Not to be confused with grilling, barbecue undergoes hours of slow smoking or roasting with low heat. Purists (and Southerners) like to scoff at the local barbecue scene, but there is definitely credibly tender ribs and brisket and pulled pork to be found in these parts. As you might expect, some of these places can't resist adding their own twists to the southern fare; all the places below offer some discounted drinks alongside slow-cooked classics during the happiest hours of the day (and night).
Bourbon and Bones
This roadhouse-style joint in Fremont is the creation of Mike Law, one of our 2013 chefs to watch and we just can’t stop talking about it. Bourbon and Bones does a drink happy hour that goes from 4 to 6 on weekdays and does pints for $3, wells for a reasonable $5, and signature cocktails for $8. Its food specials, however, are carried out a bit differently. On weeknights you can find a hot case filled with every classic barbecue item: hot wings, brisket, fried chicken, pulled pork, ribs, thighs, mashed potatoes and gravy, collared greens, and slaw – it’s all half off after 10pm. Depending on what you choose, you could walk away spending anywhere from $1 for a wing to $9 for a big plate of brisket.
Food and drink specials run weekdays from 3-6pm, and every night from 11pm-1am. The Ballard Avenue mainstay subs industrial metal furniture and rustic wood walls for the stereotypical barbecue trappings. And there's a neat bar in the back. During happy hour, a plate of hot wings goes for $5, and there's a quartet of vegetarian plates such as cheddar grits ($2), and hush puppies ($4). The cocktails here are solid, but Bitterroot’s most enticing happy hour drinks are the creamed old fashioned and Montana Manhattan (both $5). A rotating draft is $3, and wines run just $5.
Kickin’ Boot Whiskey Kitchen
Options galore! The Matador's barbecue sibling (also situated near Ballard Ave) has daily happy hour specials from 3:30-6, Sunday through Thursday from 10pm-close, and Friday through Saturday 11pm-close. The happy hour menu offers an array of options for various barbecue moods. The wings Louisiana (drenched with both Crystal and housemade hot sauce) set you back $7, while hand-cut pimiento cheese fries are $4. Add chili for $2..why not? Also, the pulled pork or beef brisket minis are only $2.50 apiece, which would be a lovely little compliment to one of its $6 cocktails, such as the Southern punch.
The Lock and Keel Tavern
Want cheap eats, really cheap drinks, and a place to watch the Mariners game? Well, The Lock and Keel has four plasma TVs, a daily happy hour from 4 to 7, and a late night happy hour from 11pm to close. The happy hour menu includes snacks for $5, while its micros, wells and wine are a meager $3.50. You can have a PBR for the rightful price of $2.50. But the reason it lands on this particular list is the Tuesday night ribfest. St. Louis-style ribs, smoked over applewood, are $1 apiece. While we're at it, Whiskey Wednesdays boasts half-price barbecue sandwiches. People come to this place for a locals-only feel, but if there's no game on, we recommend you escape to the patio.