Well, first off, no pictures. Bummer. But this thread is about some revelations I have recently had in regards to BBQ in the Bay Area. I have eaten some very bad BBQ over the years, over-cooked to the point of falling apart, undercooked to the point where I wondered if they even knew how to cook, boiled and steamed...and always over-sauced.
Over the past year, I have come across three BBQ joints that are serving what I consider to be good BBQ. Meats that are properly cooked by people that care and are confident enough in their products to serve them with the sauce on the side as a condiment, not slathered over the meat like a blanket.
I don't do reviews and have never Yelped. But, Paradise BBQ in Castro Valley is cooking up some excellent pork and links, worth the drive just for that. Great American BBQ puts out a really good meaty brisket, cooked to tenderness with an excellent bark and nice smoky flavor, the brisket sandwich will bring me back there again and again. And finally, Phatt Matt's BBQ in Oakland. The biggest surprise for me was that they cook without any added salt, yep, no added salt, in any of their rubs or sauces. I just had a terrific meal there and brought home more than I ate.
I now have three locations, three distinct styles, that I know I can hit up when that BBQ jones rises too late for me to fire up the kettle.