Since arriving in the city of Seattle last year, I have been woefully remiss in seeking out good barbecue. It was almost as if driving across the country and having the best of Kentucky and KC 'que made me think there was nothing good to be had here in the Emerald City. Even in my brief stint as a holiday employee for REI, when driving to work each day, I would pass a BBQ place and think "should I try that?", as if it could possibly compare to Arthur Bryant's!
The truth is, nothing can compare to the experience of eating barbecue. Each restaurant is unique, each recipe has its own flair. So while I can still perfectly picture Lowell Jewell of Princeton, KY in my head saying "I'd never gas my meat" in our private tasting session at his restaurant, that doesn't mean there aren't a hundred other BBQ experiences waiting to be had that could be equally memorable. So last week, we took a working lunch from the OCS to try out one of the many local BBQ joints: Pig Iron Bar-B-Q.
Located right around the corner on 1st Ave in Georgetown, the Pig Iron is only open for lunch, which is a crying shame, because I would definitely brings others around for their food. It's a bit of a throwback without looking dated, with simple decor and furnishings that allow you to get comfortable and just kick back. Our waitress was prompt and friendly, and we took no time at all to decide on our order. Tim ordered a round of sweet potato fries and fried green tomatoes for the table, and I could barely contain myself when ordering a brisket sandwich with a side of collard greens, and of course, a High Life. The waitress suggested grilled onions on the sandwich, but I took a pass.
The apps arrived in short order, and the fried green tomatoes were perfectly cooked little slices of heaven. Not too heavily battered, with a subtle crunch on the outside, and the soft warm center you'd expect. And the sweet potato fries did not disappoint either. Though these have found their way on several menus, I find they can be a let-down if the proper attention isn't paid to the seasoning. But here there was a sweetness to go with the salt, and the generous serving did not last long. We all appreciated the serveware too: cast-iron half-moon dishes that retained the food's heat and did let it go cold too quickly. I'll be looking for these for the home 'que!
The brisket arrived and I had my only real low point of the meal: they pre-sauced the sandwich. Don't get me wrong, I would have thrown some on myself, but I'm a mustard-based man, and this was the ketchup sauce. Thankfully, it was sitting on top, and not all mixed in, so I could easily dip it in some of the Pig Iron's own recipe of mustard sauce. Tim also got the brisket and said that though he preferred sliced to chopped brisket, it was still one hell of a sandwich. I would not disagree. Brisket is the toughest cut to do right, and this had a great smokiness that wasn't overpowering and cooked just plain right. And you could tell the meat they used was high quality, a point confirmed when I visited their website after the fact and saw it was Oregon's own Painted Hills brisket. I was a bit worried about my greens however, when the first bite lacked flavor. But after a quick stir, the juices mixed back in, and I could definitely notice the difference. I do love me some greens!!
All in all, Pig Iron does great food at a good value. I would suggest ordering sides for the table, rather than to accompany your meal, as the portions are much bigger in the table sides versus the dish sides and there's not much price difference. Also, make sure you know whether your sandwich comes with sauce, if you're a stickler like me.
If you want to visit the Pig Iron (and you definitely should!), here's all the details:
Pig Iron Bar-B-Q
5602 1st Ave S.
Tuesdays thru Fridays 11:00am to 4:00pm
Saturdays 12:00pm to 5:00pm
Sundays & Mondays Closed