Seattle Weekly's Hanna Raskin likens Pacific Northwest barbecue pitmasters to 19th century entertainers, who performed in blackface. This week, Raskin reviewed three new Ballard barbecue slingers, who are hoping to avoid the travesty of "culinary minstrelsy": Bitterroot BBQ, The Boar's Nest, and RoRo BBQ & Grill. Of the three, Bitterroot comes off best, with Raskin applauding pitmaster Grant Carter for his brisket and observing that Carter and his wife "have built a strong foundation for Seattle barbecue."
RoRo, a mini-chain of barbecue joints, comes off the worst: "Depending on how you count, there are at least seven significant departures from barbecue tradition in RoRo's standard process. Less-kind observers might call them mistakes." In reviewing The Boar's Nest, Raskin can't resist another dig at Texas. Noting that the restaurant offers a range of regional sauces including "a spicier tomato-based sauce for Texas," Raskin snarks, "purists will point out that Texas might be better represented by an empty space in the six-pack that serves as a sauce caddy." The pulled pork, slaw, and sauces were all Raskin-endorsed, but she says that the brisket was rigid and dry.