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BBQ in Olympia

  • k

I was watching a show on the Food Network called the Grill Girls and they featured two women from Olympia who won a lot of BBQ competitions and opened two restaurants called Ranch House BBQ. It sounded worth checking out. Has anybody been?

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  1. Definitely, if you're in the neighborhood. I don't recall details, but we were favorably impressed. The original restaurant is located out to the west of town, off Hwy 8 toward the coast. They've opened a second place with a simplified menu in downtown Olympia.


    1 Reply
    1. re: MsMaryMc

      From today's Seattle Times;

      West of Olympia, a mud slide wiped out a landmark eatery, the Ranch House BBQ, off Highway 8 near Summit Lake. A section of the highway will be closed indefinitely, officials said.

    2. IMHO it is not very good bbq. An article in today's Olympia about the pit boss revealed that she relies on fruit woods for smoking and pictured her spraying apple juice on ribs that were being prepared in one of those round grills. It may be that I don't care for her choice of woods and "mops". And, ribs are better prepared in a smoker at about 225 degrees, not on a grill. The beans were quite tasty. But the q was not good enough to merit a return trip.

      1. I just went to this place on the way to AND from Pacific Beach this week. I personally thought it was delicious. I had the pulled pork sandwich and it was a melt in your mouth delight. I've never had such tender pork...anywhere. I brought home a big pile of pulled pork and brisket home for my boyfriend and he was pretty impressed too. I had a side of beans that were fabulous and the potato salad was good, but too much celery for my taste. Wish I lived closer!

        1. Gotta say I love the Ranch House BBQ - especially the ribs. The sides I can live without and do better myself, but the ribs is really really really nice. Mmmm. Might have to go soon.

          It's DANGEROUSLY close to my office, and we fall prey on a regular basis for lunch, followed by a pleasant post-prandial stupor, tolerated by the boss. (PS I'm the boss.)

          1. I finally had the chance to stop by the express on the way back from Portland. I had the brisket and I gotta say, it's the worst I've had. The meat was dry. It had no smoke ring and one side had a quarter inch layer of charred, burnt, rock-hard meat. They were so skimpy with their sauce that the dry brisket was awful. People next to us seemed to be enjoying their pulled pork.

            1. Interesting. I work in West Olympia and I've never been to the Ranch House - yet. Olympia is nice but definitely no Seattle. I LOVE Seattle restaurants :-) I'm not a big BBQ fan unless I'm in the mood since it's so messy. I'll check it out and give my opinion at a later date...but it's not looking too good after reading the post by kirkj

              1. To be honest, I've lived in Olympia for over 20yrs and have never heard of this place. So, it must not be that good. However, there's a decent BBQ way out in Tenino that I frequently visit. I prefer the BBQ chicken sandwich, though the pizza is pretty good, as well.

                1. Stopped by Ranch House on the way to Ocean Shores this weekend against my better judgment.

                  Good mix of cars outside and packed with people. Food didn't measure up. The brisket was dry & charred, the pulled pork was also dry, and the pork ribs were like all the others I've had in the PNW: fully cooked meat full of unrendered connective tissue & cartilage. Folks just don't seem to get that you've gotta slow-cook the ribs until the grisly stuff turns to gelatin.

                  1. I don't think it has been mentioned on here but Speedway BBQ in Lacey is pretty good. I believe it is Texas-style. I would recommend trying their ribs. I have had them 3 or 4 times and all but ones they were very moist and tender. THe flavor was quite good too. THe half rack is plenty of food and they have a 2 for 1 on Tuesdays (or they used to anyway). THeir pulled pork is not bad either. I am not a brisket fan and I can't vouch for it or their chicken.
                    THe place is very casual and has a nice feel to it, even though I am not a racing fan and it is racing themed. They brew several beers there. I would recommend the sampler, as I am not a fan of all of them- but a couple are rather tasty.
                    Anyway, it's worth checking out for the ribs and a taste of the beers, especially if you live nearby (in Lacey between LAcey blvd and pacific- map it, as it's a little hard to find unless you know exactly where it is).

                    1. we tried the Speedway lately. Thought it was very good. Had the pulled pork, very smoky and enough to take home. I'm not a fan of vinegary sauce but I haven't had really good BBQ since I visited Kansas City and lived in Texas. I like the Ranch House though I guess some of the meat is dry. I just love smoked meat and too many places say they smoke but don't.

                      1. I just saw a photo of the Ranch House BBQ, located on the highway near Summit Lake. It appears to have suffered major damage in the December 2 storm. Hopefully they can get back up and running soon. Perhaps their take-out store in downtown Olympia will continue to operate, but there is no answer on their phone currently. Let's hope for the best.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Steve in Olympia

                          It is not looking good. I hope the poor things were heavily insured. The main smokers were at the McCleary site, and all their trophies! http://www.theolympian.com/breakingne...

                        2. Today's newspaper confirms the worst for the Ranch House BBQ near Summit Lake: the building is a total loss from a mudslide, and insurance coverage is doubtful. Here is the link:
                          Their downtown take-out location is expected to re-open soon.