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Ribs You'll Stick To

San Francisco has long been a cold place for barbecue lovers, but in recent years, a few pit-masters have tried to heat things up.

St. Louis–cut spare ribs.

Thank the BBQ gods for Sneaky’s kurobuta pork belly, Southpaw’s whiskey-brined chicken, and the slow-smoked showpiece of the moment: the St. Louis–cut spare ribs ($13) from Hi-Lo BBQ. This new Mission barbecue joint (from the owners of Hog & Rocks) has Austin native Ryan Ostler as chef. For the ribs, he honors his Texas roots with a dry rub made with paprika, coriander, and turbinado sugar—for that perfectly caramelized exterior. Then he adds a dash of San Francisco by sprinkling Four Barrel coffee into the seasoning. The meat’s sauceless state might alarm those who crave something shirt-staining, but you can’t quibble with its tender pull from the bone. Slug a chili-spiked michelada, and feel the burn. 3416 19th St. (near Mission St.), 415-874-9921

Originally published in the March 2013 issue of San Francisco.

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