We all knew who is going to come out on top in this 2011 reader poll for best barbecue, but I asked because I was curious to see who would come in second place. You have spoken, and am just going to keep my mouth shut. I should note that it was a VERY distant second, and the percentages for third were so far below as to be meaningless. It would be nice to have a few more choices for barbecue in Portland! Here are the results for 2011:
Out of 768 votes:
- Podnah’s Pit – 66% of the vote. 1625 NE Killingsworth Portland, OR 97211 (503) 281-3700 Map. My review.
- Russell Street Bar-B-Que – 8%. 325 Northeast Russell St. Portland, OR 97212 (503) 528-8224 Map
The BBQ at Podnah’s is pretty good, but I’ve found better elsewhere in town. So few people know about Slabtown BBQ & Ribs for example, which in my opinion is the best stuff in town but they just have ridiculously bad hours. I’m a bit surprised that it came out so clearly in favorite of Podnah’s. Do Portlanders not try to get their BBQ fixins often?
Christine Stearns says
Other than being closed on weekends – what hours that we have are bothering you? Maybe we can adjust :)
I’ve eaten at both Podnah’s and Russell Street recently. I can only say that their styles are different, and on any given day I might prefer one over the other. Russell Street’s baby backs, for instance, run to the lean side, which is anathema for some ribs folk, but is heaven for others. So the endless making of lists and determining the ‘absolute best’ is to a certain extent a hollow pursuit. There can be more than one right answer, and results may vary according to taste, upbringing, location and many other factors.
I have to say that I have not tried Slabtown, but have been intoxicated by the smoker emissions. So that will be next on my personal pursuit of the ‘best’ BBQ Portland has to offer.
All 3 places mentioned; Podnahs, Slabtown and Russell St are all good in their own respect.
Another great place in town is Doo Dah’s BBQ…
A drive-thru BBQ cart on SE Foster and Lafayette
This place has an awesome pulled pork or beef brisket sandwich – -add the works for $1; cole slaw and brown mustard. Yum!
Podnah’s is good but not nearly as good as it was with the old smoker. Gas assist convection now which does not produce near the great smokey flavor. Slabtown hands down but hours aren’t great. Thumbs down on Russell St unless you are waiting for someone at the local hospital. Then a good choice. And Doo Dah’s has some great KC sauce and the brisket wasn’t bad at all. And Shane is a great guy to talk to.
I won’t try to convince you whether you like it more or less than the old place but I do want to set the record straight on the gas assist smoker. Yes it does have gas connected and we use that to light the fire in the morning. After that it is a wood burning fire the rest of the day. The main reason I went with the Ole Hickory brand of smoker was they have a fire box large enough to accommodate an all wood fire.
Food Dude says
I was wondering about that comment. If anything, I think the food is even better now – not an easy task.
Mike Stanislawski says
Wish I could agree Food Dude. Rodney, thanks for making it clear how the new smoker works. But not sure what it is making it taste different but I feel it was much better with the old smaller wood burning only smoker. Maybe the size of the smoker makes the difference. But there was a definate difference and to me, not better. Still some of the best in town though so can’t complain too much.