Mikes 4 Star BBq, Port Gamble SEA
Visited this place today, after trying all the usual suspects and being disapointed in general with the BBQ choices in the PNW. Spoke with the propriotor (Mike) who has been q'ing on a mobile rig for four years now. Place is a converted gas station in Port Gamble. Decor is simple, clean and functional.
Ordered a three meat combo plate to share with my 16 yo son. Plate came with pulled pork, chicken quarter, and half a rack of spare ribs. Chicken was done perfectly, golden skin, moist and tender with a good smoke flavor. Ribs had a nice thick dry rub (cinnimon taste came out strong, but not in a bad way) on them, good smoke ring and falling off the bone. Quality cut as well. Pulled pork is where he really shined - very nice smoke ring, plenty of bark mixed in with the order, tender and not greasy. Served with a small bun that held up well to the sauce.
Two sauces available (I orderd my meat with sauce on the side...don't know if it comes sauced usually) one a tomatoe based (texas?) and the other a Carolina vinegar base. The tomatoe sauce was a bit ketchupy for me, but the vinegar was very tasty. Ended up mixing the two for what is for me a perfect combo.
Sides are simple with slaw and beans included in the meals. The slaw was fresh and crunchy with what looked to be the carolina sauce on it. It could use a bit more flavor. The beans were outstanding with a sweet smokey taste and a good bit of cumin coming through.
Place gets bonus points for having 5 or 6 micros on tap. Bill cane to 30.00 with beer and soda, had to take some home because we couldn't eat it all.
All in all a solid place, it's got a good beat and you can dance to it. It is for sure the best Q I've had since we moved here. I'll have to go back to check for consistancy, but if you are looking for decent Q, this could be it.
** Boy, we must have gone on a bad day...the pulled pork was dry and tough, the coleslaw was boring and the beans tasted like they came out of a can. We are BBQ lovers, but this place in our opinion doesn't cut it. We will go back to Q's in East Bremerton for great beans, Pecos Pit in Seattle for everything on the menu, Jones in Seattle, and Central Market in Poulsbo.
Thanks for the comments Dave. Love to hear about new places. Might give it another try...you make it sound good.
I just ate there last Wednesday for lunch and had the ribs. They were wonderful -- moist, juicy, smoky -- basically everything you could wish for in BBQ ribs. I had to restrain myself from moaning out loud from the pleasure I experienced in each bite. Since I have a place just a couple of miles south of Port Gamble, I have been enjoying Mike's BBQ for quite a while, going back to his cart at the Sunday open market in Port Gamble. Mike is very knowledgeable about BBQ, including things like a good smoke ring, and.I'm among those who think his BBQ is usually very good. Now that he has a dedicated restaurant open five days a week (Wednesday through Sunday), his occasional lapses (e.g., dry meat) seem to have diminished significantly. I can assure you that my ribs were not at all dry or “tough” and I don’t understand the complaint about the “sweet sauce” since, as the OP points out, there are two styles of sauce, including a North Carolina-style vinegar sauce. Mike’s Four Star is a wonderful addition to the Kitsap County eating scene which, with a few exceptions (like Burrata Bistro in Poulsbo), is pretty unexceptional.