Berry's BBQ offers a heap of barbecue with a side of community
You won't go home hungry when you leave Berry's BBQ on Ambaum Boulevard Southwest in Burien. If you eat in the tiny restaurant that sports one table you will get to know your fellow diners.
Seattle Times reporter
11614 Ambaum Blvd. S.W., Burien, 98146, 206-444-5141.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Etc: Major credit cards accepted; parking on street and in lot; no obstacles to access; wine and beer available.
It's like going to your uncle's house, sitting around the kitchen table eating barbecue and listening to him talk about politics as you dig into a mountain of barbecue ribs. This is Rufus Berry's third venture into the restaurant business. He used to have a flourishing place in Georgetown and later another in the Red Lion Hotel. But at 69, he wants only a nook where he can cook the food his mama taught him to make when he was growing up in rural Arkansas: beef brisket and collard greens, cornbread and spareribs, barbecued chicken and peach cobbler.
The menu: Berry keeps the menu as small as this tiny place, and all of it is focused on barbecue or what goes with it. The highlights are barbecue ribs, pork, beef brisket, chicken or pork entrees. All come with baked beans, potato salad and cornbread for $13.95.
There are pork, chicken and beef brisket sandwiches for $6.50, as well as salad main dishes such as Caesar salad with smoked salmon or smoked chicken added for $8.95. The menu is the same for lunch or dinner.
What to write home about: Like a family member might do, Berry decided what he was feeding us and brought my friends and me a heaping plate full of barbecue — ribs, chicken, pork and beef brisket ($13.95 each), so we could sample everything. We ate our fill and more and still had enough to take home.
The ribs were my favorite. They came slathered with the molasses-spiked sauce he makes by the bucket.
What to skip: The potato salad was adequate but not great, and the cornbread was dry.
The setting: This quirky place is cluttered with memorabilia. Old photos line the wall. There's only one table and everyone sits together. Strangers become friends quickly. As we ate, one new diner arrived and jokingly said to us, "I guess I'm late. I see you started without me."
Summing up: If you're looking for Berry's, look for a blue pickup with a large white fiberglass cow riding in the back. When the truck is there so is Berry. Dining at Berry's is more than a place for barbecue, it's an experience. Total cost of the meal for three, with tax, but without a tip: $49.75.
Nancy Bartley: 206-464-8522 or email@example.com. On Twitter @BartleyNews.