‘Cue the Food Coma: Reviewing Hi Lo BBQ

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As a pescatarian, I’m rarely thrilled about barbecue because I usually end up eating soggy potato salad and all the cornbread in the world. Carb-licious, but not worth it.

And then along came Hi Lo BBQ.

Lurking on the grimy diversely lived-in section of the Mission, this restaurant quietly opened 5 months ago and hasn’t stopped churning out great food since. I am lucky enough to know an old coworker from the cooking days there and proceeded to spend the night in yet another birthday dinner (this is the last one, I swear) and a 12-hour food coma. I just wish I were a little bit taller so that I could have eaten even more!

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BBQ and beer go together like Nutella on waffles, so my Radner beertail (Dutch white beer + lemonade) was refreshing. The house-made pull-apart rolls with honey butter were so good that we ate two orders, not by choice but rather pure necessity.

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The chefs here distinguish themselves in creative plating. It’s not easy to make BBQ look pretty, but somehow, they do it. On Wednesdays, Hi Lo does an off-the-menu item called the Bangin’ Burger, and judging by the look on my friend’s face, it was aptly titled. Even with my diet, I had tons of options to choose from, including an entrée (!) of brassicas, farro, and egg. While egg can be a vegetarian cop-out (who doesn’t love eggs?), I had nothing to complain about.

Hi Lo also loves its mustard seeds; they showed up on two different dishes. They were very noticeable (in a good way) in the summer pickles, but were overshadowed by fresh dill in the potato salad. That said, I love dill, and this was one of the best potato salads I’ve ever had.

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No meal is complete without dessert, and naturally, I ordered both items. The first: s’more in a jar, which resembled a parfait and showed off some SF flair (we love Mason jars in this city). While delicious, I found this to be a too-safe dessert to have on the menu. Chocolate and marshmallow is always a hit pair and best saved for winter when there aren’t as many fruits in season.

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The second dessert epitomized summer: sliced peaches, corn cake, whipped cream and POPCORN. With the signature side plating, this was everything I want in a July meal on the town. Not too sweet with just the right amounts of everything, I hope this stays on the menu for when I visit next. And with this Texas-meets-NorCal joint, you best believe I will be.

I’m still full.

Chicharrones: Fried pork rinds so fresh that we could literally hear them crackle at the table.

Melon salad with grilled onions, levain, and a serrano pepper vinaigrette.


2 thoughts on “‘Cue the Food Coma: Reviewing Hi Lo BBQ

  1. This sounds amazing. Add yet another establishment to my list of places to try. Now to get over feeling like getting from the Sunset to the Mission is such a hassle…

  2. Pingback: The Weekend E.AT. – An SF Cook at SF Chefs | Shikhalamode

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