***ALAS, IRONSIDE IS CLOSING. I WILL MISS THEIR BBQ MENU AND THEIR ALL YOU CAN EAT BRUNCH. IT WAS NICE HAVING THEM AS A NEIGHBORHOOD JOINT. HOPEFULLY WHATEVER OPENS THEIR NOW WILL BE MORE THAN JUST BASEBALL FAN SPECIFIC, FINGERS CROSSED.****
Meat, it's whats' for dinner. And particularly so in San Francisco where things seem to be moving away from the vegan friendly ways of yore to things much more meat centric. This can be seen with the recent openings of 4505 Burgers & BBQ, Magnolia Smokestack, the various barbecue joints that have popped up over the years and also the addition of barbecue to places that have been around awhile. One of these such places is Ironside in SOMA who've rolled out a whole menu based around smoked meats. I live near this place and me and the SO had been here on a couple of occasions to just grab a burger or on Sunday when they have their all you can eat brunch for $16. (It's pretty good) They had a fairly standard "American Fare" menu, but when they put out that BBQ sign to introduce their new menu I knew I'd have to go and see if it was any good since I'm always on the look out for some good meat.
I hit them up around late lunch time to avoid any crowds of local working folks. I was able to just walk in, order at the counter and find a seat easily. And just to tie this all in, I was lunching solo again and this is a decent place for that as I was not the only single eater. Lest you think I'm a glutton (well, kind of am) I went here two separate times, I didn't get both these dishes at the same time. First time out, of course, I'm gonna check out the pulled pork sandwich with a side of fries.
Pulled, smoke pork on a toasted buttered brioche bun with pickled pepper slaw and a side of steak cut fries. It's a pretty hearty portion so props for that. As for the pork, for the most part I liked it. It had a deep smoky flavor to it. Tender, juicy and just a tad bit too much on the wet side normally for me, but flavor wise I'll give it a pass for that. The slaw was cabbage, carrots, red peppers, pickled purple onions, mayo and vinegar. It had a nice crisp sweet hot flavor to it that pared well with the smoky pork. Had it just been these two things on here I'd give this sandwich the all go, but for some odd reason they decided to pile on more wet with this odd smoked aioli that was smeared on the top bun and it sent the whole sandwich from merely wet to over smoked sogginess. I always hear the term less is more when I watch some of these cooking shows on tv and I thin in this case they should have stopped at the pork and slaw, it really didn't need whatever that spread was. My suggestion is if you get it, ask them to leave it off, it will make for a better meal. I skipped the top of the bun on this just to avoid it. The steak fries were a good basic side. Here they weren't over or under cooked but hot out of the fryer. Needed a little more salt, but otherwise good to go. Second time around I got the brisket plate with side of slaw and a biscuit.
Of note, you can get either of these as plates at $10 a pop or as sandwiches at $11 (guess you pat that extra $1 for the bun). It's the same slaw so I'll skip that here. The biscuit was okay as these things go in this town. It was a touch dry but I just added a bunch of butter to it and voila--very tasty. The brisket was actually quite good. Tender, juicy, fatty and with more of that smokiness the pork had. It comes with this tangy, smoky barbecue sauce that was fine, but to be honest the brisket had more than enough flavor on it's own it didn't necessarily need it. Of the two I liked the brisket the best and it's a pretty nice portion to fill you up. I'll mark this one down as a winner. Though had I gotten the pulled pork as a plate there would have been a tie probably. Just keep that in mind if you go.
For the most part I'll say the new bbq meats here were a surprise and as a lunch alternative in the SOMA neighborhood a pretty good one at that. Portions are more than big enough and costs are right on par. As a resident of the area it's good to have new choices to pick from in a part of town that can be sparse when there's no game or it's a weekend. Now if we could just get someone to open a diner down here we'd be all set.