A Taste of Texas Barbecue in Gig Harbor, Washington

Savor the aroma of barbecued meat, hear the Austin D.J. announce the latest hits, marvel over all the Texas memorabilia, and you have found BBQ2U in Gig Harbor.

Location: BBQ2U, 4814 Point Fosdick Dr NW, Gig Harbor, Washington.

Menu: Seven meats are slow-roasted daily: brisket, beef ribs, pulled pork, spareribs, chicken, turkey breast, and beef sausage. Plates range from sliders to sandwiches, to a variety of trays featuring a choice of meats and sides, to salads and Fan Favorites of mac & meat, BBQ Boat, and cowboy chili.

Hot sides include fried okra, fried pickles, mac and cheese, and baked beans. Cold sides include coleslaw, potato salad, and Texas banana pudding. There is a full beer and wine menu as well as soft drinks. Vegetarian/vegan dishes are also offered.

Thoughts: The owner, Gary Parker, opened BBQ2U to preserve Texas culture/history and to introduce Texan barbecue to the Pacific Northwest. Although it only opened 18 months ago, it has become a favorite in the area. Many regulars meet here to celebrate occasions, including Texas A & M games.

I chose the BBQ Boat for lunch. This is their version of the classic banana split: the sausage is cut lengthwise and served along the sides. In the center are servings of pulled pork, potato salad, and baked beans. The pork was tender and juicy and I enjoyed the kick of pepper in the beef sausage. The German-style potato salad is enhanced with a hint of mustard. Traditional baked beans complete the boat. A very hearty serving, it is enough for two meals.

Now to the dessert – traditional Texan banana pudding. The thick, smooth pudding with wafers on the sides and bottom is a lovely finish to a great meal.

Texas-style barbecue is all in the meat. It is dry roasted with a rub consisting of only salt and pepper. Slow cooking enhances and tenderizes the meat. Thus, the flavor of the meat shines instead of the flavor of a sauce or marinade. The pit determines the amount of meat smoked daily – once that supply runs out, the restaurant closes so I recommend you get there early.

The environment is authentically southern. The Texas flag that flew over the legislature on March 2, 2018, the opening day of BBQ2U, graces the wall. Commendations are proudly displayed. Wood for the pit is imported from Texas – the favorite being post oak. The open kitchen gives a glimpse of food preparation, including the tradition of serving on brown paper.

As I was enjoying lunch with the owner, two guests, Bruce and Cynthia, came over to chat. “We were here last Thursday and needed to come back” exclaimed Cynthia. “You should open in Federal Way.” What great evidence of the popularity of the restaurant. The fact that these guests are willing to battle the heavy traffic across the bridge from Tacoma to Gig Harbor to return to the restaurant speaks volumes for BBQ2U.

Take out and online ordering are also available. The owner requests that if you visit, please tell them that Jo-Anne sent you.

Price: Fan favorites are priced $5-10. Sandwiches range from $6-9 and sides are from $2.50 -12. The trays are priced from $12-30. Meats are also available by the pound.

Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary lunch for purposes of this review.

Jo-Anne Bowen

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