BBQ, BiteClub, Petaluma, Where to Eat Now

Petaluma’s What A Chicken! Firing Up BBQ Fans

An impressive salsa bar gives What A Chicken an extra vote for awesomeness.

Petaluma is going gonzo for What A Chicken!, a budget-friendly barbecue spot, which specializes in — you guessed it — chicken.

You’ll smell it before you see it, with a massive grill perfuming the entire block with mesquite smoke and grilling chicken. Prepare to drool a little. Once you’ve passed through the mist of sizzling poultry, it’s an order-at-the-counter affair. Choose from mixed grill plates, as well as tacos, fall-off-the-bone ribs, a so-so-sides like potato salad, coleslaw, and Spanish rice. Instead, get the freshly made corn tortillas and spend some time at the salsa bar. There’s usually a line, so you’ll have time to ponder the menu.

We found the chicken to be wonderfully flavored, but a bit dry. Doused with fiery pineapple salsa and wrapped in a warm tortilla, it’s easier to see why folks are so impressed. That and the prices: You’ll get a two-item, two-side plate and a drink for $7, hearty tacos are $3 and burritos around $7 as well.

Super plus: A selection of icy agua frescas are delightfully cool and sweet, taking some of the bite out of spicier salsas. 708 E. Washington, Petaluma, 510-776-7615.

Editor’s Note: Travel, dining and wine tasting can be complicated right now. Use our inspirational ideas to plan ahead for your next outing, be it this week or next year. If you visit restaurants, wineries, and other businesses during the pandemic, remember to call ahead, make reservations, wear a mask and social distance.

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