Armed with a Restaurant.com certificate (which made dinner for two come out to a whopping $12), I finally got around to trying the brisket at Uncle Willie's BBQ in downtown Oakland -- and I agree with those on this board who have said it's one of the very best renditions in the Bay Area -- not super smoky, as others have noted, but moist, awesome mouthfeel, and nice amount of fattiness.
The real star, though, was the hot sauce, which was flat-out amazing, maybe the best I've ever had. A nice complex heat without being inedibly spicy (I'm a relative lightweight in that respect). It got me thinking, is there a better housemade hot sauce in the Bay Area?
For me, the "death by chilis" ("la si ni") at Old Mandarin Islamic, which might loosely be categorized as a "hot sauce," is too spicy to be enjoyable. On the other hand, if you consider a salsa to be a kind of hot sauce, then I think the habanero salsa at Poc Chuc would be another contender, though for me it wasn't quite as memorable as the sauce at Willie's. I also really like the XO sauce at Hong Kong Flower Lounge. Are there others that I shouldn't be missing?
(And, not to hijack my own thread, but besides the brisket and the hot sauce, is there anything else even worth eating at Uncle Willie's? Greens were blah; mac and cheese practically inedible. And my wife's fried shrimp "sandwich" -- if you can really consider it a sandwich when they hand you two slices of generic sandwich bread inside a plastic baggy instead of actually assembling the thing for you -- was a pretty sad plate of food.)
Hong Kong Flower Lounge
51 Millbrae Ave, Millbrae, CA 94030
Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant
3132 Vicente St, San Francisco, CA 94116
Uncle Willie's BBQ and Fish
614 14th St, Oakland, CA 94612
2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103