Barbecue is one of those cuisines that is far more complicated than it looks. Just the act of firing up a grill and throwing a few pieces of meat on it is not true barbecuing. The same goes for finding a good tasting barbecue restaurant. Although opinions can vary, not everyone is a pit master. There is a process to grill a cut of meat or poultry the correct way, and only those true barbecue pit masters can accomplish it.
That's why I am extremely picky when it comes to choosing a barbecue restaurant. The culinary space in Sacramento, California is crowded, to say the least. There are dozens of restaurants that offer everything from Italian food to Americana. Seeking out the barbecue spots takes a little digging, but there are quite a few well known Sacramento institutions. During my recent visit back to the city, I decided to stop at two of my favorite barbecue places.
Tank House BBQ & Bar
1925 J St, Sacramento, CA 95811
The last time I visited Tank House BBQ & Bar was in 2016, when I managed a retail office in Downtown Sacramento. I am happy to report that they are still in business and doing better than ever. As soon as I walked through the front doors, I was greeted by the smell of delicious barbecue being grilled. Located in a trendy part of downtown, the restaurant was built in 1881. You get a classic vibe when you are here, and the interior decorating showcases a lot of local art.
You have the choice between being seated inside the dining area or outdoors, and I almost always prefer to be seated outdoors. The menu is diverse, sprinkled with the classic favorites and some original dishes. For a side dish, I wholeheartedly recommend the dirty mac and cheese, the flavor is out of this world. The barbecued chicken not only has the original sauce, but also has a dry rub that makes the skin taste amazing. You can also experience some original craft brews offered here.
Momo's Meat Market
5780 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95820
Momo's Meat Market has been a Sacramento institution for over nine years. The restaurant is located on Broadway Blvd, right adjacent to the DMV offices. Naturally, after being stuck at the DMV all day, you will want something to eat. When you first walk into the storefront, a deli counter will greet you, and that is because Momo's is also a full service butcher. But it's the barbecued lunch items that will get your attention.
The brisket is delicious, served alongside baked mac and cheese with the signature in-house barbecue sauce. You can choose from other side dishes, such as coleslaw or mashed potatoes, but the mac and cheese is my favorite side dish. There are a few other menu items worth trying out. The bratwursts are juicy and full of flavor, and the chicken has a wonderful tasting skin and juicy meat. Momo's Meat Market is a hidden gem in Sacramento that serves up some delicious barbecue dishes.