Leena Eats: Killer ribs with life-changing sauce at Town Hall
- Just a sampling of the ridiculously good upscale comfort food I had at Town Hall restaurant in SF.
There are three concrete things I know about life–1. Three cats in a bath tub do not a whirlpool make. 2. Oprah has a ginormous rack. and 3. This bitch (meaning me) loves her some smoked pork ribs. I’ve frequented festivals like Chicago’s Ribfest and even bought a smoker to make them at home. I had the chance to interview one of the chefs at Town Hall restaurant in SF for an article on barbecue, and what he told me about their barbecue rib sauce rocked my world. It really goes to show what happens when professional chefs attack a common barbecue recipe–mouth boners.
Most barbecue sauce in the U.S. is made with a basic sweet tomato/ketchup-based sauce, or a quick vinegar sauce. At Town Hall, they smoke the ketchup, then add all the rib fat they get after smoking the meat. The result is utterly umami, the perfect balance of sweet, sour and meaty goodness, and that is before you even hit the ribs.
Someone bring me a fan. I’m gonna need a minute here.
More food porn after the click
- The first appetizer–cornmeal fried oysters with spinach puree, bacon and preserved lemon. Delicious and surprisingly light for a fried dish.
- Buttermilk biscuits with Johnston family country ham and red pepper jelly. A very fun little dessert that I could have eaten all night!
- The last appetizer–Faith’s warm ham and cheese toast with poached egg and jalapeno cream. Like a brunch dish on crack, served at dinner–salty, sweet, spicy goodness.
- Roasted Idaho trout with spinach, currants, pine nuts, shoestring potatoes with brown butter sauce. This was a pretty good dish, but hard to compare to the others at the table.
- Natural beef short rib and grilled hangar steak with Anchor Steam sauce, broccoli rabe and tator tots. Rich, but a very good dish. Really enjoyed the sauce made with local beer!
Even though we BARELY had room after those first two heavy courses, we soldiered on through the desserts.
- House-smoked Saint Louis ribs, Texas Jack bbq sauce, corn muffin and coleslaw. These ribs were smoked, then sous-vided, making them super tender, and the sauce? Let’s just say someone had to slap me so I didn’t lick the extra out of the dish.
- Dessert #1 frozen Meyer lemon souffle with lemon madeleines, hot chocolate and black pepper marshmallow. A great balanced dessert of tart and tangy with rich and sweet.
- Butterscotch and chocolate pot de creme with butter crunch topping. Basically, chocolate pudding, butterscotch pudding and toffee goodness. I love this. Why? The world needs more good pudding.
Of course, I felt even more pregnant after I ate three desserts, but that’s okay. I like to suffer for my art.
In the end, this highly anticipated meal was everything I hoped it would be and more. I wish I could friend it on Facebook and invite it to all my parties. Go here!
Town Hall restaurant
342 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
- Warm date upside down cake with butter pecan ice cream and sherry gastrique. Another rich, but so damn delicious dessert. I love caramely dates.
Tags: barbecue sauce, ribs, San Francisco, Town Hall restaurant