Rye's best friend

The meat specialists at the Refuge, a popular San Carlos gastropub, are now piling on the pastrami in Menlo Park.

Here, as at the original location, chef-owner Matt Levin and chef de cuisine Michael Greuel (they met at Viognier in San Mateo) are making inhouse what many customers call the Bay Area's best pastrami, along with hamburgers ground daily and ribeye cheesesteaks.

The Refuge has its roots in both the European charcuterie and New York deli traditions, with Levin's time overseas resulting in a predilection for Belgian beers -- he's got 24 on tap.

Although meat's the focus, you'll find an eclectic range of other offerings (scallop risotto, grilled cambozola sandwiches) too.

Details: 1143 Crane St., Menlo Park. 650-319-8197; http://refugesc.com.

Competitive 'cue

The Silicon Valley BBQ Championship is back for a second year June 28-29, with a new partnership (Rotary Club has paired up with the city of Santa Clara's All City Picnic); a new, much larger location (Central Park) -- and more barbecue for the public to eat.

This time, 56 professional teams will vie for Kansas City Barbeque Society points, and 14 of those teams will sell tastes to the public Saturday, June 29. Backyard barbecuers will test their skills, and the event will also feature a Food Alley with about 20 vendors selling everything from barbecue platters to deep-fried Oreos.

There's live music both days, children's carnival, car show and more. Proceeds benefit local nonprofits.

Hours are 4-8 p.m. Friday, June 28, for music, food and a chance to meet the BBQ contenders as they fire up the grills; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, June 29, for all events.

Details: Admission is free; premium parking costs $10. 909 Kiely Blvd., Santa Clara. www.svbbq.com.

Send South Bay, Peninsula dining tips to Linda Zavoral, lzavoral@mercurynews.com.