Is there any truly excellent barbecue in San Francisco? Restaurants and pop-ups have their fans, but the Bay Area has never been known as a barbecue destination. And yet, BBQ-loving Chowhounds eagerly anticipate the opening of each new joint, even scanning restaurants’ pre-launch blogs and Facebook pages for photos that might offer clues about the pitmaster’s chops.

It so happens that Hi Lo BBQ, a brand-new spot in the Mission, has already won a fan in local Southern-food lover mikeh. Hi Lo’s brisket is the best he’s had in the Bay Area, even better than some he’s had in Texas, at respectable spots like Rudy’s. The “black pepper bark,” oak/mesquite smokiness, and moist texture are textbook examples of Texas brisket. And while the red sauce is also expertly prepared, it seems a waste to put it on already perfect meat. Meanwhile, possumspice adds a thumbs-up for takeout and friendly service. And fresh-brewed sweet tea has just the right amount of astringency to perk up the flavor.

Hi Lo BBQ [Mission District]
3416 19th Street, San Francisco

Discuss: Hi Lo BBQ is open! [SF]

Photo from Hi Lo BBQ / Facebook

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