Bubbaque | Petaluma

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Jamie (left) and Bubba

It was an even toss whether we were going to brave an entrance into Bubbaque’s in Petaluma. On the plus side were three meat smokers belching away on the front lawn despite the rain. On the minus side it’s located inside a frozen burrito, Skoal and beer mart on the outskirts of Petaluma. And everyone in the parking lot was wearing camo.

This was either going to be the best barbecue ever. Or the worst.

Fortunately for our stomachs, the story has a happy ending. Spanning most of the western wall of the Bodega Avenue Market, Bubbaque cooks up some of the best barbecue in Wine Country. The flurry of barbecue stained napkins, flying forks and pants dotted with greasy fingerprints attest to the critical endorsement of both BiteClub and Miss Mouse.

Using locally-sourced pork, his mama’s recipes and a lifetime of barbecue know-how Bubba (aka Tim Young) opened Bubbaque in September 2010 as a proving ground for his barbecue dreams. Longtime friend Jamie McNutt is Bubba’s cohort, spreading the gospel of Bubbaque to all who seek its truth.

Tim (known as Bubba to friends) is a burly bear of a guy who looks every bit the part, standing behind his smokers or dishing up slabs of ribs. He has no formal culinary training, but brings a passion to the craft that borders on obsession. The former crane operator and t-shirt printer works for weeks or months to get the flavors just right in a single dish. If he’s not happy with it, he won’t serve it.

Bubbaque Burger

On the menu: Tri Tip, roasted whole hog pulled pork, pork short ribs, barbecue chicken, burgers and his mom Linda’s homemade baked beans (sorry mom, but Linda’s are better), potato salad (a kitchen sink affair with a little bit of everything), pasta salad and coleslaw along with handcut, made-to-order fries. Each of the meats gets its own special sauce, but all share a sweet, smoky, molasses quality that’s hard to put down.

Half pound sandwiches range from $6.50 to $7.99, but are more than enough for two, or just about right for the hungry working guys who are Bubba-regulars. Everything’s available by the pound as well. BBQ Chicken special (a drumstick, thigh and two sides is just $5.99).

Are you Bubba Enough? Bubbaque’s got a yet-unnamed behemoth of a challenge that includes two pounds of hamburger, a pound of bacon, 12 slices of cheese, 12 onion rings, his grandma’s secret sauce, barbecue sauce and a pound of fries. Eat it in a an hour and it’s free, plus you get to name it. If not, it’s $26.99 — still not a bad deal. For slightly smaller mega-appetites, the “Quad” is an off-menu sandwich with pork, chicken, tri-tip and hamburger piled high on a French roll. Want to really man up? Bubba also makes a spicy habanero sauce that comes with a stern warning which Miss Mouse did not heed.

Really, everyone was wearing camo.

Like any great barbecue, the lack of ambiance weighs heavily in Bubbaque’s favor. The firewood stacks, sticky tables and country fried charm also help keep things, well, real. After all, good barbecue ain’t about fancy tablecloths and shiny silverware.

“We’re just good old boys doing backyard cooking,” says Mcnutt. And a hearty yee-haw to that.

Bubbaque’s, 1105 Bodega Ave, Petaluma, (707) 763-4401

Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, BiteClubEats.com is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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  1. The BBQ was well made, everything fresh, but we felt the BBQ sauce was far too sweet, so not sure if we’d go back. But for those of you that love the really sweet kind of BBQ sauce, this is your place. The meat was quality and sandwiches made well, and the made to order french fries were INCREDIBLE!!!

  2. Worst BBQ we have ever had. Awful rub, even worse sauce. We. Literally could not eat it. Gross!!!!!

  3. We were there on Tuesday for lunch on Bite Club review and it is SO GOOD!! So dumpy that it is amazing how such quality food can come out of that kitchen. We had the full rack of ribs (Only could eat half) and the boss hog pulled pork. The potato salad was good and Mama Linda came by and offered us chocolate chip cookies with bacon that were so yummy. Will definitely be back to try more on the menu. Super nice people and I hope they do well.

  4. Glad to hear you liked it. BBQ is so subjective, but I know that I was really floored by how good it was, so i figured others would like it. Plus, Bubba and his family seem like cool people and I respect how hard they’ve worked to try and make this happen.

  5. THANK YOU so much for the review of Bubbaques. My husband and I have been trying to find a really good BBQ place in the area and haven’t found a place that made us want to go back. Not until now, that is. Based on your review, we tried Bubbaques out this weekend. Everything we had was delicious. We are hooked and will be going back for more.

  6. This review was NOT hype….Bubba throws down mean BBQ…And you’re 100% on point with the baked beans. My buddy/roommate owns a gun store down the street so he’s brought it back before and it’s very solid BBQ for a very reasonable price (unlike many other “SoCo” BBQ places).

  7. Susan many hunters wear camo….You don’t have to be in the service.

  8. NIMBY = “Not In My Back Yard”

  9. This makes me hungry. I wonder if they have anything that wouldn’t take you over the top, if you were on, say, “Weight Watchers”…:) Is the chicken smothered or is it grilled? I’m thinking, true BBQ is slow-cooked, and rich. But the idea and need are smart for SOCO. No mention of Baby Backs. Are they on the menu?
    We will have to check it out, WW or no. Sounds like a visit should be paid by a local dude and his DDD hit show, hmmm?

    p.s. What’s a Nimby?

  10. Aww, Luke, did you not get told enough that your AMAZING??? :-( sniff sniff.
    Well, one thing is for sure…..Bubbaques IS AMAZING, in every sense of the word :-)
    We ate there yesterday.
    Yep, AMAZING is a fitting word for that AMAZING food :-)

  11. My best friend served in Baghdad, 2 long tours during the worst of the worst fighting and he was in the worst neighborhoods.

    He had to buy a camo parka for wearing back on base with his own money when it was cold. When he came home for good, he gave me that parka.

    Now it’s my best coat for heavy rain, and every time I wear it I get to tell people who comment on it that my best friend who earned a Commendation for Valor in combat gave it to me when he came home from Baghdad.

    So don’t tell this “non-military person” as you insultingly put it that wearing camo is disrespectful.

    Biteclub, thanks for the write-up- I’ll be hitting Bubbaque up soon!

  12. Over used word. Usually by teenage airhead girls.
    Amazing was once a word to describe something outstanding and wonderful.
    Now, teenage girls have overused the word.
    Girl 1- OMG *squeal* “That lime green skirt a AMAZING”.
    Girl 2- OMG thanks, no YOU’RE AMAZING.

  13. Bubba Q’s is AMAZING!!! Great Food, awesome people who work there!!

  14. What sucks is the closest population center to Bubbas is West Ptown. All the Nimbys will be too scared, or embarrased to patronize, even though the Nimbys motto is local is the way to go. Place some coupons on the Eastside and Bubbas will be good for the long run. Big signs in the summertime will help with Bodega tourists coming through. Go Bubbbas.

  15. Touche’! : >)

  16. Brotha Tuna is there really such a thing as an ex-Marine? ; )

  17. I was thinking that, too!

  18. Adam Richman from Man v. Food is on his way! Sounds like some good grub!

  19. “On the minus side it’s located inside a frozen burrito, Skoal and beer mart on the outskirts of Petaluma. And everyone in the parking lot was wearing camo.”

    LMFAO! And firing up the engine for a trip, post haste.

  20. Haven’t been there yet, but now I will have to go and try it. I think the food challenge would be great for Man VS Food!

  21. I’ve noticed these guys when driving by but never really gave it a second though. Now I need to get over there! Are they just open for lunch or do they do dinner too?

  22. The food is absolutely amazing! I wish I still lived in Petaluma so I could eat Bubbaques all the time! It is definitely the best BBQ in town.. if not ever! :)

    Bubba, do you deliver to San Diego? 😉

  23. Real BBQ
    Real food
    Real people
    REAL refreshing for change
    Thanks Bubbaques.

  24. Wearing camo in no way, shape, or form shows disrespect to anyone who has served. People around here HUNT, and when hunting, they wear camo. Not all camo is military. As a matter of fact, the multitude of companies that manufacture camo clothing, do so specifically for hunting. The patterns are very different than military style, and for this area, very different in color that the “sand” patterns currently being worn by our military.

    I am proud of, and honor, your sons for their sacrafice. I even honor you for your pride in your sons.

    But your comments here are ignorant, and disrespectful. You should keep them to yourself.

  25. Really, Susan? Really?
    I thought the article was about a place to eat. From the pic it looks like hunting camo, as any reasonable person might suspect. Besides, who appointed you to the Patriotic Fashion Police?
    I’m an ex-Marine and I don’t scold people about what they should wear. Anybody can buy some camo clothing; its the Globe & Anchor that’s earned. Your boys know this even if you don’t.

  26. Nice review! It was informative and amusing and will make me stop in and try it. I’ve been driving bye it for a while and liked the name, but I hadn’t heard any feedback yet.

  27. It was more like hunting camo — not military camo.

  28. If everyone was wearing camo I hope they had all gone through military bootcamp and served in the military, otherwise they should NOT be wearing camo. It shows great disrespect for the people who ARE or HAVE served our country, when non military people wear camo. A proud mom of two Marines!!

  29. We love Bubbaques!! They really deserved a great review! Goes to show that sometimes the best things are in unsuspecting places :-)
    The food is really amazing, all of it, and that isn’t something that I would say unless it was absolutley true. Other BBQ places may have the glitz and glamour, but Bubbaques isn’t about that, they don’t need that, the food speaks for itself and the down home feel that you get when you walk in is just what we need in these hard times, it’s nice to walk in and be treated like an old friend, or a long time neighbor. Keep up the great work guys!!!

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