Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in the Bay Area
In another thread, “sfchris” mentioned that Dickey’s had opened several franchises locally.
I checked the corporate website and was stunned to find that there are 15 locations in the SF Bay Area, whoa!
Sunnyvale, coming soon
I’d be interested in hearing how well any of these specific *Bay Area* branches of Dickey’s represent North Texas barbecue and compare to the original location in Texas.
My one experience with Sonny Bryan’s in Grapevine (north of DFW)
Opinions about Dickey’s nationally on the Chains board for other locations,
Well, I had some hope reading the thread on the Chains board that some other locations have gotten better with time, more experience, breaking in the smoker, etc. Most of the ones out here are pretty new though some have been around longer.
Last year there were some positive words for the one in Saratoga (actually San Jose) Westgate West mall,
I found this 2010 post interesting, "I recently tried the newly opened Dickeys BBQ in PLeasanton and was pretty disappointed. The meat did not have a very smokey flavor and there was no bark on the outside of the meat. I later came to find that they use a "high pressure" smoking method that supposedly allows them to finish meat that would typically cook for 12-18 hours in 1 1/2 - 2 hours. "
That Sunnyvale location is in a traditionally doomed location that has housed a couple very nice but short-lived restaurants in the past. Given the lack of enthusiasm here and elsewhere, and the overall odds against chain barbecue being any good at all, I'll wait for that one to open rather than venturing further afield. My North Texas reference points are Sonny Bryan's in Dallas and Angelo's in Fort Worth, but those were many years ago.
Based on our Dickie's/Pleasanton experience, just another so-so chain. We did like their fried okra, however. But we're biased, so few places offer okra :(
We did a BBQ crawl in Berkeley earlier this year, comparing KC, Smoke, and Everett & Jones (University Ave. location). KC won hands down, but E&J does have that tasty fruity BBQ glaze.
A few months later we did Sauced in Livermore. Pulled pork tasteless/dry, brisket chili overly sweet with no heat. St. Louis baby rack pretty to look at, but no proper chew, little smoke. Brisket very, very dry. Sausage good, would come in second to KC, whose sausage won top honors with us.
What's worth getting at Sauced are the chicken wings. The winner by a full body length, or at least a tummy's width. Well-seasoned before cooking but without sugar or excessive salt, they were roasted to a good medium brown. They maybe could have been pulled off the heat 2-3 minutes sooner, but they were still good. Great flavor from a rub or seasoning blend, with a crisp dry-flour coating, light and tasty. We don't like the heavy crusty batter-coated style that is currently popular. If we lived closer we would drop in just to get these for take-out.
Sauced's BBQ sauces are reasonably tasty, but these wings don't need 'em. They are fine just as they come, unadorned and ready to eat. Oh, and the service is cheerful and enthusiastic but sloppy - VERY sloppy. You really have to remember what you've ordered and be ready to flag the waitstaff down to correct errors.
Dickey's does a lot of advertising on digital TV. I always assumed they were just another chain. Correctly it seems.
Have been to all 3 of the Berkeley BBQ's recently and agree that KC is the King of the Hill. Sometimes their pork is just so sweet. That family has some BBQ skills. A coworker related to the KC folk used to make great BBQ for office picnics. I was introduced to KC in 1976 by co-workers at my very first full time job.
Went to the CV one a few weeks ago. One guy at the register taking orders, one guy who was supposed to be making up orders, and one girl serving drinks and running orders to tables. Spent about 10 minutes listening to the 2 guys talking about what they were doing for the weekend, while 3 groups waited to order. Finally got my order in (slab of ribs to go.) 15 minutes later, they had the order ready (and I think the group 4th behind me was hearing about the guys weekend plans.) Ribs were OK; good but nothing special. Can't comment on sauce; I passed on sauce to go as I had some at home (and was packing up for a trip, so was going to eat at home.) Will likely look for some other place for BBQ when I don't have time to do it myself.
I've tried Dickey's in Mountain View. Each time the ribs have been painfully over-salted, whether that be in the rub or the sauce. The brisket was acceptable. I've had Dickey's in Dallas (near the Knox Street Apple Store) as well and am just not terribly impressed. I've had better BBQ in Texas at places like the Baby Back Shak. I was hoping my Dallas experience was a fluke, but having given Mountain View enough time to get over any teething issues, I don't think it was.
The dickeys within the dfw metroplex are inconsistent which is a surprise because I heard this was Ross perot's favorite. As far as chains go, I'm partial to sonny Bryan's. That being said I thought I knew good BBQ until I went to Austin. The central Texas BBQ is on another level(not salt lick either).