At the new location of Oakland’s Double D BBQ restaurant, it’s not just the digs that are different. Unlike in the old days, when the brisket was just boiled and dumped in sauce, or previously frozen, the brisket here makes a fine meal, says abstractpoet. “I thought it was as smoky as any I’ve had in the Bay Area. The brisket was quite tender, but not falling apart, with some nice burnt edges and a good amount of fat.” The tomato-based sauce is tasty but mild and won’t satisfy those who like heat with their ‘cue.
Brisket tends to sell out by afternoon, so go at lunch. Also, meats and sides are now sold by weight. Brisket, the most expensive, is $15 per pound.
Over on International Boulevard, Rue Jackson sets up his stand in the parking lot of Big O Tires around 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. His motto is, “If it ain’t fallin’ off the bone, leave it alone!” That left his meaty spareribs overdone to Melanie Wong’s taste, but “that’s a style preference,” she says. “Nice smoke tones and a bit of grilled char, not penetrating into the meat.” Another part of Jackson’s philosophy is that too much salt dries out the meat, so he doesn’t use spice rubs. His homemade barbecue sauce is velvety, with “just a little sweetness balanced by enough acidity,” and not much heat.
A $10 rib dinner includes half a rack of spareribs, wheat bread, baked beans (not too sweet), and potato salad (“a classic style with sweet pickle relish, a tangy lift, and some crushed and cubed potatoes”). He also has chicken dinners for $8.
Double D BBQ [East Bay]
1240 First Avenue, Oakland
Rue Rue’s BBQ and Seafood [East Bay]
9801 International Boulevard, Oakland