BarbersQ brings Memphis style BBQ to Napa which is a nice change of pace as there aren't many places to get more Southern style cooking in Napa. We've spent some time in the South; so, it's nice to get something from that area (even if there are Wine Country twists.) Not too expensive by Napa Valley standards and much more casual.
But first appetizers...these are BarbersQ cheddar and scallion biscuits with Benton's Country Ham where the cheese and the scallions are part of the biscuit mix. On the side is a serving of Humble Beginnings Pepper Jelly. You'll often see Humble Beginnings jellies at the local Farmers' Market on Saturday morning. A pleasant (and light) enough appetizer. It'd make for a nice breakfast with some eggs.
But you can't come to BarbersQ without trying out the BBQ. I'll admit that I'm not a BBQ connoisseur although I do like good BBQ ribs. So, Memphis style of BBQ apparently favors long smoking and a dry rub for taste where the sauce is served on the side rather than having the ribs drenched in sauce. So, no bibs needed. The massively overexposed mound to the right is supposed to be cole slaw. When they bring you your BBQ, you'll also get 3 additional sauces (a mild BBQ, a spicier version, and then spicy vinegar) on the side. I've heard some folks complain that BarbersQ ribs are on the dry side, but I don't know if this is just maybe they were expecting a wetter BBQ? I'm less of a fan of ribs drowning in sauce so I guess it's just preference, no? The ribs are delicious and dutifully fall off the bone although I do like the ribs at the Rutherford Grill a bit more. We've also had their memphis style pulled pork which is basically a rib sandwich in a way sans the bones, and it's a similarly tasty sandwich.
When we went, the special was fried chicken, collard greens, and mashed potatoes and gravy. Since good fried chicken is a real treat and very hard to find out here, it was a no-brainer, and we weren't disappointed. Nice crispy and crust (more solid than flakey) with just the right amount of seasoning and some very juicy chicken.
BarbersQ setting and service
BarbersQ is located in a strip mall area which has Target and Whole Foods as the anchor stores. It's fairly deep into the strip mall parking lot so you'll have to drive deep into it to find it (hint: it's the building with the big Q on the front although they should seriously consider painting that thing red instead of white...). It has a fairly small seating area. There's an outside seating area as well where you can catch some rays. Obviously, you're not doing it to enjoy the view unless you like looking at strip mall parking lots. Inside, it's a combination of chrome and wood and tries to offer a clean, somewhat upscale look. The seating area is fairly small though. Contrary to the picture below, they do not have floodlights aimed at the front of the restaurant. :-P
BarbersQ is a fairly informal place. The waiters and waitresses are more on the younger side, and although they might lack the sharp polish of other higher-end restaurants, they've been attentive and friendly which I'll take over a snooty waiter any day.
Price of our meal:
2 entrees, 1 appetizer, 2 glasses of wine, tax & tip : $69