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Finding a restaurant that serves truly good barbecue is about as easy as finding a good wife, as it seems that the demand outpaces the supply.  So in applying the economics theory that you learned in Economics 101 during your first year in college to the quest for good barbeque, you probably ascertained that good barbecue is not easy to find, as finding the perfect mate isn't an easy matter.  I can't help you find the perfect mate, but if you happen to be visiting Oakland, California, I can point you to the perfect barbecue joint, and that's Everett and Jones, located at the corner of 2nd Street and Broadway Avenue, at Oakland's historic Jack London Square.

Left:  Everett and Jones is located in an ex-produce warehouse near Oakland's famed Jack London Square.  Right: High ceilings, potted plants, light, airy windows, and beautiful decor typify Everett and Jones.  I enjoyed barbecue at this fine restaurant on Monday, June 18, 2007.

OK, if you're looking for barbecue in Oakland, all you have to do is to plug into Google, MSN or Yahoo, and enter the keywords "oakland barbecue," and you'll receive plenty of responses, and you'll no doubt see that Everett and Jones appears at the top of the list.  That's fine, as if you're the trusting sort of person, you could take Google's word for it, and then just go for it!  Actually, that's not a bad strategy, but why not call up cousin Bob who lives in Oakland and ask him what he thinks about the Oakland barbecue scene?  When he casually recommends Everett and Jones as his choice for delicious, Bay Area barbecue, the event is pre-programmed.

Everett and Jones is a small chain of barbecue joints that originates in Northen California, in the East Bay area, located east, across the beautiful San Francisco Bay from the signature city of the same name.  They've been in business since 1973, and their original location is at the corner of 2nd and Broadway, in Oakland's famed Jack London Square, but, as of this writing, the chain has spread as far east as Sacramento, and they have garnered a loyal following in every one of their location.  Oakland's Everett and Jones restaurant is located in a renovated 2-story brick warehouse building, which is still near to the adjacent warehouses that supply produce to much of Oakland. The location is truly delightful, as the building has been restored, and the streets are lined with shady, Dutch elm trees, which make the area a very friendly environment to patrons and pedestrians.  On-street parking is easy to find, but if you arrive at the wrong time,  parking can be scarce, but a City of Oakland parking lot is only a block away, which features gouge-free parking. The City of Oakland is aggressively attempting to woo tourists to Jack London square, and the city will treat you right, as they want your business, and they won't gouge you for parking.

Left:  Check out the full-service bar in the rear of the photo, and then feast your eyes on some of the souvenirs that Everett and Jones offers.  Right:  The full-service take-out counter, personed by a beautiful and friendly hostess.

Everett and Jones breaks the mold when it comes to barbecue joints, and their restaurant is a truly beautiful place. When I think of a barbecue joint, I usually think of one of those hole-in-the-wall Texas joints that's dimly lit, dirty, reeking of smoke, and shabby, to the extreme.  Not to mention the overweight, unshaved pittmaster, wearing the stained apron, who smiles at you with his tobacco-stained  teeth, and points to the menu posted above the cash register when you ask any question about anything.  Friends, that doesn't happen at Everett and Jones, as when you walk into their store, you'll leave your pre-conceived barbecue-joint stereotypes at the door, as this place is a high-class, true Bay Area barbecue joint, which defies all stereotypes of barbecue restaurants, yet on the bottom-line, a.k.a. good barbecue;  Everett and Jones delivers the product in style.

Like all good barbecue joints, you place your order at the counter, from the huge menu placed above and behind the cashier, and then you seat yourself.  Unlike other barbecue joints, Everett and Jones offers a small, printed brochure that lists their menu, and after examining this document, it's mostly aimed at the "to go" crowd, which at the time of my visit, I was a member of, as it was too early for dinner, but too late for lunch, and a relaxed, leisurely dinner in my motel room sounded good to me, as I had to grapple with the overwhelming afternoon Bay Area traffic.

Left:  This gentleman really knows how to cut up meat in warp-drive speed.  Right:  A look into the kitchen at Everett and Jones.  Unlike the kitchens in many restaruants, it's in plain view of the diners, and it's interesting to watch the staff at work.  Note the Take Out counter to the left of the photo.

Since good barbeque is very labor-intensive, I can't say that Everett and Jones is a cheap place to eat, as I paid $18.35 for my pork rib and beef sausage link combination dinner, which included two delicious side dishes, and a slab of cornbread.  I opted for coleslaw and barbecue beans as side dishes, which seems to me as a winning combination dinner.  I grabbed a draft beer, placed my seat on a bar stool, and took a few photos around the restaurant. In less than 5 minutes after placing my order, the friendly girl had set my "to go" order in front of me, and told me that my order was ready and I was free to go.  Wow!  That's fast, as they deliver your order to in a warp-drive speed, in less than 5 minutes.

OK, as mentioned in the previous paragraph I touched on the subject of the price of a delicious meal.  You can go to your nearest fast-food joint and purchase one of their McWhatevers on their menu for the small price of only $1.99, and yes, your meal tastes pretty good, and it satisfies your hunger.  But consider this about the fast-food cuisine:  a)  It's composed of pre-fabricated food, previously frozen, and the only fresh part about it is it is when it was unloaded off the Sysco truck during the early morning hours, before the restaurant opened for business  b) After being unloaded into the fast food joint of your choice, your food is thawed in a microwave oven, yuck...  c)  The "barbecue" flavor was probably achieved by adding "instant smoke" from a bottle, as its cheaper to procuce, and most folks can't taste the difference  d) Your meal is prepared according to a cookie-cutter model, seasoned to the tastes of the masses, e.g. "bland," and prepared according to corporate standards, e.g., "bland..."  e)  You get a pimply-faced, barely 18-years old, minimum-wage person to prepare and serve your meal to you. Wow!  Institutional cooking cuisine at its best!  I enjoyed much better food during my years of service in the Navy.

Photo:  This friendly guy is a dynamo of energy, as he cuts the meat at warp-drive speed, and places orders on their plates, and arranges them in an attractive presentation before they're served to the customers.  

At Everett and Jones, you can forget about cooking for the masses, as Everett doesn't utilize the services of Sysco, or other providers of institutional food.  They specialize in using fresh, locally produced ingredients, and their produce is especially fresh, as they purchase it from some of the many produce markets located in the next block over from them.  Although Everett and Jones resides in an upscale location, they smoke their meat on-site, as witnessed by the huge stack of oak and hickory wood, and the large smoker, in the center of the kitchen.  If you'll take a walk outside, you'll see a chimney belching fragrant oak and hickory smoke, so you know that Everett and Jones' outstanding barbecue cuisine will be flavored with natural wood smoke.

So what type of regional barbecue cuisine does Everett and Jones serve?  Probably if I had to make a very general catogorization, I'd vote for Memphis cuisine, as their meat arrives dripping in their yummy barbecue sauce.  But their food hints of Kansas City cuisine, and nearly shouts traces of California's Santa Maria cuisine, which is a sub genre of barbecue...  Forget the categories, as the food served at Everett and Jones is just plain good, and my meal was worth every penny of the $18.35 that I forked out.

Left:  I love beautiful women, so I didn't mind waiting for my order, so I could strike up a conversation with the friendly hostess, to the left of the photo.  Right:  My take-out order, as I'm nearly ready for dinner.  Words can't describe how delicious Everett and Jone's barbecue is!

By the way, I ordered a take-out meal, and I didn't get around to eating it for a couple hours after checking into my motel room.  I threw my meal into the microwave oven, heated it for a minute, and I was rewarded with some of the most delicious barbecue that I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy.  Everything that I've ever heard about Everett and Jones is true, as in my humble opinion, they serve the best barbecue in the Bay Area.  Highly recommended!

Everett & Jones Barbeque
126 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607
510 663-2350

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