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There are a number of threads about Smoking Pig in San Jose but none about Fremont. The fremont location is better situated, has a larger beer selection, is easier to find, and has two MONSTROUS SMOKERS the likes of which I haven't seen (they're about 15" tall).
The location is on Mowery near Paseo Padre. It's a converted other restaurant of some sort (not a denny's per se but something similar). The inside is nicely wood re-paneled, has a huge stage and nice music system, a big square bar with lots of TVs, a seating area away from the stage.
They seem to have music, no cover, either on thursday / Friday, or Friday/Saturday. They do a classic "first set at 8:30, second set whenever we get around to it." The band I heard was an excellent small blues combo travelling from Florida, they've also got people like Ron Thompson in.
On to the food. What I liked about SJ Smoking Pig when I visited and wrote about it was the excellent brisket. Since then, I've travelled to texas eating over 20 different BBQs (although not some of the classic places near Austin), and hit a few of the well regarded places in North Carolina. In the bay area, we've had Smokestack and Perdition and a few other places open.
Based on my sample last night, I think I need to sample this place a bit more --- but I'm encouraged. I think I liked Smokestack and Perdition a bit better - tenderer meats.
The style they're doing doesn't have a lot of smoke. It's not a trail dust kind of place. I didn't get the brisket, which was the star of a previous SJ visit, "off the high side". That'll be the test. It's partially all about the sauce, although the taste of the meat is quite good. But --- the sauces are as good as I've had anywhere. I had the burnt ends, which were more like massive chunks of bacon, and the ribs, which could have been more tenderer but I liked the meat taste.
What I remember about the SJ Smoking Pig was a level of irregularity, like a pulled pork that was quite dried out. I'd like to sample more of their wares, over a longer period of time.
But if I was in Fremont, and wasn't in the mood for indian or chinese, the well appointed location with solid beer list would make a "let's stop by" --- and I'll keep an eye on the music list, even though I'm not a blues fan. The wine list was amusing too --- it looks like Travieso has done a custom blend for SP.
Prices were fairly reasonable - I think it was $55 for two after tax before tip, including beers.
The place is clearly a labor of love by the guy who was clearly the owner, whatever his name was, who greeted many people and was hovering about, passing the tip jar for the band. He literally got me dancing on the small dance floor, which is easily the first time in 15 years that's happened.
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