Barbecue with Valet Parking

Eatin' and Thinkin' at Kickin' Boot Whiskey Kitchen in Ballard


Iron Works (the place you visited in ATX) is mediocre BBQ by Central Texas standards. The next time you visit, go to Franklin or JMueller BBQ. You'll have a new favorite BBQ experience. :)

I've been meaning to visit Ballard for an evening of BBQ tasting, but every review I read of the new restaurants discourages me. I'm convinced that if someone would put in the time and love, they could make a buttload of money selling Texas-style BBQ here in Seattle. It worked for this guy in Manhattan.
very few new things in ballard convince me.
I'll stick to the ones in Fremont, thanks.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, is as good as real Texas BBQ. Now, that's good eating, y'all.
I've been there twice. Thought it sucked both times -- though the second time was better. I hate that overstaffed confusion of a new restaurant and managerial overseeing over everything (very wannabe corporate concept). Ballard, I told my dad who is new in town, is now officially gone. Kickin' Boots is cheezy and all of their sauces suck too -- they all are lacking "something". Not inedible, just lacking. Sorry. Just sayin'.
someone that knows nothing about BBQ writing about a restaurant that knows nothing about BBQ. how very Seattle.
Just went there for the first time today to get lunch. I thought the food was pretty tasty. Not great, but good. The smoked chicken sandwich was fairly good, and they got bonus points for serving slaw on the sandwich, but the meat could have been sauced a bit more before assembling. And hey, house-made kettle chips: dang good! The shrimp and grits was very good. I think the Stranger reviewer is a little harsh about the space -- it is a lot like many new Ballard-y places, but I like that restaurants and bars are trying to restore old spaces in this area while keeping some of the original character of those spaces. It's not a divey hole-in-the-wall place, sure, but I think it's pretty nice.

My biggest issues with Kickin' Boot are the same I have with most Seattle barbecue places:

- You can't get *good* barbecue that is also pretty cheap, like you can in much of the south (e.g. a lunch plate for $6-7 or so)

- Very few people just make a single style of barbecue and really go with it, and instead are trying to cover all the bases. Let's just prepare 4 or 5 different kinds of meat and then put 4-5 different sauces on the table for people to make their own style! Eh, doesn't work super well. In most places in the South, you may only have a couple kinds of meat to choose from, and *maybe* a couple of sauces, like regular and spicy. And they kick ass at making that style of barbecue. Here, you get more options, but they tend to be not quite as good.

All of that said: I thought the food was pretty good, and I'm looking forward to trying more dishes. Here's hoping they sort out whatever issues led to the mediocre results the Stranger reviewer saw.
A pulled pork sandwich and a jar of lime aid at Pig Iron in George Town will always be my Seattle favorite.
This place fits hipster yuppie Ballard like a glove. Goes great with one of the new condos that the mayor and his butt buddies have been pushing into the neighborhood.
It is indeed lame. I do love the semi-Southern food at Sexton (I'm a Memphis boy) but I think Roro's is the right mix of great food and no pretension.
Hey, Mister G! Care to tell us again how much cheaper liquor is going to get after privatization?
can the author go on an adverb diet? reading her reviews is painful....'the impressively enormous smokers'....'inside, it is impressively enormous' there is such a thing as UNimpressively enormous!!!

there are many examples of this in the article...for writers it often becomes a crutch to take the place of simile and metaphor. it takes away from the review and is a waste or words. kinda like like too much sugar in your manhatten.
I am a little concerned on the review as it i supposed to be a fair and unbiased review, but in reading it this chick hates everything! - hates the name, hates that there are no posters and it is not dusty and 50 years old, that there ARE NO TURTLES????!!!WTF, insults the chef and questions his work involved, likes the food for the most part, implies disgust and incredulous that there is valet- (if you get off capital hill once in awhile, you'll realize that the rest of the world gets concerned and frustrated with parking) You loved your Manhattan- odes to a good bar-

----"this by way of handsome beams and new-looking exposed brick; wood paneling ranging from reclaimed, rough barn-style to shiny and geometrically gorgeous; and wagon-wheel-like chandeliers that bristle massively with fancy-filament bulbs. Dominating the room, the bar has flat-screen TVs showing sports; beyond that, silhouetted against the back window-wall, is an impressively enormous pyramid of liquor bottles, with a library-style ladder to reach them all. The lighting bathes everyone in an amber glow, and the ambient noise signals a good time being had"

---'the servers are perfectly nice until they break character and become human?' Maybe the place has nice humans working in it- imagine the idea!~

SOOOOO they just have good drinks, good service, and a pretty place, and maybe said place isnt for you because it is not in Texas with turtles, and a dude with a cool southern moniker chewing on hay outside. But give it a fair shot- and quit being such a holier than thou on BBQ when you obviously dont know your shit. All the reasons you slammed it are confusing at best- you dont even seem to know- you liked all the things that make it a restaurant, but hate all the things that dont fit the mold of that one place that one time you once went to that one state-

I know that when I have been there it has been great- new restaurant kinks to work out for sure, but all of my friends have made it their family place to go, and I have enjoyed it as well. Glad to have it in Ballard.
Go to the Bitterroot instead. It is more authentic, better tasting, friendlier,and obviously the "inspiration" behind the Kickin' Butt.
Some of the best BBQ I've had in Seattle, and I haven't had much, is Uncle Mike's in White Center. Don't be afraid, White Center isn't as bad as it was.

I can also recommend the drive up BBQ trailer right off the Interurban Ave. exit on I5, believe it or not. CHEAP and very good.
There are plenty of good BBQ restaurants in Seattle. If you don't think so, why don't you go back to wherever you came from? You have missed the point of Kickin Boot. Sometimes you want table service, a great drink and an actual plate with your BBQ. Stop bashing Ballard and BBQ, it is what it is. Also, how about a "Food & Drink" review that mentions one of the two before the 6th paragraph?
Some of the worst "Southern" food I've ever had. I had the fried chicken dinner (biscuit and mashed potatoes) with a side of collards.

The biscuit was literally inedible. Like it had been cooked a week ago. I took one bite and was left chewing for several minutes. It was not a biscuit, it was a hockey puck.

The greens stunk of vinegar.

The mashed potatoes were also inedible and had the consistency of elementary school paste.

The chicken was adequate, though biting into it released large quantities of oil.

I'll never eat there again.
@15: There are plenty of good BBQ restaurants in Seattle.

If that's your honest opinion, it's clear you've never tasted good BBQ.
They spammed craigslist for a few weeks trying to make themselves look like some down-homey ma and pop shop. "Write us a paragraph on how much you love southern food!" Gushed one ad. I didn't my resume speaks for itself.

I was called back for an interview by 'Bo' who, on the phone gushed about the position he might have on the line for me (I have worked in southern restaurants before and have a couple of decades kitchen experience). When I got there, he was distracted, didn't seem to remember our conversation and seemed to think I was applying for a spot 'cleaning up' after his other cooks.

The prices were outrageous as well for BBQ. But it is new and improved Ballard, go figure. Their food may be OK, but potential jobseekers beware, they are not up front in their ads.
Poster 12 is, based on the effusive delirium in the rave, either an employee or a close friend/ally of the joint. Regarding the Kickin' Boot Whiskey Kitchen itself, the first problem here is that it is a Barbecue RESTAURANT: the concept inherently implies a warning to all who appreciate and comprehend great barbecue. But IF you want to go that route, build a stage, hire a great house band, simplify the menu, begin earning a reputation for authentic excellence, and focus on building a great BBQ joint before whoring out your otherwise-useless franchise concept.
UGH. I can’t decide which I dislike more, Ms Clement’s horribly written review or this place.

The building Kickin’ is in was a little prize waiting for love and they managed to make it look like it belongs in an outdoor mall in Scottsdale. It joins the legions of horrible places that are cropping up in Ballard, on Cap Hill ... do the owners hang out with the Poquitos guys and dream up kitschy inauthentic dreck?
Great word of the day: Dreck (noun. def: trash, rubbish, inferior merchandise)

Also, for wordplay-hungry Seattle:

"I went out for barbecue in Ballard the other night and got into a horrible dreck."
#10, you been to Costco?
It's hilarious how Seattle has "discovered" BBQ suddenly. I guess cupcakes and Asian fusion aren't the flavor du jour anymore. What's even more hilarious is watching people try to recreate an "authentic Southern experience" for a bunch of condo dwellers who likely haven't so much as driven through the South.

Generally, the rule of BBQ is this: the shittier the place looks, and the worse the neighborhood the BBQ joint is in, the better it is. Having done my time in the South, I can affirm that it's the truth. If the place looks nice and is charging you more than 7 bucks for a plate of meat, get out of there.
This article is pretty much a model of the sort of restaurant review that makes me crazy, but seems to be a Seattle staple. First, a long, pointless personal anecdote full of even more pointless details, none of which adds anything to the review, followed by a long description of what the place looks like. You're practically 1000 words in (and well into the second page) before you even mention the actual food, which rates about as much column space as the anecdote. Whatever happened to Journalism 101 - get to the point? Tighten this stuff up, get the priorities straight, and fall out of love with the sound of your own voice. This review could have been half as long and twice as good.
Kickin' Boot BBQ is the reason I moved out of Ballard after living there for 3+ years.
I too was underwhelmed by Kickin' Boot. I liked Gabriel's Fire while it was still around, but I'm a big fan of the Brisket at the Boar's Nest. I've lived in Texas and Mississippi and while it's not the best I've ever had, it's damn tasty.
As a longtime Ballardite I'm sure the kickin' boot will do great business with the floating bridge crowd. There will be lots of overdressed douche bag guys and their girlfriends with their enormous welding mask sunglasses. They will all be named Lindsay and Ethan and they will all go there after services at the mars hill crutch. They will eat shitty food, and be very happy with the mundane and contrived theme restaurant they are in after attending their mundane and contrived theme church and before getting into their overpriced cars and driving back across the lake to their mundane and contrived theme homes. A few months ago they were all eating at the cheesecake factory with their parents and loving it, now they are doing this, next they will be planning weddings which will be... mundane and contrived theme affairs. Ballard doesn't suck now any more than it did before the kickin' boot opened, but it isn't any better now that it's here. If you don't like it, don't go, I won't be. And as for the Lindsays and Ethans, fuck it they are all going to be bitter and divorced in the next couple of years and hanging out at the next mundane and contrived theme hotspot in the next "up and coming" neighborhood.