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San Francisco Bay Area

Frank's Bar-B-Que (Novato)


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Frank's Bar-B-Que (Novato)

Mick Ruthven | Jul 27, 2008 07:46 AM

Frank's Bar-B-Que has appeared at the Thursday morning Marin farmers market for a long time, and now Frank has a real restaurant. I went there for lunch yesterday. It's a quite large space with the open kitchen and smoker on the left side and uncrowded tables in the remainder of the space. The service was quick and friendly, and Frank came out to "work the room" during my stay. I had the Mardi Gras Pork Ribs plate ($13.50) with cole slaw and beans. These were the "spare ribs" (my assumption) and they also have baby backs and beef ribs. OK, this is real barbecue, no doubt about that. The four large and meaty ribs were nicely smoked, pink inside from the smoke, and not over-smoked or harsh in any way. The meat wasn't "falling off the bone tender" but required a bit of chewing (that's a good thing), although maybe a bit too much chewing sometimes but that's being very picky. They were good barbecue ribs, period. The beans were good (a bit sweet which I like), not the best I've had but good, and the cole slaw was also quite good. Will I make it a regular stop? Regrettably not. I just plain didn't like the rub he put on the ribs. I didn't like the aroma or the taste of it. I realize this is a very personal thing, and Frank sure likes it and I'm sure others like it. Frank calls it his "green rub" and it contains rosemary, oregano, and tarragon plus other spices. To me, it just didn't taste like barbecue "should taste" to the point that I found it unpleasant. I had a similar but not as strong reaction to the sauce (on the side by my request). I really can't describe the red sauce well, except that it didn't do much for me at all and, again, wasn't what barbecue sauce is "supposed to be" to me. Again, a very personal thing. Barbecue fans, please check out this place for yourselves.

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