Perdition Smokehouse CLOSED 2050 University Ave., downtown, (510) 900-5858. L W-Sun, D daily; $$. No reservations.
Woodsy and dark, this restaurant specializes in authentic Texas-style barbecue. California asserts itself with ingredients from humane family farms that don’t use hormones or antibiotics. The interior features roomy wood booths and communal high tables in a wide-open room. In the back, an outdoor beer garden with picnic tables is pleasant in good weather and entertains with a movie running silently on a wall. Diners enter the order line queue past informal “walls” of wood logs stacked for use. ‘Que is ordered at one counter and beer at another (more than 40 American craft beers are on tap). Service is attentive and friendly. Portions are large but the menu is short: smoked meats (brisket, pork shoulder, hot links, St. Louis pork ribs, and chicken) and sides (meaty cowboy beans, greens, mac & cheese, coleslaw, potato salad, and broccoli salad). A few other miscellaneous items and sweets round things out. You can order meats by the pound or by the plate, which includes two sides, bread, and housemade sweet pickles. A variety of sauces are on the table, including a tasty spicy sauce (my fave) and a South Carolina mustard sauce. I enjoyed my plate of tender, meaty ribs and cowboy beans but needed to spice up the bland potato salad. It went well with a Magnolia Blue Bell Bitter. My dining companion wasn’t as happy with his chicken, which he considered too dry, or coleslaw, which was pink.
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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers