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Restaurants & Bars 9

Pulled Pork, Burnt Ends and Brisket at Sebastopol’s BBQ Smokehouse

Melanie Wong | Dec 22, 201005:17 PM

My first (and most recent) posting on the BBQ Smokehouse in Sebastopol was in June 2009 when I tried the ribs and chicken. Last month I was back to give the brisket a try. The menu’s far more extensive now with an array of daily specials, including a smoked New York steak sandwich, teriyaki tofu, rib tips, and special order smoked turkeys and hams for the holidays. A wine list with many selections by the glass matches wines to specific menu items. I was almost distracted by the steak, but stuck to my brisket mission.

The brisket was offered as burnt ends or slices, only as a plate, no sandwiches. To try both, I had to order a Two-meat combo. Before I placed my order, I made my server guarantee that it would be juicy and not dry. For my sides, I picked mac n cheese and cowboy beans. The meaty beans were full of flavor and were not overcooked. The mac n cheese, made in a refined style with a light, white cheddar saucing, featured toothsome elbow macaroni. The terrific cornbread was even better with the honey butter.

Chef Vito was not on site, but earlier he had explained to me that the brisket is smoked for 14 hours, then served with jus. Here’s a photo of the sliced brisket, doused with jus, dusted with paprika and topped some lightly pickled sliced onions.

The buttery tender brisket was just delicious with the smoky, French-inspired jus. While squeeze bottles of three different sauces were on the table, I preferred this as is without any other sauce. The texture might be a little soft for some, but it wasn’t falling apart, and made me think of the best pot roast I’d ever eaten. A little too much untrimmed fat on the rim, but the fatty marbling shot through the meat was ultra-flavorful and harmonized well with the sweet, light smoking. The pickled white onions made a nice counterpoint to the richness of the beef.

The fattier point cut of the brisket is turned into burnt ends. After smoking, the point is cut into chunks, roasted further and then tossed with and baked with sauce. The ends tasted great but some of the pieces were over-roasted, lost their fat, and verged on stringy.

But all in all, this was a fine BBQ brisket showing, if idiosyncratic.

I had the pulled pork in July 2009, as shown here.

Then the pulled pork sandwich was $7.95 and served with side of Texas slaw and housemade bread and butter pickles. The bread was soft and kind of mushy, but that’s how many BBQ fans like their buns. All good, great in fact. Tender but not too soft texture, the smoky pork was blended with a little of Vito’s red sauce and I perked it up with some of the vinegar sauce to bring it closer to Carolina flavor. I tried a strawberry lemonade, $1.50, including one refill, that was a little too sweet.

Any recent experiences to report?

BBQ Smokehouse
6811 Laguna Park Way, Sebastopol, CA 95472

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