The whiteboard outside the door announced all-you-can-eat
ribs for $12.95 on Mondays and a lunch special of shredded barbecue pork or
chicken sandwich with a soda and chips for $5.95.
I got hungrier just reading.
The dining room decor uses an Americana theme. Weathered
pickets from a fence act as the dining room's wainscoting. Old tools
decorate the walls and railroad lanterns provide lighting.
Although the restaurant's only been open since March, I
was surprised to be the only customer at the beginning of a Saturday night
dinner hour. I ordered take out. As owner-chef John Locantore, who's from
the Bronx, prepared my order, another couple also placed an order to go. For
me, to-go orders explained the empty dining room.
For our sunset dinner, the friendly counter staff
suggested a "Three Way Combo" that includes two side dishes and cornbread.
This combination plate ($19.95) includes three pork ribs, two sausage links
and one-half of a chicken. I substituted beef brisket for the sausage
because the menu describes them as "Cajun style." I also selected the mild
barbecue sauce instead of the hot or intense. A little too much heat in this
I chose coleslaw and baked beans as our side dishes. The
other choice is potato salad. All are $1.50 and $3. To our order, I added a
slice of sweet potato pie ($3.50), which was the last one. Fortunately, it
was large enough to split with my dinner companion.
On the edge of Lake Stevens, we discovered our food
remained hot because it was wrapped in foil and placed inside Styrofoam
containers. The aroma of barbecue sauce heightened our hunger as we
unwrapped our order.
Locantore smokes the meats with different combinations of
woods. For the chicken, he uses apple and cherry. Hickory and alder flavor
the pork, and oak and cherry smoke the brisket. Everything's served with a
brushing of barbecue sauce and served with more sauce on the side. As we
helped ourselves to a little of everything, we noted that the chicken and
pork ribs were so tender they fell from the bone. The brisket was just as
tender and delicately flavored.
The barbecue sauce was distinctive, and Locantore said
Hungarian paprika and Thai seasonings plus different soy sauces are the
The beans, cooked with plenty of brown sugar, were creamy
and tasty. Unfortunately, the coleslaw, made with shredded cabbage and
carrots, was limp and the mayonnaise dressing needed more vinegar.
The cornbread muffins could have doubled as dessert.
Whole kernels of corn punctuated the steaming treats.
And we said it again after our first bite of rich sweet potato pie.