1. re: Pius Avocado III

                  I'm hoping he changes it back when we get into the summer months.

                  1. re: Pius Avocado III

                    Went by shortly before 1pm today and they were closed, with a sign on the door saying they had sold out "by 11AM Saturday."

            2. I've stopped going by out of frustration but it sounds as if nothing has changed:


              1 Reply
              1. re: Pius Avocado III

                Why go to all the trouble of creating a professional web and social media presence, and never be open for business when people show up? In the video, one of the managing partners appears to be in his 30s. I googled his name (he remains unsmiling in his facebook profile photo), and found his other partner is a Randy Doke. I visited the facebook page for the restaurant, and see they stopped updating it several months back, in mid-April. The two may be going through some personal issues or perhaps having disagreements is all I can fathom. "What the fork?!" is right: