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Jun 18, 2007 06:00 PM

BBQ in Seattle, 2007

Looking for opinions on BBQ in Seattle. I've looked at a bunch of posts here, but nothing too recent. I've been told Real® BBQ doesn't exist here. Since I've not been to the various "BBQ Meccas" around the nation, I don't have any means of comparison. When posting, I'd appreciate you saying which style you prefer too.

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  1. I like all styles of BBQ - Texas, KC, Carolina, Memphis, etc - but I've never had any BBQ here, in any style, that isn't done better somewhere else. (No surprise, I guess.)

    One can find an ok pork sandwich in Seattle from time to time - Longhorn's pulled pork ranges from bleh to acceptable and I will heartily endorse the sliced pork sandwich at the Bullpen Pub as the single best food item available for purchase inside Safeco Field.

    BUT, I've never had a plate of ribs (pork or beef) or brisket in the PNW that was anything other than a crime against BBQ.

    Let's face it, Seattle shines at other things.

    1 Reply
    1. re: terrier

      Terrier, This subject has been beaten to death but it doesn't make it untrue. Seattle BBQ is worthless. (But then, I would never order Salmon in Memphis.) Seattle has many excellent restaurants---some of them leading edge. It's best we support what we do well and let this issue rest in peace.

      1. re: paulj

        Roy's (Columbia City) Georgia Gold sandwich, pork with mustard sauce, is really good in my opinion. But I ain't from the cackalacks, so what do I know?

        It's funny, I've seen so many posts categorically dissing and backhanding Seattle 'cue, with a notable lack of particularized criticisms of some places, places that are almost never mentioned. The whole BBQ debate is constantly treated as a dead issue. Sons of Memphis, Daughters of K.C., educate us. I accept that Jones, Willie's, Pecos Pit, Longhorn, Dixie's have been thoroughly treated and dismissed. But what's wrong with Roy's? Porters? Iron Pig? The posts on these are generally either non-existent, old, or positive.

        1. re: equinoise

          Equinoise, There are positive posts about P.F. Chang's, but that doesn't make it a worthy Chowhound destination. The best analogy I can provide about Seattle BBQ is: Compare Tamarand Tree or Green Leaf to a Ms. Chang's frozen dinner. That should give you perspective.

          1. re: equinoise

            Thanks, equinoise. I haven't tried any of those three, but will. There were several recs from others regarding those in particular, so maybe I'll be satisfied. I've tried quite a few in the area, and, as many have said, Seattle has its challenges.

            1. re: SeaSybarite

              I encourage you to try and report back.

              I think I'm just worn-out from so many disappointing BBQ experiences in Seattle - too often I've been promised good Q only to end up with tough, bland ribs and/or dry, flavorless brisket. I just don't bother here anymore & satisfy my Q cravings when visiting my family down south every year or so.

              1. re: terrier

                Thanks terrier--Will do. I hear what you're saying about trying so many and feeling disappointed. That's why I'm still searching. Unfortunately, I have no friends or relatives down south, so i have to live vicariously thru good Q stories.

            2. re: equinoise

              I'm from Alabama so I lean towards pork sandwiches and I think Pig Iron BBQ in Georgetown is my favorite. Their catfish sandwich is pretty good as well. I don't tend to order ribs in a restaurant for whatever reason. BBQ is like religion to some people and they will only be happy eating whatever they started out eating. That's fine and there's no sense of debating the merits of one versus the other. Pig Iron's sandwiches comes closest to the joints I remember as a kid.

              1. re: eternalX

                eternalX--thanks for your opinion. I was going to go to Pig Iron for lunch today, but alas my lunch partner flaked.

                I think you may be correct about how people see BBQ like religion. Seems like the "best pizza" thread was like that too--and it would make sense. Go with what ya know.

                Being raised in the mold up here, I have no means of comparison.

            3. re: paulj

              Thank you, paulj. I did read that thread, and there are a few recs i'll have to try.
              It's interesting how polarized people are about BBQ.

            4. It isn't in Seattle, but the best local BBQ I know of is in Burlington on the road to Sedro Woolley.

              9 Replies
              1. re: PAO

                PAO, thank you for you suggestion. Have you tried Bodacious BBQ in Granite Falls?
                I haven't, but hike/camp/backpack in that area. i can't imagine anything better than some fine bbq after days of dehydrated meals and cliff bars.

                1. re: SeaSybarite

                  No, I haven't. Will do if we get up that way. We always stop at the Burlington place on our way to Mt Baker. The baked beans are out of this world. The chicken is moist and tender. I'm getting hungry thinking about it.

                  1. re: PAO

                    Dang! Sounds like i might have to make a special hiking trip up Baker for a good excuse to visit. Thanks for the tip!

                    1. re: SeaSybarite

                      I've eaten at Bodacious and didn't think much of it. It's OK though. Probably the best you are likely to get in that area but I certainly wouldn't drive an hour out of the way for it!

                      1. re: eternalX

                        Thanks for your opinion, eternalX. Huh. Seems like for each favorable opinion, there are at least as many unfavorable ones, lending creedance to your point about religion.

                        1. re: SeaSybarite

                          It isn't BBQ, but if you do happen to be climbing the Heliotrope ridge of Baker, I can recommend that you stop by Grahams in Glacier for some fish tacos. I'm a bit burned out on them now, but I used to eat them every time I went up there, which is every other week in the winter.

                          Milanos is more hit and miss. I like their lamb shank when they have it, but their pastas are usually way too rich and saucy.

                          1. re: eternalX

                            Huh. Fish tacos in Glacier. Who woulda thunk it? Right on...I'll check it out when i'm up there...thanks.

                  2. re: SeaSybarite

                    How about Teddy Bear in Duval? Apparently they have been catering for several years, but just recently set up a restaurant in Duval. It appears from their web site that it has been doing well enough to stay open 7 days a week. Like Granite Falls, this is a place I'm more likely to try as part of a day trip, than as a destination itself.


                    1. re: paulj

                      thanks, paulj. I had no idea...Seems like many q joints have popped up in the last few years. Yet another place to try on my way back from my friend's house.

                2. I really like Smokin Bj’s in Lynnwood. I am not someone who really knows Q, I just when food tastes good. ;) Defiantly worth going to if you are in the North End. They were written up in the Times about a year ago and then in the Weekly a few weeks ago.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Charles

                    Thanks, Charles. I don't make it to Lynnwood often, but i'll look it up if i'm in the area.

                  2. I am a native Seattlite with a mother who was born and raised in southeast Texas, and my mom makes heavenly ribs -- ribs that would probably offend someone else's sensibilities. That's all I can compare Seattle BBQ to, and it's not much of a comparison.

                    I'm not a religious meat man, so I occasionally go for the subpar bone-gnaw...and probably the best plate of ribs I have had in greater Seattle was at Steel Pig BBQ, down by the Seattle Center. None of the others I have tried -- Dixie's, Jones, Dinosaur, Pecos, Porter's, Iron Pig, etc. -- come close.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: jencke

                      Hmmm...jencke, i see what you mean. It's true that bbq is akin to spaghetti, everyone likes their own "traditional" style. Steel Pig? haven't heard o that one, have to give it a try. thanks!

                      1. re: SeaSybarite

                        I learned about Steel Pig from Chowhound.... and it was one of those great finds, at least for my family and friends. Let us know what you think of it.

                        1. re: jencke

                          Hmmm...i see they have TWO locations, Roy(QA, as you said), and up on Aurora. Have you eaten at the Aurora location?

                          1. re: SeaSybarite

                            I'm pretty sure the S Pig up on Aurora has closed its doors