Maybe it's the relentlessly gray weather, but Town Hall BBQ ― the summer-long lunchtime cookout behind the Rosenthal brothers' kitchen ― seems drained of some of the tasty it had back in April, when the season began.
Yesterday a straggle of mostly guys lined up at the grill, as the cowboy-hatted counter dude hollered out orders to the line cooks standing literally feet away from him, as if he were Keith Urban doing shout-outs to a stadium mob. "SAUSage!" "TRItip!" Annoying, I observed to my lunchmate."Isn't that just sort of the deal here?" he said with a shrug. His borderline-bland fried chicken sandwich was lackluster as the sky.
Actually, that grilled tri-tip sandwich counter cowboy expended so much lung power on wasn't bad: reasonably tender flaps of muscle, powerfully salted, lavished with a sort of piperade of long-cooked onions and sweet peppers. We wanted the meat to have picked up more smoky char from the grill. Then again, we wanted it to be sunny and 78 degrees, with a playful breeze skittering off the Bay.
Town Hall BBQ: In the plaza behind Town Hall restaurant, 342 Howard (at Fremont), 908-3900.