Just off the plane and checked into my hotel on a Monday night in San Francisco. Stuck without a car, and not wanting to figure out the public transit just yet, I decide to stay in walking distance. Being a daytime tourist trap, the Fisherman’s Wharf area is pretty light when it comes to late night options. Applebee’s, Subway, and In-N-Out top the list. Don’t get me wrong, I love a Double-Double, grilled onion, protein style, but if I’m traveling, and blogging, then it needs to be a little more special.
After a bit of googling, I landed in The Pub BBQ, a BBQ bar with a late kitchen tucked away to the corner of Ghirardelli Square. It’s a typical dark wood paneled pub, but with BBQ. Quiet, with only me and a couple of locals, but it’s a Monday and there’s few tourists in February.
Deciding on a pint of whatever I didn’t recognize on tap, I found 312 Urban Wheat, a nice light cloudy heff from Chicago. (I may have to look up the brewery next month when I’m there.)
Considering this is a BBQ place, and not too touristy looking, I opted for the pulled pork sandwich with a side of tater tots.
Good, crispy, hot tots with house BBQ sauce for dipping. Very different BBQ from any I’ve had before. It’s apple cider tangy, sweet, heavy in the catsup and almost overwhelming celery salt, but not much molasses. Not quite Carolina style, but still worlds away from dark Kansas City sugary stuff. The pulled pork is served on toasted sourdough (this is San Francisco and Boudins is just around the corner). The pork is smokey, juicy, and tender, with a soft, but dark bark. Clearly this is prepared right and not just simmered in a crockpot. The pork is thoroughly tossed with BBQ sauce. Not sure if it was the same sauce as with the tots, but if so, it totally transforms on the meat. There also a house hot sauce, with the tang of Franks Red Hot, but some nice smokey flavors too. It blends really well with the BBQ sauce by adding heat without wrecking the flavor.
My only regret? It’s a beautifully clear night in the city and I forgot my camera and tripod.
Overall probably the best I would have found for late night dining without a guide. Next time you’re in San Francisco, step away from the generic seafood on The Embarcadero and try The Pub BBQ. Just don’t forget your chocolate soda upstairs.