While San Francisco is known to be friendly to all dietary preferences, primarily to vegans and vegetarians, one could find all the meat-lovers at 4505 Burgers & BBQ on Divisadero. And it wouldn’t be an SF establishment without it’s locally sourced meat from animals raised humanely. However, dining at 4505, you feel like you’re at a County Fair in the south or in a Texan ranch. Or if you’re feeling like Frank Underwood from “House of Cards,” this place can be your Freddy’s BBQ Joint.
4505 Burgers & BBQ, an extension of 4505 Meats, a butcher shop on Mission St., provides outdoor seating with wooden picnic tables and charming strings of lights. Their gold glittered floors and bright green walls of their bathroom (totally different from the rest of their decor), along with DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” song playing in the background, seemed reflective of this young BBQ joint’s success since it’s recent opening in May. The indoor portion of 4505 is decked out in repurposed sheet metal and wood, with cow skulls and horns that decorate the walls. It’s only the sound and sight of cars speeding down Divisadero that you’re reminded you’re in SF. It was clearly reminiscent of a classic BBQ environment, but whether or not it was up to par on the taste factor had yet to be determined.
Coming from a family full of carnivores, with a father who lives in Dallas,TX, and years of going to BBQs, I think it would be reasonable to assume that I know how good meat tastes. At 4505, the meat is prime, in fact biting into the brisket shared the likeness to my dad’s home cooking where each of the meat grain pulls apart easily, and the juices seep out slowly, just as it should be. While my dad heavily seasons his brisket, 4505’s flavors rely on the natural juices produced by the meat.
Of course, it isn’t a BBQ without ribs. I do have to confess that I’m not a huge fan of ribs as they can get messy, but 4505’s ribs are not the case. The ribs are served dry, where you can apply your own desired amount of BBQ sauce from a squeeze bottle on the table. I tried the ribs dry, and frankly, they didn’t need additional sauce to make it mouth-watering. The tender, smoky meat—charred to a certain crisp on the outside—rips from the bone without having to tug your teeth and jaw from it.
I came to 4505 Meats with a big appetite, and was upset that I had to stand in the long line that went around the establishment. However, my friends and I were immediately approached by a server offering us drinks while we waited. The only concern I had at first, after receiving my dish at a prompt 5 minutes after ordering, was that I had paid too much for the serving size of meat that would not satisfy ($21 in total for my brisket plate, including a can of hard cider for $5). After a few bites in, I realized the lack of meat was compensated by the two big servings of sides that comes with each plate, in addition to a sweet and fluffy parker house roll. With my friends, I was able to sample the baked beans, deep fried macaroni and cheese, spicy fries, and fried pork rinds—all staples to a BBQ. “Amazing baked beans!” and “Wow that’s cheesy,” were some of the responses the sides illicit from Danielle and David, my dinner buddies.
I was not a fan of the spicy fries that was drenched in aoili and chimichurri seasoning, which overpowered the overall flavor of the fries and made them soggy. The fried pork skins, or “chicharrones,” made up for the unsatisfactory fries. It balanced the juiciness of the meat with it’s dry, packing styrofoam-like texture, that naturally melts in your mouth, exploding with savory goodness.
The idiom “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” held true for me because, not only was I completely stuffed, I walked out of 4505 Burgers & BBQ with two to-go containers.
4505 Burgers & BBQ:
705 Divisadero St. (at Grove St.)
San Francisco, CA 94117