Last night, we finally tried Speak E-Z’s Memphis-style BBQ, and were pleasantly rewarded with some of the best barbecue we’ve ever had.
The restaurant, located in the Fountain District, has been open for a couple of years. I’ve driven by it almost every week and wondered whether it was any good or totally sketchy; we are in the Pacific Northwest after all. However, my boyfriend also drove by it frequently and was astute enough to notice that it was almost always full. So, the food snob from Texas (Mike) decided it was time for us to try that barbecue place and see if it was any good.
When we arrived around 5:30 in the evening, there were no other occupied tables. Could we have been mistaken about this place? No, on weekdays, they tend to be busier at lunch. Whew. The interior was nice and cozily painted in shades of amber, with musical accoutrement decorating the walls. Blues music played in the background. Service was friendly and efficient. So far so good, but what about the food?
Even at my hungriest, I am still a lightweight, so I ordered the 4-ounce barbeque pulled pork. Of the 10 sides to choose from, I selected the hush puppies and baked beans. The pulled pork was tender and savory, and had to be more than four ounces. When it comes to spice, I am, again, a lightweight, so it was a bit too spicy for me. But the flavor was excellent, with just the right amounts of sweet and savory, so I was impressed. The hush puppies were a little overcooked but yummy and greaseless. The baked beans were actually spicier than the barbeque, but still well done and deelish.
Mike decided on the sampler platter with St. Louis-style ribs, barbeque pulled pork, beef brisket, one-quarter chicken (choice of white or dark meat), and Texas toast. When our server presented it to Mike, he said, "Good luck." Mike thought it was unnecessary, because the food didn’t fill the platter. Well, with the brisket and pulled pork done, he started to slow down. He agreed with my assessment of the barbeque sauce, except that he loves spice, so it was perfect to him. He managed to finish his plate, but just barely; it was a lot of food. He was surprised to find that the chicken tied with the ribs was his favorite part of the sampler, although he enjoyed all of it.
I am already thinking about when we will come here again and what we will try then.
Parking is on the street, so keep your eyes peeled. If you are traveling west on Meridian and haven’t spotted a parking space by the time you pass the restaurant, get in the left-turn lane. You’ll swing around the little fountain that gives the area its name, and can either go back up Meridian or look for a space on Broadway.
May 19, 2005
From journal Bellingham, on the way to somewhere else