Nothing sparks more debate than barbecue and gun control. Ironically much of the controversy over the call for stricter gun laws and which states have a better take on smoked meats, occurs in the same regions around the good ‘ol USA, the southern reaches of our dearest graceland.
With the recent tragedies from San Bernadino to Orlando, along with so many others, and with new studies showing that states with stricter gun control have lower rates of gun violence, we want to do our part with our stomachs and our wallets.
American cuisine uses ingredients which in themselves are symbolic of our cultural tradition to unify and rejoice in our differences. Buttermilk chicken, gravy, brisket, cole slaw, apple pie, makes you feel loved and warm, and if you’ve ever eaten BBQ with family and friends, you know the meaning of giddiness and food induced belly laughs.
So let’s celebrate actual American tradition, unity and loving food for food’s sake. Here’s a list of BBQ spots in SF from southern states with the best gun control laws that rep the true values behind our stars and stripes.
About Pickle: Eat like a local! Pickle makes the world yummy again by allowing everyone to share the food spots they love through photos, not lengthy, pretentious reviews.
Lower Haight/Panhandle, SF
Why you should go: Smoked meat served by the pound in the dry-rub style of Memphis and Texas barbecue makes Minnie’s a classic “meat and 3” destination.
Heat wave warning: This BBQ style prefers the debilitating flavor of extreme hot sauce as opposed to the sweetness of barbecue sauces, so you’ll find a bottle of Stupid Hot Sauce on every table at Minnie’s.
Gun control rating: 8/10. Texas has its reputation as the gun slinging wild west, but in reality it has some of the better gun control laws in the region along with one of the lowest rates of gun violence. Maybe that’s because the sauce is so hot you won’t talk the whole meal, meaning less opportunity to get agro.
Mission District, SF
What to put in your mouth: Get the blackened catfish or salmon, two things that are delicious when barbecued but are often forgotten in the red meat frenzy of most barbecue spots.
Why we heart this place: Memphis is for lovers not fighters and Baby Blue’s has perfectly channeled the feeling of a friendly bar in Tennessee. Have a beer and get your protein fix, and more likely than not you’ll have a great conversation with a total stranger.
Gun control rating: 9/10. Living in the Bay Area it’s easy to forget that other places around the country are liberal, diverse, and full of culture but Memphis Tennessee is like the SF of the South. Its rich musical history has given it some real critical thinking skills and they have some of the lowest rates of gun related violence in the country, maybe Kumbaya really does work.
SNEAKY’S BBQ at SOUTHPAW
Why you should go: Offering their take on North Carolina barbecue, pork is their specialty. Usually divided between Eastern and Lexington style, Sneaky’s reconciles the two creating a happy medium to the great divide between the spice and vinegar and ketchup based varieties.
Do’s and Don’ts: Do order the bbq’d pork belly, it’ll make you start a petition to legally marry smoked meat. Don’t complain about the salad, it’s your fault for ordering a salad in carnivore heaven. It’s supposed to be a poor excuse for your daily vegetable serving because that’s not what this place is about.
Gun control rating: 10/10. North Carolina borders the slow and thoughtful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee so it’s no wonder why it has the lowest rate of gun violence in the south. Home to the melancholy sounds of Angel Olsen and other folky singer song writers, who needs guns when you can eat pulled pork all day and sing so perfectly about a broken heart.
Why you should go: This is what bbq would be if it were invented in San Francisco. Their meats come marinated in Coca-Cola or Maker’s Mark and their sides are more in the spirit of a midwestern picnic with pimento mac ‘n cheese, mustard slaw, and dandelion green potato salad. Hippies.
Fun fact: Their namesake comes from the size of their buttermilk biscuits which are about as big as a cat’s head.
Gun control rating: 10/10. This SOMA based eatery serves up its take on Memphis style BBQ with a hint of the owners home state of Michigan, two places that are spearheading the push for better gun control laws throughout the South and beyond, hoorah!