Atlanta’s loss is Emeryville’s gain as recent transplant Calvin Rouse III has joined The E’ville Eye staff as our resident food critique. Originally hailing from Sacramento, Calvin is a nine-year chef who’s worked at Whole Foods, A Legendary Event, The Fifth Group and as a chef for Food Network’s “Good Eats”. Calvin has catered at four Superbowls for Taste of the NFL, Atlanta Food and Wine Festival, personal caterer for Coca Cola’s SVP of North American Sales and even appeared on an episode of “Good Eats” alongside of Alton Brown. Check out his personal food blog, Cook Foto.
Calvin’s role will be to taste and critique the food spots of Emeryville and our surrounding area’s emerging dining scene (It’s a tough job …). Calvin’s first review is for Tanya Holland’s just over the border B-Side BBQ (Brown Sugar Kitchen’s sister restaurant). Read On!
B Side BBQ:
Using a quote from my friend Andrew Capron, “put a little south in your mouth”. In my short stint in living in the Bay Area, I have tried a few BBQ restaurants with varying degrees of satisfaction. After one visit to a particular BBQ joint, my 13-year-old daughter proclaimed she could make better mac and cheese. The same was not said about B Side BBQ…
Atmosphere: B Side is a small place with art honoring African-American cowboys who were instrumental in settling the old west by commissioned artist April Banks. There are a few tables, room to belly up to the bar and a few hi-top seats if you want to grab a quick bite. B Side also boasts a full service bar with bottled, draft beers and plenty of bourbon as well as whiskey. A wide array of soft drinks, house-made lemonade, calypso iced-tea and many others are available for the kids or designated drivers.
Food: Thus far, the closest to southern BBQ I have tasted. The Prather Ranch St. Louis ribs were excellent. They were tender, but not falling of the bone. I personally, like them like that. They came off the bone with little effort, had a hint of brown sugar, smoke and a tinge of heat. The side of mac & cheese was a good-sized portion. It was creamy, hot and the noodles were not overcooked. They were finished with a topping of buttery panko bread crumbs. Maybe I am not getting it, but I do not understand the pickled vegetables that are given as an accompaniment. I grew up in Sacramento, lived in the South for 12+ years and have had BBQ all over and have only seen that in the Bay Area, but I digress… You also receive a very large piece of Texas Toast with your meal.
Verdict: Very good BBQ, (best since leaving Atlanta) fun atmosphere (they have a Cowboy hat night), knowledgable bar staff, but a bit pricey. It’s still cheaper than some lesser quality BBQ joints I have been. Would I go back? Yes.
Calvin’s Rating: 4.0 Stars
Your B Side BBQ Rating: