Gator’s Back Porch BBQ rights the wrongs of the chef’s other restaurant, Dollie Marie’s, says lifelong Southerner and recent Bay Area transplant mikeh. Whereas Dollie Marie’s is middle-of-the-road Southern food fancified with a nice atmosphere for a high price point, Back Porch offers “high-quality, from-scratch casual Southern barbecue and sides,” at good prices.
The “back porch” is actually a tented area at the back of Dollie Marie’s where the meats are smoked. These include chicken, honey-glazed brisket, leg of lamb, ribs, and hot links. That brisket is melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the honey glaze is excellent, but it also reveals the kitchen’s bias toward sweetness over smoke, mikeh says. Sides include red beans and rice, collard greens, mac ’n’ cheese, pineapple coleslaw, and red potato salad. The collards are wonderfully silky, but the mac ’n’ cheese is kinda flat.
Still, the brisket and collards are winners. Who knows, the Back Porch may eventually take over the whole restaurant. All meals come with cornbread: one meat for $10, two meats for $12, and three meats for $14.
Gator’s Back Porch BBQ at Dollie Marie’s [Peninsula]
1602 South El Camino Real, San Mateo