CATHEAD'S BBQ SOUTHERN INVASION OF SAN FRANCISCO CONTINUES
I'll admit it, I'm from the south, and though I haven't lived there in decades I still have a bit of an accent, especially after talking to my father on the phone. And being from North Carolina one thing we love in there is barbecue, specifically slow-roasted, smoked, pulled pork with vinegar seasoning--NO SAUCE. Recently there has been a spate of new barbecue cooking restaurants opening in the city and I'm trying my best to try them out and see if any live up to my memories of home cooking. (Mostly so far its been hit or miss but these days I just try to judge the food itself instead of the memory.) Thus my journey to Cathead's BBQ which has taken over the old Nate's BBQ joint (which was good but he has retired).
The interior hasn't changed much except they have nice long wood tables to sit at now plus you can sit at the bar and eat and watch them cook, which we did. It was a Saturday night around 7pm and it was busy, I'm guessing word has gotten around. I decided to go with the pulled pork combo plate with mustard slaw, (I subbed out the baked beans for) collard greens, a mini biscuit and some pickled carrot cauliflower medley.
Right off the top the pork was delicious. It was tender, juicy, a slight hint of smoke and melt in your mouth tasty--one of the better ones I've had in the city. There is no sauce on this pork--but you do have your choices that are sitting on the counter of mustard based (ok), a Coca-Cola thick tomato based sauce (tasted odd) and a habanero based sauce (good but way too spicy). After tasting them all I went with the natural flavor of the pork which to me as the best option. The collard greens were also some of the best I've had. They were tender without being mushy and I didn't need to add any extra salt, pepper or vinegar as they were perfectly seasoned and just a tad tangy which I like. The mini biscuit was good but a bit too small for me to get a full taste, I will have to get the full sized one (as big as a cat's head they say) next time. The pickled cauliflower and carrot side was a delicious surprise, originally I was dubious but whatever they've done works. It was tangy and sweet and crunchy and I only wish there had been more. The only downside to the whole meal was the mustard slaw--it just was not good. The spicy mustard overwhelmed any flavor from the two types of shredded cabbage and carrots and when you tried to mix it with the pork it again was the dominating flavor. It's one of the few times that I just didn't like it enough to finish--that's right folks I left a large chunk of food on my plate--yeah I know starving kids in Africa and what not but it wasn't good. I suggest getting the beans or one of their other sides, but skip the mustard slaw and skip the habanero slaw which the S.O. had--it wasn't good either. Hopefully they will try a better recipe somewhere along the line because good barbecue like this needs good slaw.
Outside of that I really liked the food here and while eating we watched them slice up a brisket which made my mouth water and definitely had me making plans to return for that AND the large size of the biscuit. So go and get your meat on or better yet--they actually do delivery until 7pm--bonus!! I'm picking up the phone now.