Bad Bay Area Barbeque

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Foodies all over the Bay Area have complained frequently that you can’t get several seemingly simple dishes around here. They would include:

A good, authentic pastrami/corned beef sandwich

A great thin crust, New York-style pizza (many say it’s the water)

Pinkberry (though I’m not sure it’s worth the hype since I’ve never tried it)

Good BBQ (Memphis, Texas, South Carolina, OR Kansas City style)

Sure there are BBQ joints in the Bay Area, but not many are worth returning to or authentic. My husband has tried a few around here (he’s from Kansas City and lived in Memphis for many years), some foodie friends have tried a few, and I’ve only tried a couple.  But none of us have been impressed with any of them.

I have to add Memphis Minnie’s in San Francisco to that unfortunate list.

My husband and I took some friends of ours who moved here from Texas. Needless to say, they were dying for some good southern BBQ. And…we didn’t find it here.

We ordered an array of ribs, pulled pork, and brisket to try, along with a big basket of fries. When we were debating what to order, we had some enthusiastic regulars suggest several items highly. It seemed promising at first…but things went south from there.

There were three different kinds of sauces at the table. We tried all three before getting our food and we should have ran after that. One was way too sweet, the other too watery, and another that just tasted strange. We weren’t impressed.

And things didn’t change after we got our food. Though the quality of meat was good all around, the flavor was all wrong. My husband commented that he didn’t understand why one of the sauces was supposedly “South Carolina” based, the ribs were “Texas-style,” but the joint was called “Memphis Minnie’s.” And that basically summed up our experience. It was a mess of flavors and strange, unusual taste combinations.  Overall, it was very poorly executed.  And parking in the Haight was no picnic either.

But the worst part was having that awful MSG dry mouth for the rest of the night after our meal. The only highlight was the surprisingly friendly service. At least they have that going for them.

Avoid this place at all costs. If you’re really desperate for something, try the local chain Armadillo Willy’s. Even their BBQ is more authentic than Minnie’s.

Memphis Minnie’s - 576 Haight St., S.F. – 415.864.PORK

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