15163 NE 24TH
Redmond WA 98052
Stuffed Silly on Some Sweet Smokin' BBQ
By: Bryan R
Ah, barbequed goodness on a warm summer day, does it get any better? Well it might if you could actually find a halfway decent BBQ eatery in our neck of the woods. Washington, being about as far north away as you can get from the BBQ Mecca of the South, is hurting for some good BBQ. Though there are a few shining examples (a nod towards Dixie's) of good BBQ in our area, the list still needs some shoring up.
Milt's BBQ in Redmond is a recent addition to our list of worthy BBQ joints. Part of yet another sprawling strip mall (it's barely noticeable as it's flanked by much larger stores on both sides), Milt's isn't much to look at from the outside. And when you step in, Milt's still isn't much to look at. Obviously, if you're at Milt's, you're there for the food -- nothing more, and nothing less.
Fortunately, Milt's holds up their end of the bargain.
We stepped into Milt's on a warm, balmy summer afternoon and took a moment to let our eyes adjust to the darkness. A sheet of sunlight, reflecting in from the parking lot, pierced through the narrow open windows which were sporting loud, heavy-duty fans. Just like in a deli shop, we placed our order at the front counter, poured our own water, and found a place to wait in one of the many aging booths. We casually glanced around, but there wasn't much to look at, except for a couple of regulars chatting away a couple booths down from us. And for once, the bluesy jazz piping through the speakers seemed to fit in.
After a wait of fifteen to twenty minutes, our order arrived on plastic plates with plastic utensils, along with a bit of friendly banter and amicable jokes with the owner/chef/server (presumably Milt himself). The dishes looked a little uninspiring, but we hoped to be proved wrong. It was time to dig in.
At Milt's, the proof is in the pudding (or BBQ sauce in this case) when you get your first smells and tastes of the barbecued goodness. Served on a warm, doughy roll, the tender Pork Sandwich ($8.50) was drenched in a sweet, tangy, and smoky sauce that had an excellent balance of spices. This delightful dish is a definite on our list of recommendations.
The Chicken and Hot Link Sandwich ($9.50) was another winner. Despite having reasonably flavorsome and moist chicken, the sandwich was dominated by the tender hot link. This link was wonderfully spiced with all manners of flavors, including pepper, paprika, garlic, and maybe a touch of honey or cinnamon. We also found the side of corn bread to be sweet, fluffy, and fresh. It's definitely excellent as a side dish, though you might want to ask for some butter on the side. The sweet and savory baked beans also attested to Milt's solid, home-style cooking.
Although it was lunchtime, one of us sprang for their Baby Back Rib Dinner Combo ($16). The plate came with about six or seven ribs coated in a sauce that had a pleasantly strong, smoky flavor. Tender and perfectly cooked, the meat just fell off the bone. Accompanying the ribs was a remarkably creamy side of potato salad made from thick, savory chunks of potato that went down well. The coleslaw, however, was not as tongue tickling and seemed to lack flavor compared to the other dishes. Perhaps old cabbage is to blame.
The prices at Milt's vary dramatically depending on what you order and whether you select a lunch or a dinner combo. Our lunch plates, which were reasonably filling, ran us about $8 or $9 each and were a good value. The dinner combo, though considerably more filling, was about $16 and didn't quite feel worth it (keep in mind that the baby back ribs plate was the most expensive dinner item -- other dinner combos cost a more reasonable $12 - $13).
Like many other Hole-in-the-Wall award winners, Milt's score suffers a bit because of ambiance, but it pulls through in terms of taste. So, if you have a hankering for some good BBQ on the East Side, Milt's offers a good combination of great food at decent prices.
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