Willie Brown Reviews Hillstone in San Francisco

Source: Inside Scoop SF

Former Mayor Willie Brown weighs in on the new Hillstone on the Embarcadero:

I’ve been traveling so much lately that everything is a blur and I don’t know if I can separate the junk I’ve been eating for the last week or so. However one experience stands out.

In pursuit of barbecue you’d think I’d be off to maybe Oakland, but instead I wandered down to one of my favorite locations — Hillstone on the Embarcadero. Most people would quickly ask, Hillstone? It was at one time Houston’s, but a fight between partners resulted in divisions and somebody got the restaurant and somebody else got the name.

At the restaurant, the cooks, wait staff and bar staff seem even better now than they did when it was still Houston’s. In my party two people divided one rack of baby backs; a rack has probably 12 individual rib bones accompanied by coleslaw and the French fries in equal abundance. Another companion ordered prime rib and could only eat half of it because it was so big. We also had potato skins, an item that’s probably not produced at many other place in the city, but here they’re really good.

I knocked off a rack solo. I asked them to make sure they were crispy, knowing that in most cases barbecue is already ready; it’s just sitting and waiting, so sometimes it gets too moist. In spite of my request the meat fell off the bones the way you’d want it to, so it virtually eliminated the need for you to pick the bone up by hand and eat it. You could move the meat around with the assistance of your knife and fork and avoid using the little dish of lemon water for your hand as a soup, which I saw somebody mistakenly do.

The cost of a good bottle of wine—red in my case—is obviously necessary with your barbecue, but prices are reasonable. In fact you can bring your own wine and there’s no corkage. It’s also one of the few places that has live music at least five nights a week. It’s also the only barbecue joint in town that still has tables with tablecloths.

The bar area is circular and has elevated stools so you have great views of everything and everybody. Then there’s also seating on the patio, and it has a fireplace that matches the fireplace on the inside.

So it adds up to a very pleasant dining experience, and when the check arrived I did not have to debate whether I’d pay my mortgage or my dining checks this month.

Source:  Inside Scoop SF

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