We have yet another favorite hangout. B Side barbecue on San Pablo Avenue near the historic California Hotel. B Side is from Tonya Holland, of Food Network and Brown Sugar Kitchen Fame. B Side is named for San Pablo Avenue’s historic status as a barbecue thoroughfare in Oakland. The restaurant itself is a friendly and informal hangout.
They just started dinner service a month ago and they are already packed. The food is signature Tonya Holland. Interesting takes on barbecue classics. Pretty much all the dishes are served a la carte with the meats ranging from $6 for a small order to $12 for a large order. The sides are an affordable $4-5.
Meat: Our recommendation is to get the chicken wings no matter what. They are spicy but only slightly sweet with a delightful smokiness. They come with a blue cheese dressing that is delightfully restrained. While the wings are a standout, the pulled pork sandwich is best in class and a great value at $8 (like other meat dishes it comes with coleslaw/salad and pickled vegetables). So far we’ve gotten the dark and stormy ribs and they have the same smoky, spicy, sweet qualities as the wings. While the salmon is amazing, it’s a bit pricey at $12 for maybe 6 oz of salmon. And if they are on special, the burnt ends are TO DIE FOR. So tasty and surprisingly tender.
Sides: Pretty much everything is good, but the breads are mindblowing. The cornbread has a nice balance of salty sweet and bready while the ACME white bread is done Texas Toast style. I’m not a huge fan of the okra but it’s a great value at $5. The rest of the sides are uniformly good if not creative but the standout is the pickled vegetables. Holy cow are they good eating. A GREAT balance of salty, sour and a little bit sweet.
And speaking of value,the cocktails come in quart size mason jars! SCORE!
I’d highly recommend hauling your butt over because even though it’s full most nights, when people REALLY catch wind of B Side you’ll see Brown Sugar Kitchen lines. Tonya Holland maintains her consistency with this food and it’s become one of our go-to eateries.