The best barbeque in the Bay Area

Many people make claims that they know a place for the best barbeque. They believe that the spot they go to has juicier brisket, more tender ribs, better sauce, or has better flavor. Sorry to say, but if you haven’t been to Bo’s, you haven’t had the best in the Bay Area.

This was our first time dining at Bo’s. Upon walking in, you will notice an incredible selection of beers and beverages in two large refrigerators. They have a modest selection of white wines (about 8-10) and a really nice selection of reds. The red wines are on display on their counter. Opus One, Rombauer Merlot, Rombauer Zinfindel, and Grgich Hills Cabernet are a few of the choices. Wait…Opus One? That was my first hint that this place is a little different than the typical barbeque restaurant.

Four of us ordered two plates of brisket, an order of short ribs, and an order of long ribs. After paying, we got a number and settled in with a little cabernet – 2000 Robert Craig. This place is busy with both the inside seating and the outside patio packed. The atmosphere can best be described as “fun”. Everyone is enjoying a good glass of wine or a beer in the company of good friends. Don’t expect any long faces here – everyone seems happy.

Now, about the food… The long ribs are incredibly juicy. The meat just falls off the bone with flavor that just doesn’t stop. They don’t even need sauce, but Bo’s sauce is incredibly delicious. The short ribs were great as well, but I would recommend the long ribs as they are a bit more juicy. The brisket was tender and tasty. Nice smoke flavor but a really clean flavor at the same time. Bo only uses Niman Ranch meat. Niman Ranch! Niman Ranch meat is all natural, hormone free, and most important – delicious. Only the best restaurants use meat of this quality. No cheap Wonder Bread here; Bo serves up these incredible meats with Acme bread, sweet potato, potato salad, and beautiful greens. Everything is top notch.

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When we were done with our meal we caught the attention of Bo. When you talk to Bo, he speaks about food like chefs from the finest haute cuisine restaurants. He says that you need to “respect the ingredients” and “be grateful for the livestock.” He searched for the “finest bread” he could find and he gets his greens from “some great hippies in Petaluma” who farm their produce in sustainable techniques. You can tell that every detail of his restaurant is done with a lot of love. Bo does it right because he cares and he is passionate about what he does, even though he starts his day at 4:30AM. You can’t meet a nicer person. He adds that extra element to a restaurant that makes an experience perfect.

My small criticism of the restaurant would be that the desserts could be a little less sweet. We had a pecan pie and a sweet potato pie – tasty but a little too sweet. And finally it would be really great if Bo had his red wine stock in a wine cooler. Our cabernet was very nice but definitely too warm.

Overall, this was one of my best dining experiences ever. It ranks with many of my degustation meals I’ve had. Bo somehow has managed to elevate a barbeque restaurant to a perfect experience. It’s not a white table cloth experience, but it’s perfect in every sense. You can’t leave this place without feeling happiness in your stomach and heart.

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