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Restaurants & Bars

Sometimes it pays to listen to the chef--Johnson's Barbeque

mikeb | Jun 22, 200204:23 PM     27

I am always looking for a good place that has good barbeque, pork ribs in particular. As I live in San Francisco, I usually go to Cliff's or in a pinch Big Nates. In my previous experiences I found Brother-in-laws overated and Leon's not good. My experience with Minnies occurred at an large event in Golden Gate Park, which didn't impress.

I missed the BBQ taste-off, but took it to heart. I'm going to give Minnies another chance...at the restaurant. I also intend to cross the Bay Bridge to expand my BBQ from just one visit to Everett and Jones in Berkeley. I think that it's a shame that the tasters didn't have a chance to try either Cliff's or Armadillo Willys. After reading all the posts concerning the taste-off, the one place that really stood out for me was Johnson's. I hadn’t even heard of it--San Bruno Avenue isn't really on my way to anywhere.

I dropped by at 7:30 on Wednesday night and ordered a full slab, which would give me leftovers for the next day's lunch and then some. It comes with three sides and costs just over $20.00. I ordered it hot as I normally do. Mr. Johnson asked me whether I was sure that hot was how I wanted the ribs. I assured him that it was. He pointed to friend of diminutive stature and suggested that he had been over six feet tall before he'd tried Johnson's hot ribs. I replied that his friend's predicament was unfortunate, but I'd try my luck.

When I got home, the ribs were still as warm as I got them. They were good-looking pork ribs; the sauce was all over them as I had forgot to say to put it on the side. I began to eat.

Let me first say that the sides were nothing special. I enjoyed them, but I wouldn't go an extra distance for the potato salad, coleslaw, or beans. The ribs looked good and to begin with tasted good as well. The problem was that they were really hot. I like hot and spicy food. And I like to think that I can handle any hot and spicy food, but this stuff was really hot. The rubs were juicy and smoked, but I was having real trouble with my sense of taste. As my mouth was going numb I was recalling Mr. Johnson's advice and considering the award that he has posted in his shop for his Thermonuclear Ribs. I drank a lot of water and ate a fair bit of vanilla ice cream that night.

I'll be going back to Johnson's, very soon. When I do go I think that I'll consider ordering ribs with the medium hot sauce.

Johnson's Barbeque
2646 San Bruno Ave
San Francisco, CA

(415) 467-7655

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