Barney’s Hickory Pit, Concord CA
Zach has been here dozens of times since he was a child with his grandmother, and Barney’s Hickory Pit, for nearly 60 years, has been a landmark in Concord for amazing barbecue. When we get the occasional craving and Zach doesn’t feel like cooking, we call in orders for take out; for picture’s sake we came in this evening to document the meal for you, looking its prettiest. Recently a local community news source named Barney’s as the best barbecue in Concord, and we believe it.
We had to start with a salad for two. Standard is beets, radishes, and green onions, and we selected their famous homemade blue cheese dressing. Thick and tangy, it’s great not just for salad but also for those who like to dip their sides, it goes well with fries or jalapeño poppers.
August knew she wouldn’t have enough room for the regular rib plate, or even the next size up, so she went with the five rib junior plate and a side of cole slaw. The brown sauce that covers the ribs is not a typical barbecue, sweet-tangy flavor; rather it’s smokier and more gravy-like. This is Barney’s original sauce, and about 10 years ago they started a sweet-tangy version, but it can be hard to improve upon perfection. She pulled the meat off the bones fairly easily and wished she could eat more than two, but Bea the dog will be very happy tonight.
Zach’s dinner was a “good old fashioned smoked ham, tender, juicy, and with a mild smoky flavor.” He got the same brown sauce because it’s what he’s always gotten his whole life. The sauce and the ham were “perfect complements,” and for all the excess sauce the grilled hamburger buns were tasty to soak it up. The fries were typical (packaged frozen, not fresh-cut), but cooked well and properly salted. If you’re looking for a barbecue place that leans more towards homemade than processed, this is a great choice.