The cool thing to do in Seattle is own a food truck, and then say “f*ck this truck,” and open a brick-and-mortar restaurant. (But keep the truck, too, because people like it.) Wood Shop BBQ is a great example. It started as a truck in 2015, and now has a tiny storefront with a cool backyard in the Central District.
We’ve had better BBQ in Seattle (at RoRo and Bitterroot, to name two spots), but also much worse. Generally, everything here is pretty good. The best things are actually the sides - like the smoked jalapeño macaroni and cheese, which is good enough that you might want to stuff some in your pockets on the way out. The kale caesar, while it may not seem like the thing to get at a BBQ place, is flavorful and fantastic. On the other hand, obvious misses include the sandwich buns, which should be squishier, and the portobello mushrooms (a.k.a. the vegetarian BBQ option), which just taste burnt and rubbery.
The best way to do this place is to head in with a few people, get a round of beers, and try a little bit of every meat across the board (especially the pulled pork, which is the best), plus sides. Make sure to top everything with the housemade barbecue sauce, which is tangy and delicious. And when the dinner rush makes the small space too crowded, keep in mind that they also run a tight take-out operation, so you can ravage a rack of ribs like a wild animal in the privacy of your own home. Just note that the more popular meats and sides tend to sell out out by 9ish, so whether you’re eating in or taking out, you’ll want to make it here by then.
Wood Shop is overall a very solid spot for BBQ, and the fact that you no longer have to waste time chasing down a truck makes the whole experience even better. Because another cool thing to do in Seattle is to take photos of your dog in a raincoat, and now you have some extra bandwidth to work on that.
Hands down the best mac and cheese coming from a barbecue joint in the city. It’s smoky and spicy, and the oversized elbow noodles are perfect for catching the sauce. Fail to order this and you’ve made a real mistake.
No one comes to a BBQ restaurant for the kale salad. But this one is surprisingly good. It’s covered in a peppery caesar dressing and grated parmesan, so in case you were concerned, it’s not even that healthy.
A house-smoked sausage that has a kick. If you like the heat, dip it in their spicy barbecue sauce, too.
Kind of like kielbasa - a reliable, tasty choice that’s worth adding to your plate.
A solid smoked brisket that’s great with the house sauce. Ask for it sliced on the thicker side, since the charred edges are the best part.
We like that the buttermilk slaw and pickled onions are served on the side to keep the sandwich from getting soggy, but the brioche bun isn’t quite squishy enough. Still a fantastic pile of pulled pork on this thing, though.
If you’re vegetarian, our condolences - you’re going to have to make a meal out of side dishes here (something tells us you’re used to that already). The smoked mushroom cap in this is tough, rubbery, and tastes like singed charcoal. Skip.
Take the last one, and be prepared for everyone at the table to be really mad at you.