When Perdition’s brisket is good, it’s really good: butter fat and meat that falls apart. However, they do have a consistency issue - I’ve had dry brisket with chewy fat. I find myself at Perdition more because of their late hours, good beer selection, and their sides (they sometimes have a cauliflower or broccoli salad with walnuts, shredded carrots, and raisins that I adore).
Everett and Jones brisket with their spicy sauce is in my rotation. And, since I am a sides person, I have to give a shout out to their peach cobbler, sweet potato pie, and potato salad. I always order an extra side of potato salad, and like clockwork, the person behind the counter always tells me that it comes with potato salad already. Yes, I do mean 2 helpings!
Smoke has juicy chicken. Others have told me the tea smoked salmon is fantastic, but I eat so much salmon at home (we catch King salmon out of Half Moon Bay and silvers in Alaska), that I don’t eat it at restaurants.
The last two times I’ve been to T-Rex, the brisket was dry. I like their mac and cheese, but I don’t go for their BBQ anymore.
Smokey J’s on Shattuck has good hot links, but I can’t remember the other meats. It’s been awhile since I went there. Is there a Smokey Joe’s in Berkeley also?
Although not in Berkeley, I also like Phat Matt’s. I can’t decide if I like the brisket, pulled pork, or the hot links the best, so I get a 3-way. They have tri-tip there, too, but I haven’t tried it yet.
I’ve been meaning to try Brick Pig. I’ll have to put it on the short list.