The Back Rib Sandwich @ Solbar, Calistoga


I’ve cooked plenty of baby back ribs in my day. When I worked at Houston’s Santa Monica (many moons ago), I prepped the restaurant’s pork ribs on a nightly basis. It went something like this: At the end of the night, the ribs were rubbed down with a mixture of sugar, Kosher salt, and spices, before spending about eight or 10 hours in a 250°F Alto-Shaam. In the morning, the now-tender ribs would be carefully dipped in bacon fat and wrapped in plastic. At this point, the back ribs could be chilled until needed. At service, the ribs were unwrapped and re-heated on the wood-fired grill, where they would be mopped with barbecue sauce. People really loved those ribs, and they continued to sell even after they were removed from the menu (a by-request item only, but insanely popular). I’m not exactly sure how Solbar prepares its ribs for its back rib sandwich, pictured above, but the tenderness is all there, along with the succulence and everything else (the pork bones seem to have been easily removed from the meat). It is, perhaps, the best pork sandwich in the Bay Area. So recommended.

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