The BBQ Pit (Petaluma)
I've seen this place on E Washington a few times so stopped for lunch today. It looks like a (nice) fast food place but this one-off barbecue place cooks brisket, ribs, etc. in a smoker. I had the brisket plate ($9.95) including one side. The platter arrived and I immediately smelled the smoke from the three generous slices (not chopped, thank goodness) of brisket. It was very good. Was it up to Memphis Minnie's brisket? Maybe lacked a bit of MM's brisket character, but I'm now being picky. This is "the real thing" barbecue and I look forward to trying their ribs the next time I'm in Petaluma at meal time. I asked for the sauce (mild and hot) on the side and thought both were fine, if not the best I've had. The hot isn't super hot; I liked to mix them. The cole slaw I had was very tasty, with a dressing made by the very friendly owner's grandmother. I thought there was too much dressing on it, and the owner agreed with me so maybe they'll fix that. Try this place for yourself and report back. Oh, don't be put off by the "Fresh Off The Grill" sign above the barbecue menu. I immediately mentioned that and the owner said not to worry, the bbq is cooked in a smoker. They really should change that sign :-)
I tried adding a link/place, but couldn't get it done.
The BBQ Pit
600 E Washington St.
Petaluma, CA 94952
I didn't have the same experience there as you. I had the two meat combo (brisket, pulled pork), both meats had no smoke flavor, were cold and bland. I'm not a sauce guy, good bbq shouldn't need it, but there's was pretty good....and needed. Cole slaw had a very bitter, unpleasant after taste. Mac-n-cheese was a cold congealed lump. Living here in town, this seems to be the norm with everyone i talk with. I haven't been in months but will try again soon.
if your peregrinations take you a little further east through Sebastopol, you might give BBQ Smokehouse (about a block away from the whole foods) a try. one weekend they were doing a whole hog and the pulled pork was quite good (didn't need the vinegar-based sauce); the other things we've tried were competent to above average in flavour, with good quality ingredients.
6811 Laguna Park Way, Sebastopol, CA 95472