Buster’s Southern BBQ

Buster's Southern BBQ in Calistoga

Buster’s Southern BBQ: You know the spot. Winter or summer, it’s been at the crossroads of Hwy 29 and Lincoln Ave. in Calistoga like, I don’t know-forever. Most of us blast on by on our
way to fancier Napa affairs, afraid of a little sauce on our shirts and tri-tip stuck in our teeth. It’s so un-Napa. So paper-plate and picnic table un-chic, where ordering’s done at a screen window and the eating’s done on the parking lot porch.

So bring a jacket and an appetite. The tri-tip sirloin steak sandwich is what you’ve come for — thick slabs of beef piled on garlic toast. A ladle of sauce goes over the top, hot or mild. But be warned that hot is exactly that. Hot. Don’t try to be a hero unless you really like the fire.

My take: This sauce hails well south of sweet Kansas City style, but with a similar heft and tomato tang. Vinegar’s not the star here (thank goodness), instead smoky pepper takes the lead.

With the $7 ‘wich, you get a single side, which should be their sweet, pineapply coleslaw. Unless you’re more of a bean fan. There’s also corn bread, potato salad and macaroni salad. For $1.25 to $1.50 each, splurge on a couple to keep your options open. Leave room for fresh lemonade and sweet potato pie. Bring a few Wet Naps. And dream of summer.

Buster’s BBQ, 1207 Foothill Boulevard, Calistoga, 707.942.5605.

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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9 Comments

  1. I think Buster’s is the best bbq north of the gate.
    I’ve tried most of the menu. It’s all good. The Tri tip sandwich or 1/2 chicken dinner are my favorites. The hot sauce is just too damn hot. I get a side of hot sauce and mix it in.
    Iv’e brought heavy hitters here and everyone is cool. Those who are in the know, understand that the ‘chic napaesque’ is for wannabe phonies,wedding parties and tourists.

    Besides the great food,Buster keeps it real.

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  2. Buster is the BEST BBQ PIT in northen Californina, that’s northen of Santa Roas to Oregon. “Buster is a BBQ- Master”, day in day out, everyday that is.
    There is no chain, just a small good ass BBQ pit. He OWN’S that small lot, bought it back in the early 80’s, when Cailsotga was cheep.
    He’s been BBQ in Cailsotga for 20 years now. He just build a huge home over looking Cailsotga town.
    When in town, the super rich, movie star’s stop by for some smoky tri-tip BBQ.
    “He’s the best flat out.” He is a Master BBQ man.

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  3. NOT true, this place is owned by Buster, it is NOT a chain. Anyone that is been there would know this. Buster is out early every morning with his dogs preping the out door BBQ for the day. Great food and friendly service, NOT a chain!

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  4. I live five blocks down the road from Busters. It is NOT a chain restaurant. The person who wrote that is mistaken and obviously never been there. Busters BBQ is owned by Buster, who is actually there preparing the outdoor grill with wood every morning as I take my kids to school. He has been at this location roughly ten years and serves a soulfull BBQ plate for a very decent price, probably the only affordable place in Calistoga. The place is always packed, I have never seen a slow day there. Check out http://www.busterssouthernbbq.com for a pic of the real “Buster”, and check out the restaurant , you wont be disapointed!

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  5. PAY ATTENTION!! Don’t give a place a bad rap when you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re in Washington for crying out loud. Buster’s was started by Buster. It’s a tiny hole in the wall dive and is LOCALLY owned. Come visit our beautiful wine country and see for yourself.

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  6. nope….this is just called “Buster’s Barbeque”….no Texas in it at all….probably one and the same as what you have….they have them up here in Washington and Oregon…

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  7. I think you are confusing this with Busters Texas BBQ which is indeed a chain that has restaurants on the West Coast…
    Buster is a real person who opened this BBQ joint many years back in Calistoga…drive by any you’ll see what I mean…

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  8. skip Buster’s….it’s a huge chain restaurant…we have them up here in Washington State….mediocre stuff….

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  9. Posted By: garliccrouton (18/02/2008 5:09:21 PM)
    Comment: BBQer – /the restaurant that is opening slated for 2/20/08 is called Bluegrass Bar and Grill, Jack London Village in Glen Ellen****bluegrassbarandgrill.com or 935-4488
    Posted By: Atamblin (05/02/2008 11:09:21 PM)
    Comment: That place is great…I stop all the time…Need to make a trip soon.
    Posted By: David (03/02/2008 7:14:43 PM)
    Comment: I grew up in the south. BBQ is enjoyed all year round. I have to say that I personally tried Buster’s…It was GREAT.
    Posted By: BBQer (01/02/2008 4:49:29 PM)
    Comment: I hear there is a new BBQ restaurant opening in Glen Ellen. Does anyone have details?
    Posted By: Petaluma Sue (01/02/2008 1:22:27 PM)
    Comment: The best sandwiches, thanks to the garlic toast and their hot sauce, which they sell by the jar. Not the friendiest people working there, but food makes you look past that!
    Posted By: BBQ Boater (31/01/2008 9:27:38 PM)
    Comment: You cannot help to stop there on your way into or back from Napa. Great Southern food. Kudos on that Hot sauce, it is freakin’ HOT!!
    Posted By: Sandy (31/01/2008 5:01:40 PM)
    Comment: Yum. I am ON my way. Thanks for the tip.

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