San Francisco Chronicle; Kinder's

San Francisco Chronicle
Lynne Char Bennett
Thursday, June 12, 2008

Barbecue is difficult to do well, but Kinder's Meats-Deli-BBQ - a family-owned business for more than five decades - pretty much nails it.

Founder John Kinder opened a meat market in San Pablo, which became a neighborhood deli and catering company when it relocated to Concord in 1985. The Hercules store, which opened three years ago, is the third of six family-owned locations throughout the Bay Area (there are additional franchise locations).

About half the customers get orders to go, but there are several inside tables and some just outside the covered entry where you can dive into a half rack of smoked Tequilalime pork ribs ($9.50) or Kinder's Famous Ball Tip sandwich ($7.25) garnished with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and Kinder's mild BBQ sauce. Any of the sandwiches - including a deliciously tender rib-eye steak sandwich ($8.95) - can be made into a combo ($1.50 additional), with sides of barbecue beans and potato salad or macaroni salad. Cole slaw is also available ($3.29/pound). Non-red meat eaters will be pleased with three salads ($6.95-$7.25), a vegetarian deli sandwich ($6.95) and smoked Tequila-lime chicken quarters ($2.50 each), which remain remarkably moist.

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Hot and EXXXtra Hot Kinder's BBQ sauce is also available upon request. The sauces have balanced a sweet, tangy spiciness that hits all the right notes, though you can also mix and blend them to your heart's content. Deli meats, salads and smoked meats can also be purchased by the pound. One refrigerated case holds beautifully marbled meat, including cut-to-order Porterhouse steaks ($13.95/pound) and pre-marinated ball tip (a bottom butt sirloin, which is similar to a tri-tip, $5.98/pound), maintaining Kinder's meat market roots. A plethora of finger-licking barbecue sauces and marinades ($4.25/20.5-ounce bottle) and dry rubs ($3.95/6.5 ounces) - all Kinder's secret recipes, of course - are also for sale.

Vitals:
3600 San Pablo Ave., suite 1 (near Sycamore), Hercules. (510) 724-2332,
8:30 a.m. -8 p.m. Mon.- Fri.,
until 7 p.m. Sat., until 6 p.m. Sun.

Lynne Char Bennett, lbennett@sfchronicle.com
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