Slow Hand BBQ started out of Dan's desire to bring the real BBQ tastes of the mid-west to the Bay Area. At first, Dan started bringing his BBQ to Farmers' Market's all over the Bay Area as a side gig, as he was working full time in the beer business. Dan made his first debut at the Brentwood Farmers' Market in 2010, "with two Weber Grills and a lot of hope." Shortly thereafter, he was laid off from his beer job (everything happens for a reason), and his BBQ side gig became his main gig and he started going to markets 5-6 days a week. In 2012, the location where they are currently at (1941 Oak Park Blvd. formerly Smokin' Okies, and way before that Back Forty BBQ) became available, and that's when the family came together and decided to open Slow Hand BBQ (thank goodness). If you haven't been to Slow Hand BBQ, let me tell you, you're missing out. They take "finger licking good" to a whole new level. Their philosophy has always been to keep it simple. Their meat is cooked in a wood fired brick oven, which brings out the amazing flavors that they're so well known for at Slow Hand. An interesting fact about Slow Hand BBQ is that they only serve Craft Beers (no Coor's or Budlight here), and they are one of the few places that serves Russian River's "Pliny the Elder." Another interesting fact that I just learned is that there is a "Pliny the Younger," which is brewed only once a year in limited amounts (who knew?). People flock to the Russian River Brewpub during February 2nd - 15th, for a taste of this much anticipated triple IPA, with a 10.25% alcohol content. Besides the Russian River brewpub (which is crowded on an average day and becomes downright thronged with beer lovers during February), a very limited number of kegs are sent out into the world, and because of Dan's great relationship with Russian River, they get a limited amount of "Pliny the Younger" that they share with their close friends and family, as it is literally liquid gold.
Some more interesting facts you may not have known...
- They cater too (their catering makes up about 30-35% of their business)
- Their BBQ is all wood smoked using only California White Oak
- Their sides and sauces are all made from scratch, nothing is ever premade or frozen
- The top sellers are their Beef Brisket, Ribs and their Tri-Tip (geez this is making me hungry)
- They have a Big Daddy Beef Rib that's only served on Sunday's, because they are smoked for hours.
- Their family moved to Pleasant Hill in 1969
- Jack (Dad) used to be a Bank Examiner & Auditor for 31 years, so it makes sense he oversees the bookkeeping
- Dan used to work at Reuben's Plankhouse when it was located right around the corner from where Slow Hand is now.
- Maureen once worked at Melo's Pizza and Pasta on Contra Costa Blvd.
- They are heavily involved in the Community i.e., Wine, Women & Shoes, Blues & Brews, PH Community Foundation
- They recently hosted a fundraiser for All in Need and Hospice raising significant $$ for them both.
- Their busiest day of the year is Father's Day (that makes total sense)