Giving Ribs Their Soul Back

Bay Area foodie reviews Baby Blues BBQ

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    NEWSLETTERS

    God bless soul food.

    Baby Blues BBQ bills itself as a “hybrid” barbecue restaurant: they serve a Memphis-style rib alongside sauce from North Carolina. Not hailing from the south, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Tennessee and Carolina barbecue, but if it’s anything like what Baby Blues BBQ serves, I can tell you that it’s delicious.

    Located right between San Francisco’s Bernal Heights and Mission districts, Baby Blues BBQ has only been around for a couple of years, having first established itself in Venice Beach before moving up north. When I visited, I had already heard rave reviews about its mac n’ cheese (or what was endearingly described as crack n’ cheese).

    The wait was long when I arrived with my group; in fact, we must have waited a good half an hour before we were seated. I didn’t mind; the crowd was fun and the staff was super friendly. We enjoyed a couple of beers and perused the menu until we were seated.

    I chose the Texas-style beef rib, which comes with a choice of three fixings. I went for the cornbread, collard greens and mac n’ cheese.

    The ribs come covered in a dry rub, and there are spicy sauces on the tables to dress things up if you like some heat to your meat. I dug right into my Flintstones-sized rib and the tender beef practically fell off the bone, to my delight.

    I was a little disappointed in the mac n’ cheese – the noodles were a bit mushy and the sauce wasn’t very flavorful. I fully admit that I am in the minority when it comes to my opinion of Baby Blues BBQ’s mac n’ cheese though. The collard greens were good but not excellent, but again, this is a matter of personal taste. I like my collard greens with a hit of vinegar; these were more spicy.

    But let’s talk about the cornbread. Hands down, this was the best cornbread I’ve ever tasted. It was fluffy, moist, sweet, and just about every adjective I can think of to describe perfect cornbread. It was the stuff cornbread fantasies are made of. Seriously, I cannot overemphasize how delicious this cornbread was.

    Baby Blues BBQ is a great spot for a fun, casual and heavy meal. (Did I mention the portions are huge? No? Well, they are.) If you’re looking to get your fill on southern-style barbecue, you’d be hard pressed to find a better option in the neighborhood.

    Mariam Hosseini is a Bay Area native who has been writing about food and travel for six years.  She blogs regularly at yogurtsoda.com.