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PostHeaderIcon A New Twist on Barbeque: Rubs BBQ Bistro

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Barbeque is an American tradition. A slab of ribs, corn on the corn, and baked beans is the ultimate summer comfort food.

Rubs BBQ Bistro has put a new twist on standard barbeque fare with wraps, rice bowls, salads and sandwiches with slow-cooked meats, healthy toppings and low-calorie sauces.

Of course, diners can still get a heaping helping of chili with cornbread slathered with butter, and a quarter rack of ribs or beef brisket. But Rubs BBQ Bistro owner Hans van Oosterwijk, 50, founded Rubs BBQ Bistro for the health-conscious diner with limited time who is looking for an inexpensive but hearty meal.

“We’re a healthier version of barbecue. Mostly, you go into a barbecue joint and you get heavy sides and smoked meats and that’s it. We do creative stuff with our barbecue,’’ said van Oosterwijk, who opened the casual eatery at 164 Market Place (near Nob Hill Foods) in February 2013.

Here’s how it works: Start at the counter and choose a meat (Carolina pulled pork, Memphis chopped chicken, Mequite-java chicken or Texas beef brisket) then move on to the style of meal you want (sandwich, wrap, sale or rice bowl).

Once you’ve got the foundation of your meal, choose your toppings from bread and butter pickles, sweet red onion slices, cool black beans, corn “off the cob,” or shredded romaine lettuce. Or try them all. Spicy coleslaw is also available for an extra .49 cents.

Lastly, choose a sauce from sweet, spicy or tangy BBQ, spicy BBQ, tangy BBQ, Carolina mustard BBQ or go with a standard light or spicy ranch or vinaigrette.

I had a mesquite-java chicken wrap with black beans, corn off the cob, and Carolina mustard BBQ sauce with a side of baked beans with bacon. Not only was it delicious, I felt satisfied but not overstuffed after lunch. And you can’t beat the price: $6.79. Meats are slow smoked daily.

Rubs is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and dinners are heartier with offerings, such as a quarter rack of pork ribs and two sides (think curly fries and creamy potato salad or a cup or chili and sweet potato fries or go with a sweet cornbread muffin) or Chile-cheese fries.

There’s also a vegetarian meal with a meatless salad, rice bowl or wrap with your choice of toppings and sauces and a kids meal with a slider, a side and a juice box for under $5.

“While healthy eaters will find plenty to choose from at Rubs, if someone wants ribs, a quarter chicken or brisket, we can do that here. But we offer a modern BBQ concept too,’’ he said.

van Oosterwijk opened the restaurant after holding jobs in corporate finance and sales promotional materials, and owning a Gymtastic indoor children’s gymnasium in two locations. He was semi retired when a friend shared some pulled pork cooked in a crock pot. “I experimented with beef and chicken and it was actually very good and that got me into slow cooking and barbecue and then I started experiment with smoking meats.”

He likes to claim Rubs as the Tri-Valley’s first casual barbecue restaurant. “We don’t have a bucking bronco, a wagon wheel or steer heads, but we do have good food. I like to think of it as barbecue for the modern world.”

Rubs can cater parties, benefits and corporate events for 10 to 500 people and will have a booth benefiting the San Ramon Rotary at the San Ramon Art and Wind Festival on Sunday, May 25 and Monday May 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at San Ramon Central Park, 12501 Alcosta Blvd. in San Ramon. For more information on catering, go to www.rubsbbq.com. -KB

Last Updated (Monday, 26 May 2014 01:54)


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