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The Presidential @4505 Burgers & BBQ - Divisadero [San Francisco]

The Presidential $85 feeds six with all meats/all sides/all fixins.
4505 Burgers & BBQ opens at 10:30 am today. Line forms to the right. Temporary tables outdoors at 705 Divisadero.
Call 415.231.6993 for to go orders.

Breakfast today: shared 2-meat: brisket and pork shoulder; potato salad, Frankaroni, pickles, sliced onion & a Parker House roll. Iced tea. Three sauces on the table; white-red-mustard vinegar cayenne.
Half rack of pork spareribs to go.

Frankaroni - how can you spell l-o-v-e? Hot and melty and deep-fried; macaroni and cheese and chopped 4505 hot dog.
Potato Salad; perfection, good straight ahead balance of potato-mustard-mayo
Brisket; good smoke ring, love the fatty side, moist and tender.
Pork shoulder; shredded, moist, doesn't need any of the good sauce(s).
Bread & Butter Pickles; crisp and crunchy delights.
Parker House roll; warm and buttery.
Sliced onion; nice counter-point.
White Bread; a must-have.
Pork Spareribs (to go) nice bark, heavy rub, quality cut, toothsome.

"Best Damn Grass Fed Cheeseburger" is my next order.

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  1. That is a jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring photo.

    1. Here's the line today at 7:15p. Before waiting I asked what's sold out. Brisket, spares and pork gone for the day. Bye for now!

      1. Breakfast?!! You are a true BBQ warrior.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dordogne

          lol. had my training at Franklin BBQ in Austin TX - waiting in line at 9 am, I was #3. when they're sold out - that's it for the day.
          Eat breakfast like a king, eat lunch like a prince, and eat dinner like a pauper.

        2. Great reminder to go to this new-old place. Is there room at tables to eat there?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

            tiny counter inside with a few seats. temporary tables outdoors in the parking lot. walk one block to Alamo Square with your take out order.

          2. "4505 Burgers & BBQ opens, quickly establishing itself as a Divisadero hotspot" Inside Scoop SF

            1. I tried the brisket, pork ribs, baked beans, and potato salad. Perhaps I caught them on an off day, I found the brisket rather dry. (Though I did get one good bite of the fattier end.) The white sauce and mustard sauces were very good and pretty much the same as what I've found in the South. I used some to moisten up the brisket. The Parker roll was also dry save for the buttered top. The baked beans were fine if a bit sweet. I enjoyed the pork ribs, they were nicely marbled and the seasoning balanced well with the smoke. I also liked the potato salad which was exactly as Cynsa described. I've had their burger a few times at their stand and it's great, so I would go back for the burger and the ribs. I can definitely tell the meat itself is of high quality, hopefully it was just a fluke, but I'm in no rush to go back.

              1. For the quality of the ingredients and the variety of dishes, the Presidential is a good value. Everyone gets a big rib, a large parker house roll, lots of salad, and a sample of each main and side. That's enough to satisfy six adults, but groups with large appetites may want to order additional food. A trip to Bi-Rite for ice cream is definitely in order for any group.

                Despite the smell of barbecue several blocks away, the smoke doesn't overpower the flavors of any of the high quality meats. The meat didn't need sauces and, it being my first time there, there wasn't enough meat to play with them anyway. They were good dips for fries-- the red sauce has a subdued chili and cumin flavor and the white sauce is flavored with coriander seed.

                Ribs: dense meaty flavors with different high points along the length of the bone. No sauce desired, this is fantastic gnawing material.

                pork shoulder: only items with lots of heat spice. The shreds retained their moisture so this wasn't saucy.

                smoked chicken: Great and not dry. I can't recall the cut of meat, but this has a lighter smoke then a smoked chicken breast I ate at Smokestack in Dogpatch, and is better overall.

                mild sausage : umami rich and juicy

                brisket : dry, the only disappointment of the meal. We went the same night wanderlust21 posted, so it sounds like we had the same batch. That said, you'd probably need a large portion of brisket than the Presidential supplies to appreciate it.

                Coleslaw: strong celery seed component. Very good

                Potato salad, baked beans, and pickle were all great and simple.

                They do a good job at deep frying too. Even after sitting in our take-out bag for 45 minutes, the Frankaroni and the chicken nuggets stayed crunchy and not at all greasy. The tallow fried french fries are delicious, and need to be eaten right away.

                They have a good root beer on tap too. Tasted like sugar cane and has a nice acidity. The spicing is more rounded than aggressive, so it's a good complement to the food.

                I'd be curious to hear what people knowledgeable about BBQ have to say (aside from the above posters), but the food here struck me as solid except for the brisket. Unlike defunct Hi-Lo BBQ, whose menu had lots of seasonal ingredients and more experimental flavors, 4505's emphasis seems to be technique and more straightforward, but high quality, ingredients.

                1. Pulled pork was the best thing I've had here so far. The sandwich is a good value. Only downside is they put what looked like generic yellow mustard on the bun. Not something I like with my bbq. Good bun though. Reminded me of Nopa's burger buns.

                  In fact, if you're not really into mustard, mustard seeds, you might have trouble here.

                  Pork Ribs were tender with a perfect smoke ring, but tasted a little more like a Chinese sparerib than what I'm used to from bbq.

                  Parker Rolls were very buttery.

                  Mac n' Cheese isn't a very original idea, but it's tasty. The hot dogs weren't very noticeable.

                  Mustard Sauce tastes like a spiced honey mustard. Not my thing.

                  BBQ sauce is a vinegar based sauce without much if any spice. I didn't notice if they had a thicker, sweeter sauce like a Sweet Baby Ray's that used to be traditional for our region. Brother's was notorious for a soupy wet ketchup-y based sauce I don't think anyone misses.

                  1. Had the 3 meat (brisket, ribs, sausage) with two sides (fries and baked beans) to go last night, plus a side of the Frankaroni and bag of chicharrones. Except for the fries and the chicharrones (and ribs maybe) I thought everything was pretty lackluster.
                    Brisket had plenty of smoke flavor but was mostly dry and tasted overwhelmingly of salt. Same for the sausage, except the sausage lacked the smoke element. Ribs actually were my favorite, dense, light smoke flavor. Sauces were all fairly generic. Fries fried in tallow were very good, nice beefy flavor. Baked beans were ridiculously sweet. The two pickle slices were good, nice sweet/vinegar balance. Frankeroni - lots of velveeta flavor but not much else, couldn’t taste any hot dogs in there and wasn’t really crispy – not enough flavor for the calories. Chicharrones were excellent as they always are.
                    Place was packed around 7:00 so people seem to like it. Either they are packing them on based on their burger reputation or I have different standards when it comes to BBQ, because I thought this was all pretty C-grade stuff.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sunnyside

                      I was really disappointed in this place .. like that old joke that the food wasn't very good and they don't give you much AND it seemed way overpriced, to me. Thought the brisket ok, pork rib less than ok, didn't care for the cole slaw, potato salad average. Definitely did not like the sauces, not one was spicy. The red one was sweet with no kick. The only thing I did like was the Parker House Rolls (wish I had the recipe! I tried making them once; I'll have to keep trying).

                      Will NOT be back.

                    2. Finally made it out to 4505 today. Split a brisket, spareribs, and spicy sausage combo with the Mrs. Thought is was pretty good restaurant quality Q. loved the bark, smoke and seasoning in the brisket and ribs, but they dried out a bit from eating them outside on a windy day. Portion of brisket was all from the point.

                      Was also impressed with the perfectly cooked sides: fried mac, fries, and Parker roll. Sauces were okay if not standard: SoCarolina mustard and vinegar sauce tasted exactly of mustard and vinegar. The red sauce labelled sweet and thick ala Memphis style was actually savory and thin ala Texas (no heat though).

                      Couldn't quite get a definitive answer on the processes though. Was told they think the gas powered Southern Pride smoker is enhanced with hickory and then the food is held at a lower temp in an oven that uses oak. I did see a bunch of almond stacked along the side of the building.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Civil Bear

                        Recent article on sfchronicle.com describes the wood and process used at both 4505 Burgers & BBQ and at Smokestack at Magnolia. I definitely must try both of them.


                        1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

                          You might wait on 4505 until they get their patio situation worked out. It is not only basically eating in a parking lot right now, but there is no coordination between inside and outside to speak of. We were told there was a long wait for the patio, so we got our food to go, but we could have gotten seats in the time it took the food to arrive (you have to hover and grab, no one is managing it). We took the food up to the park a block away but I had to down my beer quickly; they wouldn't give me a cup for it. I suspect it all suffered from being eaten out of a paper bag on a windy bench, but it would have been only slightly better on site.

                          1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

                            Odd that there's no mention of the historic pit on 4505's site. It's not in use yet, but that was one of the motivations for locating there. And Smokestack uses sous vide in addition to smoking. Here's my photo of the meats in the immersion circulator.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                              I dont get why it would be odd - whats their motivation to get the (finicky im sure) old pits in operation when they have lines out the door waiting to eat their much more easily produced meats made in a Southern Pride (which is essentially an oven with a smoke feature).

                              1. re: tex.s.toast

                                I hear ya on that. But I still have hope that they'll fire up the old pit (and that they'll get better at making bbq). The website still says:
                                "We invite you to join us at our new restaurant, 4505 Burgers & BBQ! Equipped with one of the area’s last remaining historic wood-fired barbecue pits, we’re serving the meaty fare at Divisadero and Grove, 7 days a week."


                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                  To me that's just straight up deception - it would be like opening an olive oil company with a centuries old stone press (that didnt function) and using chemical extraction while advertising that you were "producing on a site with ancient and historically significant genuine heritage all stone presses." Seems like their marketing skills outstrip their bbq skills.

                                  1. re: tex.s.toast

                                    Yeah, now that I've been there a few times, I have to say that, in my opinion, while it is certainly an improvement over Da Pitt, it is not a significant improvement over other fancypants Bay Area BBQ joints. Don't get me wrong, overall I like it, but it certainly is not worth waiting in a long queue, though I have never had Prakhabar's problem.

                                    1. re: tex.s.toast

                                      The site is still under construction. I'll wait until the build out is done to see if the pit is back in action.

                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                        I wonder if they are using the original pit to hold the meat as described in my post above.

                                        1. re: Civil Bear

                                          They aren't using the old pit due to the fact that it had to be vented and brought up to date is what I have heard. They left it in place for show and are relying on gas fired smokers.

                          2. Those rolls are the only things I really liked; wish I had the recipe.