noisy, but nice, food was really marginal. The place for barbecue in Lafayette? It used to be. now the beef brisquet was dry, the sides consisted of cold potato salad was non a non starter, and there was nothing else in the bag when we brought the take out home after we could not stand the clatter in the dining room. It was not always like this. Although Bo's was not always the "normal' Lafayette restaurant , the food was really good, Bo appeared to take an interest in the place and it was fun to hear the jazz bands he brought into the East Bay. The last couple of times I have been there, the food was mediocure, the portions marginal, and not well prepared. Tonight they were out of Chicken, and the beef was so dry, it was almost inedible. Too bad for what was a very nice place to stop on the way home from tough day at work. A while ago, it appeared Bo wanted to make it happen.
Greasy, gristly, and overrated!. The famous brisket was good, although a bit dry, but the beef ribs were very greasy, fatty, and gristly. The pork ribs were small. All I wanted was some salt and pepper for my dry slab of corn on the cob but I was told they do not "offer" salt and pepper. They did bring finally me a pat of butter after asking 2 waiters for it. It also took 2 requests just to get water since they also did not "offer" any diet drinks. Make sure you bring cash cuz they don't take credit cards either. This place is for the birds. The dollop of potato salad was pretty much bird size too. They obviously don't have a Back Forty near Lafayette or they would be out of business.
Best Bay Area (and beyond) BBQ experience!.
Bo McSwine makes the best brisket in the galaxy. But he does it with real Bay Area foodie style. Slow smoked for 24 hours, it is moist, flavorful and has delectable "burnt ends." I've also not had better house made links anywhere else. Bo doesn't need to drench his ribs with sauce because he wants you to taste the meat! And his dry rub brings out all the natural flavor. The sauce (on the side) is great too.
Such world class BBQ comes with real San Francisco style bread - leave the white bread for ordinary "Que." And his succulent yams, home made potato salad and fresh mixed baby greens reminds you that you are in the birthplace of California Cuisine. Such fine fixings call for the best of microbrewery beers, California wines and eclectic soft drinks that the world has to offer. And Bo delivers it all with a smile.
All of this fantastic fare is served nightly with a (free) side of live top flight jazz. Bo gives back much to the local community and charitable causes. Even the local student musicians get a chance to play at Bo's BBQ.
So, don't let those other sour-grape reviews from writers with inflexible preconceptions dissuade you. Bo's is for real. Go eat at Bo's and you'll be happy you did.
Great CALIFORNIA BBQ. There seems to be a lot of criticism of Bo's not conforming to a "Southern" or "Texas" standard as far as side dishes are concerned. To these critics I say go find your beans and corn bread in the south or Texas if you're so rigid in your expectations. Leave us Californians enjoying California BBQ be, you're crowding us-we don't need your kind taking up what little sitting space there is at Bo's.
Bo's a Great Guy - The BBQ Ain't So Good.
I gotta tell ya, Bo's a congenial, great guy (and Bo was originally his son and not the owner), but the food does nothing for me. Ribs were flavorless, potato salad too sweet, sauce is good, salad dressing was good, french bread!?! come on, Bo!! It's BBQ! Where's the white bread, cornbread or hot rolls? I ate there about 3 weeks ago - how I long for some really good BBQ!!
Every beer you can imagine except Yellow Rose Bubba Dog or Buffalo Butt - all it's cracked up to be! But why not have just some simple Bud, Miller, Coors, Anchor steam! Opus 1 with BBQ?!?! You Californians slay me!! Go down to TJ's and grab a bottle of Two Buck Chuck, stuff a hundred back in your wallet.
Originally from Texas and eat BBQ in every city I visit just because I love it!! I'm an ol' dog and smoked plenty of bones myself. I've been to every major BBQ city in the US and had BBQ. The only REGION worse than California for BBQ is North Carolina. Bo, I know you've done extremely well and I'm happy for you, but don't try to do this in Texas or Memphis!! You might lose your 750i.
pity anyone who thinks this is good.
once you look beyond the "bandwagon", you will realize that despite the fact that this place is packed- it truly is not that good.
They are so arrogant there that they won't even give you salt and pepper. What a joke! Shouldn't a restaurant be about the CUSTOMER???
great food, seating difficult. I ate at Bo's on Feb 17. It was warm for a winter night (70 degrees that day) so sitting outside was not too terrible. The inside was packed and a bit loud with the band playing. The line was a bit long and there are no menus to look at while waiting. However, the food was excellent. I have tried many BBQ restaurants in the Bay Area and have consistently been disappointed. I'm happy to have found a good one with Bo's. The brisket was excellent-tender and flavoful. The ribs were very tender as well.
Bo's Knows. Don't go here if you are a homesick Southerner, craving southern-style bbq with a southern atmosphere, complete with all of the southern fixings. This joint is Bo's interpretation of bbq, done California style. Acme bread and light green salad replace the collard greens and cornbread. The brisket is melt-in-your-mouth amazing. On Saturday nights when the weather is nice, sit outside and dig the music while you chow down on gourmet bbq. And one more thing: the beer. From trappist ales to Jamaican brew, Bo's offers a killer selection of beers to please even the pickiest.
Bo himself is a delightful gentleman and he has created a wonderful atmosphere. Family and friends have been going there for several years. Everything is so good on the menu that it took me a while to finally order the brisket because it has never been good anywhere else that Ive tried it, including my own kitchen. The brisket has been so stellar that it is the only thing I order now and it has been consistently delicious. Not sure what the other reviewers are complaining about, BBQ is a regional cuisine and Bos interpretation is spectacular, just because it isnt what they are used to having in BBQ is no reason to not enjoy another, delicious, variation.
There is only one down side to the restaurant and it has nothing to do with the food, but rather with a certain type of customer. On occasion we have dined earlier than usual and people have brought in their children, definitely old enough to know better, who are apparently completely unfamiliar with rudimentary table manners and lack the ability to be pleasant and behave in a restaurant. Bos is not a restaurant that is geared towards children who are uneducated in social skills and unless they enjoy being in the company of adults and know how to eat with utensils this probably isnt a place you would want to bring your children.
ribs were dry - unspectacular barbeque.
I agree with the previous review that the food is marginal at best.
My wife and I went there last Friday for our first time, being that this was known as one of the top BBQ joints in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, it did not come close. The ribs were dry, basically it tasted it like they smoked/cooked the ribs very early and the day and then left it on the heat lamp. The servings for a full slab were not as large a portion as one would expect. The dressing on the side salad was the only thing that impressed us. Potato salad was ok and the slice of italian bread was dry as well.
You can tell they are rather stingy on their sauce since they put it in a little cup instead of pouring it on the meat. We've been to Everett and Jones in Jack London Square, Oakland and the portions, side dishes, and sauce is much better, it's worth the trip through the tunnel. I gather that people rave about Bo's since it's the only BBQ place in the suburbs of the East Bay besides Tony Roma's and Claim Jumper.
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