The stretch of nice weather has had me (and others, apparently) thinking barbecue for lunch; I stopped by Flint's (is it Flint's or Flints, anyway?) on San Pablo in Oakland recently. They'd been out of their famed brisket the last couple of times I was there, so I was pleased to be able to order a brisket sandwich ($8.10).
The first bite I took was pleasing. But on the whole I would have to say that the meat was divided between "good to OK" and fatty and tough.
Perhaps I have not yet learned to fully appreciate molasses-based barbecue sauce. I ordered "hot". The sauce had that bitter/caramel molasses flavor, of course, but that seemed to be pretty much the only plane of flavor the sauce was working on, if that makes any sense. There was just a trace of heat, detectable mostly after the molasses had faded away. By the end of the meal the heat had accreted to create a definite warmth in the mouth, but I wouldn't consider it hot. (The same goes for Doug's up the street, incidentally--their hot isn't really hot either.)
Also, the sauce didn't seem to have a chance to really get onto the meat (blocked by a layer of liquid fat). Can't figure out if this was because the sauce was oily or the meat was fatty.
The potato salad was unremarkable.
Perhaps I just caught them on an off day, but I doubt I'll go back or do a scientific sampling--I'll probably just go to Memphis Minnie's instead.
By the way--my last two visits were to the same branch. I forget what I had the first time (I only remember it was unremarkable); the second time I had the sausage (intriguing smoky flavor, but kind of dry) and beef ribs (a bit dry on the outside, but otherwise tender).
bummer. I was hoping for greatness.