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Feb 4, 2013 04:28 PM

Hi Lo BBQ is open! [SF]

I am very excited that Hi Lo has opened, can not wait for the first report.

and when the excitement dies down and one can actually get a spot there!

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    1. I hope to hear some good things about their brisket and sides. Texas beef brisket, collards and sweet tea would be a go-to meal for me on a weekly basis.

      Hopefully their operations allow for a robust takeout operation - I see that you go up to the counter to order and then try to find a seat at a communal table. Hopefully takeout operations could be akin to many TX bbq joints where you wait at the counter and meat and sides are weighed out for you on butcher paper.

      4 Replies
      1. re: mikeh

        The menu sure doesn't look like Texas bbq served on butcher paper. At $22/lb for brisket they better darn give me a fork and a plate!

        Hi Lo is located in the Mission in SF for those interested.

        1. re: Civil Bear

          Franklin's in Austin is $16/lb. I'd pay $30/lb in SF for brisket on butcher paper that good. In fact, I'd pay a premium to get it served up for me on butcher paper right then and there instead of having to sit down for table service and have waitstaff try to upsell me on drinks.

          Here's a photo of Hi-Lo's test brisket from the other day:

          It looks correct, but if it indeed tastes correctly, it won't even need that sauce sitting next to it...

          1. re: mikeh

            ok - you got me with your pix of the Hi Lo brisket.
            Here's Franklin's

            What are the hours at Hi Lo?

            1. re: Cynsa

              Unfortunately I didn't catch the hours while I was there tonight; meant to ask and then completely forgot. I'm just wondering if they plan on being open for lunch on weekends. Saturday lunch was my slotted bbq meal and become something of a tradition when I lived in the South, and I'd love to resurrect it.

              Incidentally, we waltzed in tonight around 8:15 p.m. and there was plenty of seating and no line at the registers. The place was bustling but not bursting to the seams. It's a good opportunity to get in before word of mouth begins to roll, imo.

      2. Just got back. Verdict: without a doubt the best brisket I've had in the Bay Area, and by a good margin. In fact, it's better than some briskets I've had from somewhat reputable places in Texas (like that Rudy's chain) and as good as anything I had during my two residency periods in North Carolina. The flavor and textures are spot on; it captures the way paradigmatic Texas brisket is supposed to look, taste and feel. Nice black pepper bark, present but not overpowering oak/mesquite smokiness, and exceptionally moist/juicy throughout, even the lean portions, and the cut was a nice balance of fatty and lean. Sauce was smartly served on the side, and the meat didn't even need it. That's the mark of a good brisket - a la Smitty's in Lockhart where they don't even serve you a sauce. But the sauce itself was great too - Texas red sauce the way it's supposed to be, with a nice balance of spiciness, sweetness and tang.

        Another "traditional" element they did perfectly - the sweet tea. It's amazing how many Bay Area places mess this beverage up, but Hi-Lo's version was freshly-brewed, and while sweet was not overly sweet, thus still allowing for the astringency of the tea itself to speak.

        And I like the more culinarily-creative sides and starters too, especially the dino kale and sweet potato salad and the brussels sprouts with preserved lemon chili. Although I love my brisket with a nice side of collard greens, and Hi-Lo's rendition of collards were without fault (velvety texture, tasty pork burnt-ends throughout to impart flavor), I think the brussels will become my pairing of choice.

        Some photos from the meal are attached.

        *One item to note - they aren't doing "by the pound" plates yet, just one portion sizes of various meats. Each order of brisket got you a little under 1/2 pound. I think maybe once they ramp up operations, they'll be willing to sell more "in bulk" so to speak.

        4 Replies
        1. re: mikeh


          I am so super excited!

          I may try to swing by Wednesday night. This is a great report. Thank you!

          1. re: mikeh

            Thank you for the report. It looks like I will have to make a visit.

            Just curious, have you had the brisket at Bside? If so, how does it compare? Thanks again.

            1. re: JonDough

              I haven't, but it looks like I'm going to have to it now. Just moved back to the Bay Area, so I've missed out on a couple of things for sure.

            2. Here's some location info about the place.

              Hi Lo BBQ
              3416 19th St (bet Mission & Valencia)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

                5:30 pm daily until 'que is gone?

              2. Anyone know if they're open for lunch?

                1 Reply
                1. re: DezzerSF

                  From their facebook: "we are currently serving dinner from 5:30pm to 10:00pm but will be offering lunch as well in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!"