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Bo’s is a true hybrid of a southern-style barbecue shack and a healthful, Bay Area eatery. The menu, which is written on a big chalkboard that hangs above the cash register, includes barbecued chicken, ribs, links, and beef. Each order is accompanied by a piece of baguette, mixed greens, steamed yams, and a scoop of light, eggless potato salad that tastes of pickle relish. Owner Bo McSwine (yes, that’s his real name) values organic and sustainable ingredients. He uses only Niman Ranch meats, including deeply flavored and juicy ribs, and organic poultry, which he cooks so it’s tender and crisp-skinned. The brisket, however, can be a bit dry. Pies and cobblers are offered intermittently; the only consistently available dessert is frozen yogurt. An ample wine and beer selection distinguishes Bo’s from other East Bay barbecue joints, as does the scene in the dining room. On a Saturday night, patrons young and old fill up every chair and couch in the place to eat their meals and listen to a first-rate blues trio led by a piano player in a church-lady hat who knows how to get down (Bo’s has live music Tues.–Sat.). Lunch and dinner Mon.–Sat.
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