photo-4Backyard barbecues have long been a staple of the American summer experience and Fourth of July celebrations. However, we here at the Clog can’t seem to find anyone with a barbecue, or a backyard for that matter. Thus, we have opted to find delicious barbecue elsewhere. Besides, buying all the ingredients and preparing the food yourself is way too much work and we’re like totally too busy with studying and stuff.

Luckily for us, there exist two conveniently located bastions of affordable barbecued glory in (or near) Berkeley: Smokey J’s and the Brick Pig’s House.

For those of you who prefer barbecue sandwiches of the pulled sort, we highly recommend Smokey J’s — located near the intersection of Shattuck and Ashby Avenues — which offers several delicious sandwiches in the 6-7 dollar price range. Our current favorite is the brisket sandwich on white bread. The more adventurous types might want to check out the Frito pie. That’s right, there is such a thing as Frito pie.

Although the intimate interior of Smokey J’s is quite welcoming with its picnic tables, complimentary watermelon slices and free tea, we recommend you get your food to go and head over to Grove Park for a little picnic.

For those of you who prefer a larger barbecue feast, the Brick Pig’s House is your place, which is also located on Shattuck Avenue but just a little ways south from Smokey J’s (by 60th Street). This is where we Cloggers go when we want ribs, baked beans, corn, biscuits and some delicious pie to top it all off. We recommend you eat in-house because the owners are quite possibly the most hospitable people we’ve ever met.

To all you non-meat-eaters out there, don’t even bother. These places offer no vegetarian substitutes (like Top Dog’s veggie dog, “The Wienie”). Smokey J’s features a sarcastic vegetarian menu consisting of “coleslaw and water,” and we took a vegan to the Brick Pig’s House once and the only thing he could eat was watermelon. Guess you’d better find your own backyard barbecue.

Image Source: Kevan Rolfness
Earlier: The Clog Goes ‘Off the Grid’

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