I apologize for not writing until now. It’s funny how real life can get in the way of things. I’ve taken a new position that has had me on the road for nearly a month now. In fact, I am still on the road as I write this. The one advantage of being on the road is getting to check out new BBQ joints and restaurants. One place I had the privilege of checking out was Phat Matt’s BBQ in Oakland. In fact, I checked it out twice!
Phat Matt’s BBQ is owned by the husband and wife duo of Matt and Charlotte Gonzalez. Charlotte and I are friends both on Facebook and Twitter. So when I found out that I would be going out to the San Francisco Bay area, I let Charlotte know that I’d be making a stop. My first stop was on a Sunday where I met up with Bob Fukushima (LandarcBBQ on the BBQ Brethren). I noticed two things immediately upon entering: the sweet smell of smoke in the air (primarily oak) and the sense of being home. The décor of the restaurant is appropriate for the atmosphere, and you get a sense of local pride on display with the Raiders memorabilia.
I learned one thing immediately in my first dining experience: if you leave Phat Matt’s hungry, you did something wrong. I ordered a 2-meat combo of ribs and brisket (after soliciting advice from Bob), with collard greens and macaroni & cheese for my sides. When ordering the ribs, you can ask for no sauce, their original BBQ sauce, or their spicy BBQ sauce. I decided to go with the original BBQ sauce.
Here were my immediate observations:
- The seasoning used on the ribs and brisket does not contain salt. This threw me for a little bit of a loop, but the flavors worked. It was refreshing to eat something that was not salt laden.
- Their original BBQ sauce is absolutely, totally awesome!! It’s that good.
- Their sides are delicious. A creamy, cheese mac & cheese and perfectly flavored collard greens.
- The ribs and brisket were cooked quite nicely!
I also got to get a sneak peek at some pastrami that Matt was cooking up.
So I immediately planned for another trip out to Phat Matt’s the following weekend, where I was promised “the royal treatment”. Joining me for this excursion were Bob (LandarcBBQ) and Larry from The BBQ Grail as well as Scott from Lucky Dog Hot Sauce. And calling what I experienced today the royal treatment may be a bit of an understatement.
First up was huge MOINK balls. For those of you not familiar with MOINK balls, they are beef meatballs that are wrapped in bacon. The MOINK balls were served with a bacon BBQ sauce that could be equated to crack.
When it came time to order, I stuck with the brisket and ribs combo. When we all got our food, there was an additional surprise: a big beef rib. Like steak on a stick! I thoroughly enjoyed the ribs, brisket, and beef rib.
Then came dessert… first off, we were graced with pig candy two ways: maple flavored and chocolate covered. Both were absolutely tasty, but I preferred the maple flavored candy bacon.
And then came cookies. While these looked like ordinary peanut butter M&M cookies, they were anything but. The bits of pig candy in the cookies made sure of that.
And finally came the cobbler – peach and strawberry. Both were very tasty and yummy. I liked the strawberry cobbler just a bit better.
Needless to say, if you leave Phat Matt’s hungry, you did it wrong. Definitely make it a stop if you’re going to be in the Bay area. Let ‘em know that Big Wayner sent you!