No doubt, there is some very good barbecue in San Francisco. I'm a fan of Memphis Minnie's on Haight Street, as well as Lily's (formerly Brother-in-Law's) on Divisidero. But, in my opinion, you can't get better barbecue than in Texas, specifically in the Austin area. Texas Monthly magazine has consistently rated three bbq joints in central Texas among the top four in the state. So with my, yes, brother-in-law, sister and niece (all visiting from Seattle), mom and wife, we made the hour-long pilgrimage from Austin to Llano to eat at the venerated Cooper's BBQ.
Debates rage as what's the best thing to drink with bbq. I once wrote an article for Wine and Spirits about the affinity between zinfandel and Texas bbq. The proprietor of Memphis Minnie's, funny enough, recommends sake with bbq. I think both go well enough. But on this trip what I always knew was true was confirmed for me: the best beverage with bbq is and always will be--beer.
In this picture you can see a huge pile of incredibly smoky meat; six-month-old Clementine, the world's chubbiest little baby about to have her very first taste of meat (she loved it), and the beer they drink most in central Texas--Shiner Bock, which incidentally is available in San Francisco at Whole foods.