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San Francisco Bay Area

Barbecue: let's dispel some myths


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Barbecue: let's dispel some myths

Hollow Leg | | Jul 1, 2007 12:23 AM

Let's dispel some myths about barbecue.

First, ribs are not barbecue. Barbecue is pork shoulder, or if you're from Texas, beef brisket.

Barbecue is slow-cooked, preferably in a pit, at least overnight. If it doesn't fall apart, it's not barbecue. If you need a knife, it's not barbecue. Grilled meat is tasty but it's not barbecue. What most of us call "barbecue" is "grilling".

Barbecue does NOT come pre-sauced, ever. The sauce should be in a ketchup squeeze bottle on the table, or in a little container if your meal is to go.

Sauce composition depends where you're from. Around the Mason-Dixon line it's primarily vinegar based...further south it gets more tomato-based and much sweeter. It's usually not thick and smoky...smoke comes from the meat, not the sauce.

Memphis Minnie's is not barbecue. Everett and Jones is terrible, and it's not barbecue either. Even the place that used to smoke meat in old oil drums under the gas station canopy on Old Oakland Road in San Jose isn't barbecue (though it was tasty).

The only place in the Bay Area I've found that cooks real barbecue is Great American Barbecue Co. in Alameda. The pork shoulder and beef brisket are both fully legitimate, the sandwiches are huge, and the sauces are exceptionally tasty and not too sweet. (I prefer the medium, but they're all mostly the same.)

As has been said, it's really easy to miss the place. Drive over the High St. bridge and it's literally the first thing on your right. Their signage sucks...I drove by it hundreds of times before I noticed it was there.

No, I don't work there or have anything to do with the place. I was just happy to discover a place that served real barbecue after being disappointed so many times by places that claimed to but didn't.

Anyone know any other places that serve real barbecue?

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