Slideshow: Behind the Scenes at CatHead's BBQ, San Francisco

Cherry Wood
Cherry Wood

This is where it all begins. Cherry wood awaiting its final destination (the smoker).

Light'n Up
Light'n Up

7 a.m. Pamela starts up one of the two pits with cherry wood.

Cherry in the Pits
Cherry in the Pits

CatHead’s uses cherry wood to smoke all its meat except the brisket.

Brisket
Brisket

The briskets are cooked in an electric smoker with hickory and apple wood. The restaurant goes through about 100 briskets a week.

Butts!
Butts!

Richard loads pork butts into the wood smoker for a 14-hour low-and-slow treatment over cherry wood.

Brisket Time
Brisket Time

A whole brisket brined in Coca-Cola and smoked for 12 hours.

No Teeth Necessary
No Teeth Necessary

The super-tender brisket barely stands up to a knife.

Butts in the Pit
Butts in the Pit

A day's worth of pork butt are ready to come out of the pit after being smoked for 14 hours.

Moppin'
Moppin'

Pork ribs are basted with a vinegary finishing sauce after coming out of the smoker.

Tofu
Tofu

After marinating in a secret spice blend, another vegetarian option, tofu, is rolled in cornmeal and fried.

Sides
Sides

Potatoes for potato salad, greens, beans, and sauce simmer in preparation for the crowds.

Servin' it Up
Servin' it Up

Cook Michael Curran plates up some steaming hot sides.

Sauces
Sauces

CatHead's has four sauces to choose from: Texas Red, mustard sauce, habanero, and pepper vinegar. I found myself mixing them all together.

Cathead Biscuit
Cathead Biscuit

This huge biscuit— flaky on the outside and soft inside&mdash is served warm, with pepper jelly and honey butter.

The Pit
The Pit

It's always there, silent and smoky.