Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bo's Barbecue & Catering in Lafayette, CA

Bo knows BBQ and Bo knows beer too. No, not that Bo...Bo McSwine (seriously), the owner of Bo's Barbecue & Catering in Lafayette, CA. On this, my second, visit to Bo's I once again could not find anything to complain about (not that I'm really a complainer, right?). The food was filling and, more importantly, delicious while the beer selection was superb.

Like my last time there, I went to meet with my sister-in-law's family while I was in the area for business. Though, this time only half of the crew showed up; my travelling colleague and friend Matt also joined us. Seven year old Bo's is located along the busy Mt. Diablo Boulevard in the business district of Lafayette. A decent-sized lot for parking sits outside the rear of the restaurant where the wood for the kitchen is stacked. A short walk down a path to the side door brings you into the small-ish restaurant. But, wrapping around to the front of the building is a deck/porch with additional tables and an area for live music in warmer weather.

The ordering concept is fairly simple and stress-free. Choose your beer or wine from the overstocked coolers (why I didn't take a picture would be a good question!) and proceed to the counter. Many, many Belgian, Belgian-style, and Californian beers sit next to a decent selection of wines, including sparklings/Champagnes. Judging by the ratio of beers to wines, it looks like Bo knows (sorry, again) and understands that beer generally goes better with barbecue than most wine.

The food menu selections are fairly straightforward. Ribs, brisket, sausage, chicken, beef, pork, short, long, juicy, lean are basically the only decisions to make. Then, minutes later as the beers are being poured, the food arrives.

Accompanied by foot-tapping live and local jazz/blues music, my order of the short ribs rack and Mike's long ribs were cooked just right and served with flavorful sauce on the side. Matt's overflowing combination plate of ribs and brisket took him aback at first, but we later learned that he was obviously up for the challenge.

To drink, we chose the Piraat and Brother Thelonious from North Coast...sort of fitting given the music emanating from the corner of the room. What a great combination! If you haven't tried the Brother Thelonious before, make a note to do so. This way-solid brew packs a malty punch with just a touch of bitterness to help cleanse the palate. From front-to-back, this is just such a delicious beer that leaves a nice, lingering taste. And, if you're going to try it yourself, certainly pair it with some food, perhaps a barbecue dinner.

Everyone left satisfied in mind, body, and spirit (ok, maybe I'm getting a bit heady here) and moved on to a couple hours in the "Mike's music room" and one last beverage for the evening. Great night all around! If you're in the East Bay area of San Francisco, you should definitely treat yourself to good food, beer, and music at Bo's. There are even a couple of comfy sofas in the corner if you'd like to linger a while longer after dinner.

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