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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!

Castro Valley
Morgan Hill
Mountain View
Pleasant Hill
San Bruno
San Jose
San Ramon
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,

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  1. We have eaten a lot of great BBQ in Texas-- mostly near San Antonio, Austin and Lexington.

    DH has eaten at the Dickies in Elk Grove just south of Sacramento. He was not impressed.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dimsumgirl

      None of those are North Texas where Dickey's originated. But thanks.

      (P.S. I envy your Tx chowing!)

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        I've never tried Dickey's in Texas, but I have had other BBQs in Texas.

        Re Dickey's in Bay Area, I've tried one in Pleasanton, and not impressed with the quality / food.

    2. I've never been to TX, but I went once to the Dickey's in Fremont back in 2008 & the food was pretty bad. Pulled pork sandwich was dry, mac & cheese very boring & not cheesy.You do get FREE soft-serve ice cream, & that was just average. Haven't been back.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hhc

        I was telling someone that they give you the free soft serve to help you get the taste of the food out of your mouth. I tried a location near austin and one in upstate NY. ribs/brisket/pulled pork all pretty gross.

      2. Thanks for starting this thread, Melanie... and I'm sorry that it appears (so far) that Dickey's is a bust. 4505 meats is taking over the Brother in Laws smoker on Divisadero and so I suppose there's always hope that someday we will get good BBQ out here....

        2 Replies
        1. re: sfchris

          >4505 meats is taking over the Brother in Laws smoker on Divisadero<

          I look forward to seeing what they do with that smoker.

          1. re: sfchris

            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. "

          2. I've tried Dickey's at a mall in Nashville, and at a strip mall here in Vegas -- brisket both times.. The former was just OK, the latter, nasty. Fall-apart tender, but just doesn't taste like real BBQ.

            1. 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.


              1. 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.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jaiko

                  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.

                2. 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.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jkyas

                    The problem with this place is that you don't smell any smoke outside. The ribs doesn't have the smoke ring and texture is like it was boiled and then grilled. The brisket was a tad dry and no smoke flavor.

                  2. 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.

                    1. tried them out a few times at various locations in contra costa, not memorable. am sure the meat was dry. forgot if it was brisket or ?

                      the potato salad or was it mac/cheese ? wasn't memorable either.
                      tasted referigated.

                      1. 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).