Seeking top-shelf barbecue in Everett? Lew’s delivers

I’ve driven by it dozens of times. You probably have, too. Lew’s BBQ is a modest-looking barbecue restaurant in a remodeled older house at Pacific Avenue and Fulton, between Broadway and the freeway.

There is a small dining room where you can eat in, but while we were there, the take-out business was popular, so much so that the owner wears a wireless phone headset (for the influx of call-in orders?). That headset appears to be the only high-tech aspect of Lew’s. It is a very basic, no frills, drink-from-a-can, eat from a paper plate and grab a quick lunch or dinner spot.

Older, but spotlessly clean, this small business has a clear focus.

Its menu consists of smoked and barbecue foods with mostly traditional side dishes: sandwiches with sausage, brisket or pork, with sides of baked beans, potato salad or coleslaw; lunch, dinner or sampler plates with varieties of pulled pork, brisket, baby back ribs or chicken; and three south-of-the-border choices of tacos, taquitos and quesadillas.

My husband had the brisket sandwich ($8.45), a generous portion of perfectly sauced, tender meat on a hoagie roll with a side of baked beans and potato salad.

The potato salad tasted generic, not bad, but the beans were clearly made on site. These were slightly tangy with a sauce different from the meat’s sauce, with a flavor I couldn’t identify.

After our meal, we were talking with the owner and I was asking about the beans, curious about the ingredients. We were told they were barbecue-baked beans with their own sauce and their own spices. No spice specifics were provided, and when I left, I still didn’t know.

My four baby back ribs ($9.95 for the lunch plate) were hearty, meaty and very smoky with a slightly sweet sauce.

These were three-napkin ribs and I happily wiped sauce from my fingers.

My side dish was the house-made macaroni and cheese: Imagine a scoop from a bubbling tray of well-cooked, large elbows, creamy, cheesy and with the occasional chunk of a crusty top.

I could have used some coleslaw to counter the richness. (The owner did tell me that his macaroni and cheese was a “modified” old family recipe.) A dinner roll also came with this lunch plate.

Besides take out, the restaurant does catering. All of their meats are smoked on the premises with local alder wood. Additional sides include the traditional: black-eyed peas, collard greens and corn bread.

Outside, for warmer days, there are picnic tables, where I can imagine diners enjoying their barbecue. Or maybe waiting for their take-out order to be packed up for enjoying elsewhere.

All in all, I am glad we finally tried Lew’s and I think you will be, too.

Lew’s BBQ

3703 Pacific Ave., Everett, 425-760-6411.

Specialty: Barbecue.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Vegetarian options: No.

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