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Originally published Friday, April 11, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Gussied-up Willie's stays true to the soul

After more than 13 years on South Beacon Hill, Willie's Taste of Soul Bar-B-Que has moved to the Rainier Valley. The new red and yellow...

Seattle Times Arts & Life editor

Willie's Taste of Soul Bar-B-Que

Southern barbecue

3427 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle

206-722-3229

www.williestasteofsoul.com

Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, closed Sundays.

Etc: Tiny parking lot adjacent, no obstacles to access.

Prices: $$

After more than 13 years on South Beacon Hill, Willie's Taste of Soul Bar-B-Que has moved to the Rainier Valley. The new red and yellow shop is brighter and more appealing than its predecessor, but the formula hasn't changed: tasty, tangy barbecue prepared (and sometimes genially served) by Willie Turner himself.

The menu: Barbecue baby backs, barbecue chicken, barbecue pork, barbecue brisket ... you get the picture. Choose between mild, medium and hot sauce (if you like it, you can buy a jar to take home) and a half-dozen classic Southern sides, including potato salad, greens, baked beans and yams.

What to write home about: You aren't likely to mistake anything on the menu for health food, but the yummy yams ($3.25) taste particularly illicit — buttery and sweet.

The setting: Everything in the new Willie's is bright and shiny — including the huge-screen TV that was tuned (loudly) to ESPN on a recent weeknight. Lots of eat-in and takeout traffic keeps the place hopping.

Summing up: Definitely go, and go hungry. The family combinations for two to six people cost about $12 a head and include enough good food (barbecue, two sides and cornbread) to leave your body — and your soul — satisfied.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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