Ono Hawaiian BBQ brings the island to the mainland with tender meats soaked in made-from-scratch marinades. Chefs hand roll chicken katsu in panko bread crumbs to give it a fresh, crispy texture, and assemble generous portions of crispy shrimp, island whitefish, and barbecue chicken in the seafood mix.
Hand-rubbed with a signature seasoning, char-roasted over an open flame, and then smoked in the oven until the center reaches the perfect shade of pink. Buckhorn Grill’s certified-Angus tri-tip is not just the franchise’s signature item—it’s the reason behind its initial creation. After selling thousands of these tri-tip sandwiches at the Napa Chef’s Market, the founders knew they had something great, leading them to open the very first Buckhorn Grill in Metreon. That was in 1999; today, Buckhorn has expanded to nearly a dozen locations across California and New York.
At each location, chefs pile their perfectly charred and tender tri-tip atop half a dozen sandwiches, such as the Bacon-Cheddar Buck or the Roadhouse Buck topped with red ranch and blue cheese. They also use that same certified-Angus in their burgers, topping the 1/3-pound patties with everything from apple-wood smoked bacon and avocado to simple lettuce, tomato, and onions. Beyond beef, the eatery smokes its own sausage, slow roasts barbecued chicken, and even marinates and grills portabellas for vegetarians and finicky pet rabbits.
The cooks at Smokey J's prep handmade, slow-smoked barbecue dishes, making their own sauces and sausages in-house. They rub meats with brown sugar and a secret house spice rub. Pulled pork and brisket are slow-smoked for 12 hours in a medley of maple, mesquite, and whiskey barrel wood chips, and collard greens and baked beans simmer in a chicken and pork broth. Zesty spices and sauces augment many of the meats, such as the piquant North Carolina sauce and the house dry rub.
Johnny Cherry, the proven barbecue king, seasons the fare at Frank's BBQ and Seafood with his own special blend of herbs and spices, earning himself and the eatery a first-place finish in the Black Cuisine of San Francisco competition for 10 years running. He cooks up pork and beef ribs, sliced beef brisket, and chicken wings, all available in a variety of combos with sides such as potato salad and hush puppies. Not to be outdone, seafood dishes such as red snapper, catfish, and fish burgers sidle up beside the barbecue fare.
Margie—Frank's BBQ and Seafood's resident soul-fare specialist and fellow Black Cuisine of San Francisco first-prize winner—drops by every Thursday and Friday to whip up her down-home cuisine. Made from her grandmother's Alabama recipes, her entrees include smothered turkey wings, meatloaf, and oxtail, prepared with comfort-fare sides such as string beans and candied yams in the shape of a La-Z-Boy. On request, she can also craft homemade desserts such as cakes, peach cobbler, banana pudding, and pies. Frank's BBQ and Seafood and Margie's soul fare are also available for catering for any event.
The executive chef at Back Forty Texas BBQ Roadhouse and Saloon scripts a menu of authentic Texas recipes that pile plates high with tender meats and down-home sides. As diners stroll into the bright red roadhouse, noses sniff out smoky tendrils emerging from custom Southern Pride cookers where pork ribs, beef brisket, and barbecue chicken turn slowly for 14 hours, much like exceptionally sleepy astronauts.