Do That! Willies vs. Bourbon and Bones


Located on Rainer Ave South between Walden and Estelle, Willie’s is a locally owned and operated BBQ restaurant that grabs your attention with their big and bright neon sign atop their entrance. 3427 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144 206-722-3229

A couple of days ago Barbara and I went to a new, fancy “Nawilns” style BBQ place in Ballard.  Bourbon and Bones, it is called.  No complaints!

Bourbon and Bones  was more than OK.   The barbecue is kind of North Carolina style ,  vinegar-based,  OK but the grits, the smoke chicken and the were wonderful ,  and the selection of booze was obviously the major reason  for the name.    We left intending to go back and eat the North Carolina chicken and more of the grits!  (Do try the Hush Poppies .. best Falafel ever!)An impressive part of Seattle’s restaurant scene.

But,  two days later I had a hunger  for reality .   Seattle has become poor in real restaurants …   the sort of place that used to be run  by an immigrant  or perhaps  by someone migrating to the northwest  from one of the less culturally homogenous parts of the United States   such as  the wonderful  African-American  South, Boston’s North End, or the Bronx.

That is Willies.  Nothing fancy,  just simple,  traditional,  southern African-American food .  The emphasis is on ribs,  brisket,  homemade hotlinks,  with the usual sides of greens, beans, corn bred and  and potato  salad.   Oh yeah,  there is stuff I don’t eat …  chitterlins  being a good example but I am also not big on mac’n cheese.   I also hesitate to recommend the fried chicken .  It’s not bad, but  with  Ezell’s  few blocks away,  the competition is tough.  If you really want chicken at  Willies,  go for the jerk chicken.   My wife loves it.

The best part, however , maybe the simplicity of this place.   Often, the only staff is Willie himself .   Sometimes is a great lady behind the counter.   People come in,  order takeout  or watch whatever’s running on the TV while they eat .    Pretty simple!




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