Black Bark BBQ
Chef David Lawrence (1300 Fillmore) and his wife and business partner Monetta White (a Fillmore native) are intent on bringing back the tradition of barbecue to their beloved neighborhood. After years of research, travel, recipe testing and remodeling Black Bark (the smoky exterior of slow-cooked barbecue) is open at 1325 Fillmore Street at Eddy. The dining room is modern and bright with seating for up to 56 guests and the open kitchen provides a glimpse of the very impressive indoor BBQ pit. On warm days there is additional seating for 15 in the patio and beer garden.
Photo by Gamma Nine
Lawrence brought on barbecue expert Edith Cheadle from Dallas to consult on the menu. While not focused on any one particular style Lawrence’s and Cheadle’s menu leans toward Texas with dry rubs and also looks to the Carolinas and Kansas City for inspiration. According to Lawrence the barbecue that inspired San Francisco's style was originally imported from the South, as workers traveled West to work in the shipyards. "San Francisco has always been the wild wild West and that's how its barbecue has developed," said Lawrence. "I want to have my own style, with a dry rub. It's a Texas-style brisket with a San Francisco sensibility." In addition to brisket there are ribs, a half chicken, hot links, pulled pork, turkey legs and a rotating pit master special. Sides—many of them based on recipes from Cheadle—include baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, collard greens and sweet potato fries just to name a few. Of course the best strategy is to order a couple of meats and a side or two to make a plate. There are also a variety of salads to balance things out. Be sure to try Lawrence’s take on a Carolina mustard sauce that he's dubbed "California Gold." Black Bark BBQ is open daily for lunch and dinner, closed Tuesdays.
Photo by Gamma Nine
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James is a food writer and Bay Area chef who owns and runs a private dinner party and cooking class business specializing in regional Italian and Spanish cuisine. See CookWithJames.com