e’d heard the story before, many times, and it never seems to have a happy ending: guy from (fill in the blank with the name of a non-Southern state) gets the idea toopen a barbecue joint, travels around the South checking out legendary joints, open his own place….The next sentence usually has the word closes in it. Well, Memphis Minnie’s turns that cliche on its head. Yes, owner Bob Kantor is from Brooklyn, not exactly the heart of barbecue country, and, yes, he did tour the South and Texas hoping to learn the secrets from the masters. And, yes, he did open his place in the most unlikely of unlikely places, in the heart of Haight-Ashbury in the heart of hippie heaven….And it still came out wonderful.Memphis Minnie’s was a hole-in-the-wall from day one. And proud of it. Because as all barbecue lovers know-and swear by-the best barbecue places aren’t much to look at.
Minnie’s isn’t much to look at, but boy, the surrounding neighborhood sure is. The sixties never escaped from the Haight, and that’s great. This may be the easiest place in the country to run over a pedestrian. They are totally oblivious.
Minnie’s takes the “Memphis” part of its name seriously. And it also takes the “Barbecue” part of its name seriously. This is seriously good barbecue. Brooklyn Bob learned from the masters, and he learned well.
The pork sandwich reminded us of something else from the sixties, that commercial where the guy said, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” We went into Minnie’s for a tasting and came out full.
RATING: As good as we’ve ever had. LOCATION: 576 Haight Street; (415) 864-PORK (7675). WEBSITE: www.memphisminnies.com
Real Barbeque – The Classic Barbeque GuideBy Vince Staten & Greg Johnson