The smell of sweet smoke is wafting down Divisadero once again with the opening of 4505 Burgers & BBQ. After the long-standing Da' Pitt BBQ closed, Ryan and Cesalee Farr, the couple behind 4505 Meats, jumped on the chance to take over the space. They kept the wood-fired barbecue pit but transformed the interior and created an outdoor eating space.
Opening week saw a line of barbecue-eaters snaking around the block, so I anticipated a wait. The lines had normalized by my visit, although at times during the meal they were still out the door. The wait on a Saturday afternoon was short enough to order food but long enough to discourage me from getting up to buy a second beer.
We ordered the three-meat platter with brisket, pulled pork, and sausage. The kitchen was out of fried chicken and spicy sausage, though if they weren't, I probably would have opted for the spicy sausage to add a kick of heat to the meal. Side-wise, we tried the Frankaroni, coleslaw, and baked beans and to drink kept it local with a Bluebell Bitter from Magnolia and a Speakeasy IPA. The eatery also offers brews from Berkeley's Calicraft.
The brisket stole the show. Perfectly tender and smoky, it didn't need any of the thick and sweet BBQ or tangy vinegar and mustard sauces. A chef came out to say hello to a table of his friends and was pleased they had ordered the brisket, as he said it's normally sold out by the afternoon. Though it wasn't dry, the pulled pork benefited from a dash of the thick and sweet BBQ sauce, and the sausage paired well with the tangy vinegar and mustard. The man behind me repeated "damn" after his first and following bites (and he wasn't even eating the aptly named "The Best Damn Cheeseburger").
The Frankaroni came in a square form and was delicately fried on the outside but gooey on the inside. It contained more cheese than macaroni and was best eaten right after it was served, with cheese oozing out on the first bite. The slaw was creamy and peppery and the baked beans were generously filled with meat.
The outside dining area is relatively small, with two communal tables that seat about 10 and two picnic tables that seat three to four people comfortably. Food is delivered promptly and devoured quickly, so the turnover for seating is pretty high, but it's not a place to hang out and drink beer after a meal is finished (although they're working to expand the space in the future). A friendly employee manages the picnic area by asking how customers are liking their food and refilling sauces.
4505 Burgers & BBQ encourages customers to "Pig In or Pig Out," by offering take-out, as well as 6-packs of beer and bottles of wine to-go. For late-night revelers, they will also be serving "The Best Damn Cheeseburger" out of a take-out window until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays.
The food was delicious, but that wasn't surprising. The Maple Bacon Breakfast Sausage sandwich from their stand at the Divis farmer's market on Sundays has been a morning staple for Lower Haight residents for years, and it's exciting to see them firmly rooted in the neighborhood.