Thurmond opened Big Nate's Barbeque in SOMA more than a decade ago, serving up a simple menu of Southern barbecue that hasn't really changed since then. The meat selection is straightforward: Memphis pork, beef links, beef brisket, chicken, and pork ribs. Side dishes include greens, country beans, potato salad, and coleslaw. The beef brisket ($8.95 for a half order -- half orders here are Thurmond-size) was drenched in mildly sweet barbecue sauce, and the beef was incredibly tender. But the sauce was a bit overwhelming -- it masked a lot of the natural flavor of the beef, which was lacking in smokiness. Devoid of tartness, the bland coleslaw seemed like an afterthought.Thankfully, the Memphis pork ($8.95 for a half order) was smoky, with just enough fat in the meat to keep it juicy and tender. We had it with the spicy barbecue sauce, which started out subtle but by the end of the meal had built to a wicked heat, a welcome surprise. The potato salad had good texture, with large chunks of potato and a bit of crispness courtesy of celery and pickles.
But maybe what we like best of all about Nate's is the free delivery on weekends, which is a great option if you don't want to step away from all the sporting action on TV.
Big Nate's Barbeque 1665 Folsom (at 13th St.), 861-4242