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Pete's BarBQ
2399 Mission Street/20th St., SF
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Pretrial hearing at Uptown
6/8/01

Guest Judge Kesseau

The BBQ of Pete was delicious in as many distinct and remarkable ways as my companions Judge Turner, Judge Vardigan and The Judge McClure were stupid from too much jus. The dinner of chicken, for $5.40 American dollars, was not only non seulement but enough sustenance to feed a man as vigorous as myself. It comprised a chicken of 1/4, moist and tender, with or without the sauce du BBQ, and arrived with a rustic beaked potato cooked in a furnace and overflowed with the butter. It arrived also with your choice of the green fresh salad, the salad of bean, salad of potato de terre, the salad of macaroni, and some other salad with too many to mention. Also a fresh dinner roll of expansive proportion. I licked my lip and dabbed them each one with every bite of the succulent meet.

The strange judges Turner and McClure had the combined plates of ribs and chicken, and ate until all that was remaining was their fingers and swollen bellies. Sadly, Pete does not have a toilette and The Judge McClure is weak with a cane. When dinner made magic in him, he lurched from the table and strived for the closest bar, more than 3 blocks away. 10 minutes later he had conquered only one block, limp limping like my old grandpa Pierre with his infection of flexible sac. More hours passed and we arrived at the bar in silence. Does the inside of such establishment always smell so of the urine and why are we all like a funeral, I say? BE QUIET NOW says Judge Turner and I see The McClure is red as a punished bottom. VAYA BBQ OF PETE!!

Guest Judge Kesseau

 

Turner

Pete's BarBQ is not a BBQ. Nor do they serve barbecued food. What they serve is rotisserie cooked meat, with "barbecue sauce" on it. While I personally (for religious reasons) feel it should be illegal to call a place a BBQ when it clearly is not, that doesn't mean you can't get a decent meal there. Just be aware that you WILL NOT find true BBQ there. No smoke. No wood. No fire. Not even charcoal.

That said, Pete's is all right if you're looking for a cheap stuffing. Guest Judge Kessleman (who insisted we call him The Bucket Mender) brought Pete's to our attention. Repeatedly. Incessantly. In several languages. Those of you familiar with The Füd Court Forum might know what I'm talking about. We finally agreed to dine with him, in public even, largely to stop the harassment. His costume and French characterization were a pleasant surprise.

The decor is "folksy" at best, and a "rat hole" at worst. But hey, if you're after cheap grub you can't expect starched tablecloths. And I've certainly dined happily in more modest places. If a skewer of chickens is leaned up against the wall in the corner, just turn a blind eye. I ordered the chicken/rib combo at the counter (with BBQ sauce!) and worked my way down to the sides section. Got a baked potato, a big hunk of bread, and some multi-bean salad. That set me back around $9, and the Coke put me over $10. Quite a bit of food. A couple ribs (beef, I guess...) and a quarter-chicken. The ribs were not too bad, slow-cooked and fairly tender. The BBQ sauce was passable, of the sweet and slightly spicy variety. The chicken, however, was quite good, as rotisserie chicken is likely to be. Juicy and falling off the bone. Skip the other stuff and get the chicken. Bean salad, bread, potato? Who cares? They were fine.

If you're on a budget, not a high-society type, and pretty hungry, it might be worth your time. Did I mention that it's not a BBQ?

 

Vardigan

As my fellow judges pointed out, Pete's is not really barbecue. Which may be why they spell it "BarBQ." This is misleading. But it didn't irk me much, because what I got was quite satisfactory, and cheap as hell. This is a quality American dive. For $5.40 before tax, I ate a quarter-chicken, baked potato waylaid by butter, bean salad, a roll, and possibly something else I'm forgetting. The chicken was incredibly tender and it seemed to keep on giving, seemingly more than a quarter-chicken's worth.

Battered into weary submission by guest-judge appeals in several tongues, we finally dined with one Dee Stephen Keezler, perennial prankster in the Fud Court Forum and sometime Frenchman (then known as Le Stephen Keezler). When not waging lonely war on the unsavory entrepreneurs of his neighborhood, Keezler has been enjoying the quarter-chicken meal for years, and I can see why. If I lived around there I'd be falling by quite often, at those prices. And it's good enough that I'd fall by if I were just passing through.

 

McClure

I didn't see much actual barbecuing being done at Pete's. It was actually barbecue-sauced meats, but for $11 you'll get a meal that'll fill you up and out. We enjoyed our evening with Guest Judge Kessel(hoff), who on this particular night seemed to be caught between continents or universes or some such trouble.

My plate was comprised of chicken and ribs (brushed with a nice sauce), baked potato, cole slaw, a roll, and a soda. The food covered a whole range from okee dokee to pretty darn tasty. On the lower level was the slaw, nothing to speak of here, blah and bland. Next, the ribs, a healthy meaty serving all sauced up, but none of the smoky savory goodness you get from a true barbecued rib. The chicken was the best: juicy, falling off the bone good eatin'. The baked potato made a great side, all buttered up with a little sauce mixed in, nice.

The atmosphere at Pete's is somewhere between a high school cafeteria and a bus station, with all the characters you'd expect. There's nothing fancy about Pete's but you do get a decent meal that'll stick to your innards. They close early so get there well before 8 p.m. or you may be locked in and who knows what happens then.

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