What's New In BBQ?
I have the dubious pleasure of going to Topeka Kansas next week.
On the up side, after the plane lands, I'll be going to the venerable old skool Arthur Bryant's BBQ in Kansas City on Sunday in the 18th and Vine district of KC, one of the historic nests of American Jazz.
Then on the way back from Topeka to the airport, Tuesday afternoon I'll hit Oklahoma Joes.
(Anthony Bourdain says it's one of 13 places to eat before you die!
So Chowhounders, is it time for us to e-postulate (the BBQ version of postulate) on the best Q Seattle has to offer? (anyone remember the "pink house" off the alley near 23rd and Cherry?)
Arthur Bryants. This place could be a movie set. But the ribs weren't very nice, nor were the burnt ends. Oh well, I paid my respects. The guy next to me had a double decker sandwich of ham and brisket. It was huge and looked good.
This place get points for having a guard wandering around and pouring the beer.
Oklahoma Joes. The ribs were nice, meaty, well seasoned, top notch. But Tony! One of the 13 places to eat before you die? Really?
I brought back a rack of ribs from KC and now I'm jones'n for more.
Just checked out B&B in "Frellard" on Yelp and...ouch!! The bad reviews were horrid. The good ones early on were clearly from "friends and family."
That leaves it hit or miss.
I'm going straight for their sausage and hope for the best.
? Do Chowhounds pay attention to Yelp?
I've only tried B&B once, and I thought it was good. I had the chicken, and Wahine had beef brisket, with shared bacon collard greens.
To tell the truth, I don't pay a lot of attention to Yelp. I find reviews there to be less than useful on average, due to the fact that bitchiness about service tends to skew things, and frankly about 80% of the reviews are by folks who are not particularly articulate about food, IMO. I get better informed usually, right here on CH.
B&B is a strange operation. Actually, it seems to be *two separate* operations--the tavern won't take food orders. For me this resulted in a classic "Who's On First" when the barkeep took my credit card for the beer tab, and I had no cash to pay for the food. But they managed.
If you go to B&B, please post. There're pretty good/unusual beers being poured there, even if the food doesn't appeal.
PS The house-made Andouille were very plump and tempting.
I like Boar's Nest in Ballard. It's not the best barbecue joint in the region (GreenYoshi already covered those), but Boar's Nest is probably my favorite place in Seattle proper. Their meats tend to be well-seasoned and not too tough or chewy. Furthermore, the prices are reasonable and they offer fried pickle chips as a side.
Pinky's is a lot better if you ignore the barbecue and just order as much deep-fried food as your conscience will allow.
Boar's Nest has a chicken sandwich that is evocative of a Chick-Fil-A sandwich (with pickle slice and all).
And you're right, my favorite things at Pinky's was their fried chicken sandwich. Their mac&cheese is good too. I will heed your "ignore the barbecue" advice from henceforth.
I think the thing Seattle folks never get about BBQ is the challenge around consistency.
Even the best places in the world have "off-days" when it comes to BBQ. Your memories of "great memories" of a specific BBQ spot probably relate more to the day you went that to it's actual quality.
Not to mention specific timing. Without the volume of demand, many of the BBQ spots around here have to leave stuff around all day, and any BBQer knows that quality degrades quickly once it's out in the open.
That said, I'll throw up Gabriel's Fire and Raining Ribs that get it right more often than not around here.
The one I don't get is Pinky's over in Wallingford. I've had legitimate BBQ people tell me they love it, but every time I've gotten it, everything has been dry and acrid. If anyone has advice on what they like, or a specific time of day they've gotten good stuff there, I'd appreciate it.
Also, Seattle's people who rep R&L have never had really good BBQ.