Downtown Livermore now boasting authentic barbecue

Travis Danner
OPINIONS/MANAGING EDITOR

Vegetarians should proceed with caution.

There’s a new BBQ restaurant in downtown Livermore and it is a temple for worshipers of all things carnivorous and boozy. Sauced BBQ and Spirits (the name a play on both the restaurant’s generous helpings of BBQ sauce and what one becomes when indulging in too many alcoholic beverages) has filled a gaping hole in Livermore’s culinary scene and has quickly become one of the city’s best places to pig out.

The first thing one may see as they approach the entrance is a true mark of barbecue quality — piles upon piles of firewood to impart the rich smoky flavor that distinguishes real barbecue from poor imitations.

As one gets closer, the smell is overwhelmingly strong and the sense that good food awaits is undeniable. Once you step inside, the decor is proper to the cuisine. It’s as though you’ve walked into a barn, or the world’s largest meat smoker. Plus there are TVs for anyone looking to watch just about any sporting event going on in the entire universe.

Service was quick and attentive and the server was eager to share his recommendations.

As an appetizer, I had “hand grenades,” homemade jalapeno poppers with cheddar cheese, cream cheese, pulled pork and BBQ sauce. Delicious.

My entree was a two meat combo with two sides. I chose beef brisket (which was so-so), and pulled pork (which was rich, flavorful and tender.) On the side was cornbread which had, unbelievably enough, real corn in it.

The star of the meal for me may have been the squash casserole side dish. It’s reminiscent of the best thanksgiving stuffing Tri-Valley Eats Sauced BBQ & Spirits 2300 First Street Suite 120 Livermore, CA 94550 Mon-Wed: 11 am-11 pm Thu: 11 am-12 am Fri: 11 am-12:30 am Sat: 8:30 am-12:30 am Sun: 8:30 am-9 pm saucedbbqandspirits.com you’ve ever had. Unreal.

Each table has four distinct sauces a diner can add as they desire. My personal favorite was “georgia gold” a tangy mustard sauce that complimented the pulled pork beautifully. Also on the table was “tin roof,” a basic BBQ sauce, “hot tin roof,” a spicy variation and “pig candy” a sweet tomato BBQ sauce.

In addition to sauces, Sauced has an awesome selection of beer both in bottles, on tap and (in the case of the Pabst Blue Ribbon tall can) in a paper bag.

Also available is their humongous listing of whiskeys, which number somewhere near one-hundred (I lost count), there is one feature of the bar which was mind-blowing. Sauced has whiskey on tap.

Whiskey. On tap.

This is an amazing technological advancement in alcohol delivery.

As I’d already spent a fair amount of cash and I wanted to maintain a somewhat professional demeanor, I did not partake. Alas, another day.

The price was a tad steep, even during happy hour: $40 for my entree, appetizer and a beer. But the experience was worth every penny. I’ll be back soon as soon as possible.

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