Everett & Jones Barbecue is widely regarded as the best barbecue in the Bay Area--and no, that's not a contradiction in terms. I haven't been to the other contenders yet, but as a transplanted Southerner, I can attest that it's some mighty good barbecue. The ribs are divinely spicy, sweet and smokey all at once--just the way I like it. The traditional side orders are excellent too, and the desserts melt in your mouth.

Started by an African-American single mother in a hole-in-the-wall in Oakland, there are five other E&Js for your dining pleasure now. The nattiest is the shiny restaurant near Jack London Square in Oakland, and the original is still on San Pablo Avenue. The Jack London Square one is a good place to take your friends--more space than the others--and it's fun to get one of the platters to share in sticky-fingered bliss. Highly recommended.

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