The name of the restaurant references the roughly 29 years that Pastor C. D. Bennett, the chef and co-owner, spent cooking at fundraisers and various other church events before opening this no-frills Hayward barbecue joint. “What can I get for you?” he’d ask the stream of happy, already-stuffed congregants who came back up for seconds. “Just potato salad,” they would inevitably respond. So it is that this is the rare restaurant where the potato salad is the best thing on the menu. It’s sweet without going overboard and studded with chunks of hard-boiled egg, olive, carrot, scallion, and a few other things we couldn’t identify. The barbecue is solid, too, especially the St. Louis-cut ribs, though you may want to ask for the sauce (which skews sweet) on the side. Meanwhile, the generous smothered-oxtails plate — usually available on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays — is some of the best straight-up soul food you’ll find in the entire East Bay.

— Luke Tsai

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