The Brisket @ Brick Pig’s House, Oakland

brickpigbrisket

Brisket, creamy potato salad, and cornbread muffins @ Brick Pig’s House, North Oakland.

I visited Everett & Jones for the very last time a few months ago. I promised myself that I’d never go back after I’d suffered through the driest brisket of all time. I usually try to avoid negative reviews in this blog, since I much prefer to compile a list of recommendations. I cook for a living, so I don’t have time to visit every single restaurant in the Bay Area, much less write reviews for all of these restaurants. Therefore, if I have a bad meal, I simply move on, and I don’t mention it. From an aesthetic standpoint, I don’t want to publish pictures of lousy food, and I certainly don’t want to waste my time by rehashing a bogus meal.

But Everett & Jones really let me down this last time. Honestly, I probably should’ve seen it coming, since they’ve always been a little hit-or-miss over the years. I just don’t recall them missing as badly as they did during my most recent visit. Their brisket was egregiously sub-standard that day, and I’m over it. Ultimately, it’s kind of like a break-up: There were good times, there were bad times, but at some point, you just have to sort everything out and make the decision to either move on, or not move on. We all deserve to be happy and to eat well, but I won’t risk paying money for something that unsatisfying ever again. Fool me once.

From now on, I’m getting my East Bay barbecue from Brick Pig’s House on Shattuck, which is less than 10 minutes from Everett & Jones. I’ve only been to BPH once so far, but the brisket (pictured above) already surpassed Everett & Jones on its best day. The meat was tender and it didn’t require sauce, although the sauce was a welcome compliment to be sure. Beyond this basic improvement, the sides were better, the parking was more convenient (no meters), BPH accepts credit cards, and the owners are one of the sweetest couples you’ll ever meet.

I’m smitten. Maybe it’s just the honeymoon phase of a new relationship. Or maybe it’s the real thing.

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