Celtic Cowboy BBQ in Edmonds features sandwiches and plates of food to take out, but if you want to hold a barbecue party, the proprietors will bring their portable smoker to your place to cater special occasions.
It’s rare that you walk into a barbecue joint, and right there at the order counter are slabs of authentic Scottish shortbread the size of garden tiles. In fact, this display may well be unique to Celtic Cowboy BBQ, a newish spot in Edmonds that combines Texas grillmaster know-how with Scottish accents.
Proprietor Steve Freeman, who runs the Edmonds enterprise with his wife, Lisa, is indeed of Scottish ancestry and he was born in Scotland, but he grew up in the States. He picked up his barbecue know-how during a long stint in Austin, Texas. (Lisa got her fill in her native Missouri.)
Celtic BBQ is, genuinely, a hole-in-the-wall in a former garage just off a main drag. Takeout grub and catering are paramount (they’ll bring their portable smoker to you for special events), but there are several tables in the parking lot where it wasn’t unpleasant to sit one recent sunny afternoon.
Freeman is committed not only to rustling up tasty barbecue but to using meats that are untreated with antibiotics and hormones, and (when possible) locally produced. The Celtic BBQ also makes its own sausage, and a selection of homemade sauces ranging from very mild to very zesty.
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The menu: Sandwiches and combo plates featuring shreds of pulled pork (so popular they were out of it when we dropped by) and pulled chicken; slabs of pork ribs; beef brisket; whole and half chickens; sausages; plus an appealing array of sides, including potato salad, greens, macaroni and cornbread.
What to write home about: We enjoyed nearly everything we tried but were especially taken with the succulent, smoky brisket piled into a soft sandwich roll (half was saved for lunch the next day), the meaty and flavorful chili, and the succulent baby back ribs. Some of the amply portioned sides also were winners: the molasses-sweet baked beans with house-cured bacon could be a meal in itself; the moist and crusty cornbread was first-rate; and the rich, savory potato salad was yummy.
The setting: Unadorned and takeout-oriented.
Summing up: A brisket sandwich with two sides ($11); a pulled chicken sandwich with two sides ($10); a sampler plate with sausage, baby back ribs and sides ($15); a pint of chili ($5.50) and two bottled waters ($3) came to $44.50 before tax and tip, and could feed three to four.
Misha Berson: firstname.lastname@example.org