BBE Editor's Pick
3303 San Pablo Ave., Oakland (West Oakland)
If you weren’t already hooked on Tanya Holland’s cooking at popular soul food haven, Brown Sugar Kitchen, you’ll be a convert at her new ode to ‘que, B-Side BBQ. Just like at Brown Sugar, Tanya’s African-American heritage and French technique (she trained at La Verenne École de Cuisine in France, after all) come into play at B-Side. French technique doesn’t mean the food lacks soul, however. One bite of St. Louis ribs or ridiculously good smoked brown sugar–rubbed brisket and the authenticity of B-Side is confirmed. Call it country-western gourmet BBQ for the Oakland set.
There’s no question: Start with smoked brown sugar rubbed brisket. The beef has an appropriate layer of fat oozing tender flavor into the meat, while both smoke and brown sugar add subtle campfire and sweet notes. Savory pulled pork comes slathered in traditional, hot vinegar, or Carolina mustard BBQ sauces—like a mini-road trip through various regions (sauce styles) of the South. Don’t forget a side of buttermilk cornbread.
Oakland families, couples, and solo diners with BBQ cravings fill the small but comfortable B-Side dining room. Exposed-lightbulb chandeliers illuminate white walls lined with old-timey photos of cowboys, families, towns, and rodeos.
beans to spill
Look closely at B&W photographs adorning B-Side’s walls and you just might see a familiar face. Yes, Tanya and Phil, West Oakland pioneers, are in the wall art—looking like they stepped straight out of a western.
Tue–Sat 11 AM–6 PM
$8 (pulled-pork sandwich) to $18 (St. Louis ribs)
3303 San Pablo Ave. (at 33rd St.), Oakland, CA 94608; 510-595-0227