+

2 Places

Expand Map

2 Places

Melanie Wong | Aug 30, 202011:02 AM     3

Long ago in 2002, one of our early chowdowns was a round-up of barbecue from all over the Bay Area.
https://www.chowhound.com/post/east-b...
https://www.chowhound.com/post/melani...

One of the favorites was Carmen & Family's from the Hayward original location, besting its Fremont spin-off. While it took me a long time to return, I have been back a few times in recent years, including last month in support of black-owned businesses, and can offer this update.

In 2014, I finally made it back and took this photo of Miss Carmen who was about 84 at the time. She started the restaurant in 1979. She is originally from Jamaica. Despite what has been repeated elsewhere, I asked and she told me that she never worked for Flint's in Oakland. We had a nice chat.

The restaurant has a sign that take-out orders cannot be consumed on site. When my to-go box was handed to me, I asked if I might enjoy one rib while fresh from the smoker. Miss Carmen said, "Don't touch that box. I'm going to make you a sampler." And instructed her staff to bring me a taste of everything I had ordered. Great housemade beef hot links and succulent ribs, plus long-simmered greens. The sauce has a lot of red tones and is not as dark and dusky as Flint's so I disagree with those who find it similar.

And the cornbread doused with butter.

When Miss Carmen asked if I'd tried her jerk chicken, I had to confess that I'd missed that memo. Previously only available on Saturdays and in short supply, it took me till 2018 to sit down to this plate. Though I found the breast meat on the dry side, the jerk seasoning and especially the wood smoke influence made this special. Traditionally jerk chicken is grilled/smoked but that's not often seen in our area, making this a rare find. The jerk chicken is now available every day.

Last month I was back at Carmen's where a patio was open for outdoor seating. Inside ropes demarcated social distancing spacing for the line-up to order at the counter for take-out.

Once again I ordered the spareribs and hot links. But after the 45-minutes in transit, these did dry out a bit. Moral of the story: eat them on site for best results.

Carmen & Family Bar-B-Que
692 West A Street
Hayward, CA 94541
(510) 887-1979
Mon - Thurs: 11am-8pm*
Fri - Sat: 11am - 8pm*
Sun: 11am - 8pm*
*Covid Hours

Home Carmen & Family BBQ

www.carmenandfamilybbq.com
Carmen & Family Bar-B-Q
Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

Discussion Summary

More from Chowhound

How to Make Your Sugar Cookies Taste Better
Guides

How to Make Your Sugar Cookies Taste Better

by Amy Sowder | Sugar cookies often look prettier than they taste. Now that's not right. With cookie season well under...

Christmas Cheesecake: The Most Wonderful Dessert of the Year
Explainers

Christmas Cheesecake: The Most Wonderful Dessert of the Year

by Jen Wheeler | At Christmas time, there are cookies galore, but true dessert lovers still crave something more substantial...

11 Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes for the Holidays
Recipe Round-Ups

11 Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes for the Holidays

by Vanessa Simmons | Christmas cookies, holiday cookies, winter treats—whatever you want to call them, they used to be...

13 Perfect Christmas Desserts That Aren't Cookies
Recipe Round-Ups

13 Perfect Christmas Desserts That Aren't Cookies

by Jen Wheeler | Christmas cookies are one of the reasons to love the season, but holiday desserts do not stop at the...

Trending Discussions

2

What to do with a big, frozen salmon?

Updated 10 hours ago 15 comments
4

Favourite Taco Recipe

Updated 22 hours ago 21 comments
5

December 2021 DOTM – TAMALES

Updated 2 days ago 27 comments

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.