Barbecue and blues: One online fan called it the most anticipated restaurant opening in Fremont history. He may be right.

Pitmaster Paul Reddick is firing up the smokers on Mowry Avenue and lining up the blues bands.

This career changer (he was in semiconductor sales) conquered the San Jose barbecue scene in less than two years with his Smoking Pig BBQ -- a funky joint serving succulent ribs, brisket, pork and chicken; crazy appetizers; and decadent sides and desserts, all supplemented by live blues music.

Now Reddick has fulfilled his dream of a full restaurant and blues club. In Fremont, he and wife Jessica have room to serve 200 diners inside and out, with a full cocktail bar and 16 beers on tap. He hopes to make this a destination for blues fans by showcasing Bay Area talent as well as touring national and international bands. There is live music (until 1 a.m., in Fremont!) on Fridays and Saturdays, plus a blues jam every Wednesday hosted by musician J.C. Smith.

Still wondering about those crazy and decadent dishes? You have to try the "wolf turds," jalapeños stuffed with smoked sausage and cheese, wrapped in bacon, then smoked for two hours; the meaty mac 'n' cheese; and the peanut butter pie with whipped cream.

Details: 3340 Mowry Ave., Fremont; 510-713-1854, www.smokingpigbbq.net.

Love those loaves: Start queuing up, Peninsula residents. The Manresa Bread Project, which sells breads from the Michelin-starred Los Gatos restaurant, will expand to the Palo Alto farmers market on California Avenue starting March 23. Next to come is a retail store, but chef-owner David Kinch said he is still scouting locations. The market opens at 9 a.m. Sundays.

Save the date: Hootie hoo! That irrepressible fan favorite, celebrity chef Carla Hall, will make an appearance April 12 in San Jose to introduce her new cookbook, "Carla's Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes from Around the World," demo a recipe and answer audience questions. The event starts at 5 p.m. at Santana Row Park, then moves inside to Sur La Table. Reserve a spot; 408-244-4749.

Square in the square: If you were a Herb Caen devotee, you may recall "the Washbag," San Francisco's Washington Square Bar and Grill and a frequent Caen hangout. (And site of many fallen restaurants ever since.) Now the North Beach space has been revived by chef-owners Teague Moriarty and Matt McNamara from Michelin-starred Sons & Daughters and Sweet Woodruff. Their new The Square is all about craft cocktails and seasonal food, including dinner fare -- Chicken Fried Quail ($28), for example, and Barley and Green Garlic Risotto ($18) -- and shareable platters, such as Dungeness Crab with Spring Herb Remoulade ($56) and a full rack of Baby Back ribs with Polenta, Cucumber and Mint ($47). The new place is open from 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. Wednesdays through Sundays at 1707 Powell St.; thesquaresf.com.

Send your restaurant tips to jburrell@bayareanewsgroup.com and lzavoral@mercurynews.com.