**MERCIFULLY THIS PLACE CLOSED QUITE QUICKLY. IT WAS PRETTY TERRIBLE**
It's Saturday night and I've talked the SO into venturing up into the Castro to try out a new barbeque joint that opened there near 18th and Castro. They don't seem to have a website yet but here's a link to their menu. Since I'm constantly on a quest for good pulled pork I zeroed in on the pulled pork plate and chose collard greens and cornbread as my sides. While the prices are not listed on the menu link above this dish was $15, which I thought was kind of high in comparison with most other bbq joints in town where this kind of dish hovers around the $9.95 to $12 range, but I took the chance hoping for homestyle portions to match the price. Sadly this was not the case as you can see from the picture above. Served on a silver tray there was a small mound of the pulled pork, an even smaller pile of collard greens and two little cubes of cornbread. Ugh..where do I begin to cover the litany of problems there was with this dish beyond the small overpriced portions.
First off the collards while at least done were way too sweet, almost as if they added sugar to them, which is sad considering they used bacon to cook them with but that and all over flavors were masked by the cloying sweetness. I've never thought of collards as dessert but these could have passed as that in a blind taste test. Next we have the cornbread which came out room temperature at best. I asked the server if they could please re-heat them (TWICE!) but each time they just brought me 2 new pieces at the same room temperature. And then I had to ask for butter to put on them but that was ice cold and only served to break apart the cornbread when I tried to spread it on. Alas, even the butter couldn't help these dry squares wtih limp jalapeno added in the mix. Cornbread should be served hot so the butter melts creating tasty goodness--any cook planning to do Southern food should be able to accomplish this--blindfolded.
Finally we get to the pork, sigh, I've from North Carolina and have been eating pulled pork for over 40 years so I feel like I know what's good and what isn't, and please believe me when I say--this isn't. It was a wet, mushy, grey, fatty mess of pork with only the barest hint of a smoke flavor. There was no texture and it looks like it was left sitting in whatever juice they cooked it in way too long causing it to be soft. On top of that it was not served hot as the menu claimed--more of that room temp stuff which is probably why the fat in here was a little gelatinous. Again I asked twice to have this heated up and all I got at best was lukewarm. And the "bbq sauce" side they served with it was just awful, thank god they didn't put it on the meat. I use the quote markes because while it was sauce it wasn't bbq. It was an herby, sweet, tangy more Asian dipping sauce that made both mine and the SO's taste buds cringe. Whoever in the kitchen thought this tasted good when they whipped it up should be fired--this sauce was an affront to all barbeque--everywhere.
Lest you think mine was the only meal with problems it wasn't. We were next to two other tables and both of them sent their spare rib orders back and I asked them what was wrong--they said they were overcooked and tough, they couldn't even get the meat off the bones. One of the tables also said their stuff came out cold and they sent it back a few times. You'd think with all the problems the manager would have been all over it but the one I saw seemed to be wandering around in sort of a daze and only one of our tables got a visit from him though he should have checked in with all of us. Who knows maybe the servers didn't say anything to him about the rest of us and at that point I didn't really care I just wanted to leave. Desserts be damned--I wasn't having any of it.
Granted this place hasn't been open that long and could use some time get their act together but I won't be waiting around for that time. There are too many other good bbq joints in town (and others still to come) for me to waste time hauling over to the Castro for high prices and bad food--the Southern in me is truly appalled.