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East Bay BBQ for catering or takeout

Maya May 6, 2013 03:37 PM

I'm trying to find a great BBQ place to order from/cater a milestone birthday party in August, for about 60 people. So far I have looked into Phat Matt's and Brick Pig, and I'm looking for feedback on those as well as any additional suggestions out there. The meat and sides have to be EXCELLENT. Bonus points if it's Oakland, but anywhere nearby are welcome.

I did check out this other thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/897236 and have noted down as possibilities B Side, T-Rex, Genny's, Smokey J's and Uncle Willie's - but any additional information would be welcome.

Thank you!

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  1. moto RE: Maya May 7, 2013 02:21 PM

    Phat Matt's and B-Side both have good brisket, have not tried Matt's side dishes, B-Side makes some decent ones. best to sample orders from any places you're considering. do you want slow smoked meats ? the food at Miss Ollie's is better/more 'soul' than any of the local bbq places, but it's caribbean grilled style, like jerk, not mainland southwest/southeast bbq. her skillet fried chicken is outstanding.

    4 Replies
    1. re: moto
      Mission RE: moto May 7, 2013 09:16 PM

      Phat Matt does not smoke [cook] his ribs long enough.

      i always have to put his ribs in my oven for another two hours of slow cooking to get them right.

      1. re: Mission
        Pius Avocado III RE: Mission May 8, 2013 06:52 AM

        They also eschew salt.

        1. re: Pius Avocado III
          dunstable RE: Pius Avocado III May 8, 2013 08:17 AM

          What? Really? That sounds excellent to salt-averse diners like me. I can imagine it affects the taste negatively, but it would be nice to eat BBQ without getting 2000mg of sodium in one meal. Phat Matt is now on my try-soon list!

          1. re: dunstable
            Pius Avocado III RE: dunstable May 8, 2013 08:35 AM

            "All of our rubs and sauce have no added salt due to the dietary needs of Phat Matt's wife. Our BBQ sauce is a ketchup based sauce, other than the corn syrup and salt in the ketchup, we use all natural sugars. We do not cook with any salt and believe that our food is so flavorful that you won't miss it!"


    2. kungful RE: Maya May 7, 2013 05:20 PM

      I have to put in my standard plug for Miss Genny. My favorite BBQ. I think it's better than Phat Matt or Brick Pig (your mileage may vary as BBQ is a very personal choice).
      Since you have a long lead time, I would suggest you get a two or three way plate with a couple of sides from each, and hold a taste off with the princle people for the party

      14 Replies
      1. re: kungful
        Robert Lauriston RE: kungful May 8, 2013 08:43 AM

        Previous post on Genny's Fire Pit:


        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          Maya RE: Robert Lauriston May 15, 2013 12:10 PM

          Yes, based on that post we tried Genny's and I LOVE some of it. The fried chicken, yams and mac n cheese are second to none in my opinion. Ribs were tasty too, but I wasnt too jazzed on the chopped brisket, and they didnt have pulled pork, which is one of my favorites. They also said that they now deliver, and their menu notes that it wil lbe "changing soon" - not sure what that means.

          It is basically IMPOSSIBLE to get hold of Genny's without going down there though, something I am not usually able to do, particularly because they need 15 minutes to fry the chicken and I'd love ot call in an order ahead of time. I am not sure how we're going to figure out about placing a large order.

          1. re: Maya
            twocents RE: Maya May 17, 2013 11:30 AM

            Genny's may be a place where it's worthwhile to ask for fatty end; I haven't tried doing that yet. The first time I went I had the fatty, moist end and the second time the leaner end, which still had good flavor but inferior texture.

        2. re: kungful
          shanghaikid RE: kungful May 17, 2013 01:50 PM

          due to a fire, Genny has lost their health permit to operate. message on window suggest it will take at least a month before reopening.

          1. re: shanghaikid
            Maya RE: shanghaikid Jun 15, 2013 04:11 PM

            Shanghaikid, Any update on Genny's? I can't reach them by phone (never could, though, even when they were open) and its a bit far for me to drive down to take a look. Any suggestions would be incredibly welcome.

            I've been spoiled for any other fried chicken and mac and cheese, and am hoping against hope that we can get a large order of both in late August....

          2. re: kungful
            Pius Avocado III RE: kungful Apr 10, 2014 09:02 AM

            Luke Tsai reports Genny's has reopened:


            1. re: Pius Avocado III
              kungful RE: Pius Avocado III Apr 14, 2014 11:32 AM

              I stopped in Sunday and picked up a two way ribs and brisket dinner.
              They are indeed back and in full swing. The bbq is just like it was before the fire. Even down to my one complaint about the place; that they don't cut the ribs well. Too many pieces of the cartilaginous ends and not enough long rib bones, but still my favorite bbq joint.

              1. re: kungful
                Robert Lauriston RE: kungful Apr 14, 2014 11:38 AM

                I think what you're complaining about is not the cut but the luck of the draw for your order. I usually order a full slab to avoid that.

                1. re: kungful
                  tex.s.toast RE: kungful Apr 14, 2014 11:51 AM

                  When you say cut do you mean which ribs you got off the whole slab or the way they are butchered before being cooked? it sounds like theyre serving whole (untrimmed) spare ribs which have both the long bone and adjoined cartilaginous rib tips still attached.

                  its a bit unclear to me whether you dont like the style (untrimmed spare ribs) or you object to the specific cutting here (the ratio of tip/rib varies somewhat from slab to slab but not that widely).

                  1. re: tex.s.toast
                    kungful RE: tex.s.toast Apr 14, 2014 04:15 PM

                    What I'm mildly annoyed by is the ratio of rib to tip. I always seem to get two or three rib bones and five or six pieces of the cartilaginous rib tips.
                    I think Robert is right, and I should just order a slab.

                    1. re: kungful
                      Civil Bear RE: kungful Apr 14, 2014 04:48 PM

                      I am sure it is by design. Ribs tips are cheaper and less popular than St. Louis cut ribs so it is natural that you would get more of them when ordering two ways.

                      1. re: Civil Bear
                        Robert Lauriston RE: Civil Bear Apr 14, 2014 04:57 PM

                        kungful's two-way was ribs and brisket, not ribs and rib tips.

                      2. re: kungful
                        tex.s.toast RE: kungful Apr 15, 2014 06:17 AM

                        so you ordered ribs and got (separately) ribs and rib tips?

                        1. re: tex.s.toast
                          kungful RE: tex.s.toast Apr 15, 2014 08:23 AM


                          Actually now I'm kinda wishing I had kept my mouth shut.....
                          I ordered ribs and brisket. I got ribs and brisket.
                          It's just that the ribs came with more ends than long bones, and I prefer the long bones.
                          It really isn't a big problem, the tips taste great, it's just a matter of personal preference....
                          Like I've been saying, It's really a minor point, and the main message should be: place is still my favorite bbq joint.

              2. wolfe RE: Maya May 8, 2013 12:18 AM

                How far is nearby? Slow Hand Pleasant Hill.

                1. d
                  dunstable RE: Maya May 17, 2013 02:55 PM

                  So we just finished our own BBQ catering, which was from Phat Matt's. It must be noted that their catering menu significantly overestimates the number of people that can be fed per portion. I bought what I thought was a double order of food. Instead it was half as much as was needed. We ran out of food literally in about ten minutes, thanks to which some people didn't get to eat at all. My boss then browbeat me for the entire meal (which, to be fair, is not Phat Matt's fault), and now I am hungry (which sort of is their fault). To be fair, they had no way of knowing that all the diners were going to be men with hearty appetites, but now that I think about it, it's a bit optimistic to assume a quarter pound of food would satisfy anybody. Some of the blame there is mine, I suppose.

                  Everyone seemed to like the food, anyway. The staff were very helpful when I was there, too. I have nothing bad to say about them except for the estimates on their catering menu for how much each portion feeds. Just keep in mind that if you're feeding mostly males with hearty appetites, you need to double how much you're going to buy, if you're following their numbers.

                  1. s
                    ShepherdBGoode RE: Maya May 17, 2013 08:03 PM

                    When I worked in Hayward, we always got our catered BBQ from Carmen & Family, on West A Street. They were a star in the galaxy of Flint's/E&J/Ernie Goode. We always favored their ribs and their chicken. Haven't been in a couple years, so my advice is to stop by and taste. actually, you want to do that anywhere you'd consider for catering. Enjoy!

                    1. Robert Lauriston RE: Maya May 18, 2013 01:36 PM

                      I was talking with somebody about BBQ yesterday and he recommended Elve's aka LV's. There are a few reports here, it has moved around a lot, current address is 3214 MLK in Oakland.

                      He also said the 19th St. branch of Looney's was much better than the others, the chef was serious about the BBQ, but that closed (now Marrow). So if that guy's cooking somewhere else it might be worth checking out.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        shanghaikid RE: Robert Lauriston May 19, 2013 05:17 AM

                        seriously doubted looney's Q was done at the 19th st. location. alameda's Q is trucked over from the main branch, i was told by the worker in the kitchen.

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