Sneaky’s: Good BBQ in SF

22 Aug

BBQ preferences can be a touchy subject, like pizza, with a lot of regional style preferences that make it hard for people to agree on what’s good.

When I lived in New England, I far preferred Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington to Redbones in Somerville, which I know shocks some people. And in the Bay Area I loved Doug’s in Emeryville (now closed, sadly), like Everett & Jones in Oakland and Gorilla BBQ in Pacifica a fair amount, but don’t like Memphis Minnie’s or Brother-in-Law’s (and the succession of replacements in the same space)  in SF.

There’s a new challenger, though– Sneaky’s BBQ is by far my favorite in San Francisco proper and one of my favorites in the Bay Area.

They do a Carolina-style most dry-rubbed BBQ with sauce on the side. To be more specific[1], the central/coastal South Carolina style I’ve found I prefer, with thinner, vinegar-based red sauces and a yellow mustard sauce, not the thick, sugary/sweet Kansas style.

I went here with a friend and we naively split the “four meat + four side combo”, getting pulled pork, brisket, spare ribs, and pork belly. Far too much food, but we took about half of it to go.

The pulled pork and brisket were both phenomenal– perfect flavor and texture, light on the spice. The pork belly induced an instant-meat-fat coma (though it was too rich for me to want more than a few bites of it), and the ribs were good and a dry-rubbed style and solid pork-chop-like texture (though not the wet falling-off-the-bone style that some people prefer). Both of the standard sauces were very good as well, and they also brought me a side of the hotter sauce (also excellent) and smoked jalapeno paste (less spicy and with a more nuanced flavor than you might expect from the name).

Oh, right– we got some sides, all decent but not outstanding (mac and cheese, collards, cole slaw, beans). The meat was really the star here and the sides were just a way to cleanse the palate or subdue the heat.

Very highly recommended.

[1] I had to consult Wikipedia for the regional differences within South Carolina: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbecue_in_the_United_States

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