Restaurants & Bars

Bitters, Bock & Rye: A bar with 'cue [San Francisco]

Spenbald | Oct 29, 201311:02 PM     2

Lots of buzz about this Polk Gulch bar that started a couple weeks ago as they were softly opening a new, expanded dining area. They are now offering a menu of house-smoked BBQ in addition to a handful of specialty cocktails. I stopped in for dinner and drinks prior to a GAMH show last week and was overall quite pleased.

Happy hour specials run from 4 until 7 and are quite good. Specialty cocktails are $2 off, All beer (drafts & bottles) are $1 off, and sandwiches are also discounted either $1 or $2 (can't remember as I didn't have one). I had a Smoked Jalapeño Margarita, which was nicely balanced, though the (smoked) paprika salt rim was gratuitous.

But let's get to the 'cue: I shared a three-meat plate with sausage, brisket (choice of fatty or lean, I chose the fatty), and pork ribs. All plates come with two sides, and we had collard greens and hush puppies, and opted to split an appetizer of mac & cheese (also offered as a side, but not all sides are offered separately). The mac & cheese came out in a mini-skillet and was beautifully creamy, though could have used a touch more seasoning. The meats were pretty good; the brisket shined best: beautifully smoky and fatty, as ordered. Sausage was well-spiced if not a touch overcooked, and the pork ribs suffered a strange duality of having an almost impenetrable bark with some decently moist and flavorful meat underneath. Collards had a great vinegary tang and the hush puppies were tender and flavorful, maybe leaning toward a touch too onion-y. Meats come unsauced, but a four-pack of housemade sauces arrives with your food, including (if I can piece them all together again) a mustard sauce, a NC vinegar sauce, a sweeter Texas bbq sauce, and yep, can't remember the other one.

Prices are reasonable, and the bar is well-stocked. Rumor has it they'll be brewing their own beer soon (you can see a couple of tanks in the bar area).

Eager to hear if others have tried this yet.


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