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The King is retired. Lengthy reside the King.
Martinez misplaced a barbecue jewel with the retirement earlier this yr of Rob and Yvette Zavatero, proprietors of Beaver Creek Smokehouse. The BBQ spot was immediately one among my favorites when the Zavateros opened it in 2015. However by no means worry! Award-winning pitmaster Dan Freng’s Sluggish Hand BBQ, which has been gathering a loyal following for a number of years in Nice Hill, is increasing to a second location and taking up the Major Road spot.
Better of all, the Zavateros and Freng are all mates within the East Bay barbecue group, so there’s nothing however love and assist within the handover. For purchasers, the upshot is straightforward: You had nice BBQ in Martinez earlier than, and you continue to do.
THE VIBE: Simple-going and small-townish; that is downtown Martinez we’re speaking about, in spite of everything. Sluggish Hand is counter service, so diners step inside, ponder the enormous menu, make their decisions and discover a place to take a seat. Your meal is dropped at you after a couple of minutes.
Sluggish Hand has a eating room to seat about 30 folks, and a again patio that may accommodate about that many once more. The eating room is pretty merely embellished, with a lot of darkish wooden and orange-and-black highlights, additionally seen at their Nice Hill restaurant. (Giants followers, possibly?)
THE FOOD: It’s scrumptious.
Oh, you wished extra? OK. Sluggish Hand is masterful in smoking its chosen BBQ staples — beef brisket ($7 for 1 / 4 pound, $12 for half a pound, $23 for a full pound), smoked hen ($11.95 entire hen/ $7.95 half), child again and St. Louis ribs ($29.50 for a full rack/ $15.50 for a half), and chopped pork ($5 to $16), served in a zippy mustard-vinegar sauce that’s not shy about its tangy chunk. For probably the most half, Sluggish Hand’s BBQ is served sauce-free; “common” and spicy sauces can be found, however not crucial for the well-seasoned meats.
Aspect dishes full the meals, with friends selecting from a vinegar-cilantro coleslaw, German or conventional potato salad (German is served heat, with purple potatoes, vinegar and crumbled bacon), velvety mac & cheese, and “loaded” tater tots that you may customise with smoked meats, cheese sauce, and onion jams.
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DON’T MISS: Sluggish Hand’s Nice Hill menu has grown immensely through the years; most of these gadgets are on the Martinez menu, as effectively, and you’d be smart to strive as lots of them as you’ll be able to. From jerk hen wings (eight for $9, 16 for $16) to the Pit Burger, fabricated from floor brisket and chuck and topped with gruyere and a house-made bacon-onion jam, to the virtually outrageously scrumptious Smoked Prime Rib Dip sandwich ($15.50), accessible solely on Fridays, they’re well worth the diversion.
PERFECT FOR … Household dinner on a weeknight. Weekday lunch once you’re actually hungry. A date, in the event you’re previous that “consuming modestly” part firstly of your relationship. You may give you an excuse on the way in which; your fundamental cause for going is “to eat tasty barbecue.”
DETAILS: Sluggish Hand BBQ is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day at 601 Major St., Martinez. Reservations not accepted. http://www.slowhandbbq.com