Drunky’s Two Shoe BBQ is hard to miss. Straddling the border of Ballard and Fremont at 4105 Leary Way NW, the entire restaurant is swimming in old country charm and a distinctive smoked alderwood smell.
The interior is a backwoods sanctuary. Southern rock music fills the air. Scrap wood and taxidermy animals cover the walls. Pictures of Elvis and Jesus hang near a bona fide chainsaw chandelier. This is a place made by the people, for the people.
“[We did] all of it ourselves. No architect, no real planning, just did it. Like if we didn’t like the way the wall looked when we put it up, we took it down and did it again,” owner Nate Rezac says.
Starting out as a food truck, Drunky’s moved into its new home this April.
“Most of this stuff is like, Craigslist free. We’d find old ladies with fences that were falling apart, tear it down, replace it and take the wood,” Rezac says.
Orders arrive on the double. Unsurprisingly, veggies are not the barbecue place’s strong suit. The dinner salad is minimalistic and the slaw is super simple, with only a dash of pepper to add extra flavor. Thankfully, the cornbread is sweet and buttery. It melts in your mouth, crumbles just right and is extremely satisfying.
The chicken is juicy with a backwoods sweet ‘n’ smoky flavor, sliding off the bone with ease. The ribs, while not boasting much meat, fall apart just the ways ribs should. Charred and flavorful, the pork practically leaps off the rib. Meanwhile, the brisket has a thick, fatty, blackened coat covering a tender interior—a staple of great smoking.
The standard barbecue sauce has a surprising kick and pairs great with Drunky’s hearty entrees. For the brave, there’s also Doom Sauce, tangy sweet at first but followed quickly by an ultra spicy pepper shakedown.
Not ready for an entire meal? Two Shoe’s also offers some tantalizing smaller options, including BBQ parfait, smoked bone marrow and hot links.
Drunky’s Two Shoe is a great experience for each of the five senses. Solid barbecue such as this stands out when so many critics simply brand anything outside of Texas as a rip-off. It feels good to have a place like this just a stone’s throw from campus.