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Aug 4, 2011 11:34 AM

Second best place for BBQ?

Following the death of its masterful Q-chef Joe Johnson, Johnson's BBQ in Portola has closed, RIP. I know there have are many BBQ posts on the board, but I am looking for recommendations for the closest thing to Johnson's in the City or East Bay--Southern style ribs, tender, sauce not dry rub, good heat and--most elusive of all--great value (Johnson's was $18 for a full rack) and family-style warmth of service.

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  1. I can't recall the last time I saw a slab of spareribs for much less than $25.

    Johnson's ribs were falling-off-the-bone tender and had no smoke flavor. I can't think of anyplace with that style and no dry rub that's still in business.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      > falling-off-the-bone tender and had no smoke flavor

      The Brick Pig's House fits that description . . . well, very, very light smoke flavor.

      Can't remember about the rub, though.

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

      1. re: drewskiSF

        Brick Pig's House has a dry rub.

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

      2. re: Robert Lauriston

        Johnson's style plus smoke would be fine. I like a bit of smoke, just not a chimney's worth.

        1. After about three attempts I finally got Johnson's to serve me ribs without sauce, and they did indeed have rub on them. That place had very little business and their bbq suffered because of it IMO. There sauce was quite good though, as was other things they cooked to order such as the fried chicken wings.

          Similar styles would be Big Nates in SF and Everett & Jones throughout the east bay.

          Big Nate's Bar-B-Que
          1665 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103

          1. Recently tried Gorilla BBQ in Pacifica. They were quite good. I don't recall how much a rack was, but a 3-way was around $20 I believe.

            1 Reply