The radical philosophy at this friendly Haight Street place is that good barbecue is not about the sauce. You read that correctly. If you’ve been smothering your meat in barbecue sauce, you’ve been doing it all wrong. Real Southern-style barbecue, the pitmasters at Memphis Minnie’s will tell you, gets its flavor from seasoning and the smoke generated during the low-and-slow cooking over burning logs or coals. That’s why at Memphis Minnie’s the on-site meat smoker works 24/7, and the delicious smoky aroma hits you before you open the front door. The menu reads like a finger-licking road map around the country’s barbecue hot spots: Texas-style beef brisket cooked 18 hours, smoked fried chicken, smoked pastrami, St. Louis–style ribs, and Cajun andouille sausage. The pulled pork is so tender and flavorful, you’ll be amazed you ever ate it any other way or dared to cover it with sauce. Pair your meat with a few homemade sides such as coleslaw, mac ‘n’ cheese, and pit-smoked beans, and you’ll see Memphis Minnie’s is a change-the-way-you-think-about-barbecue experience.
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