The bottle of Rowdy BBQ "sass" on the table is a good indication that Rowdy Cowgirl BBQ has plenty of spunk to spare. At this Wallingford barbecue...

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The bottle of Rowdy BBQ “sass” on the table is a good indication that Rowdy Cowgirl BBQ has plenty of spunk to spare.

At this Wallingford barbecue joint, a patron saint of ranch women gazes down from behind the cash register, orange flowers are tucked into yellow cans and a roll of paper towels on every table invites diners to make a mess. Service is lightning fast, with food arriving in black baskets lined with checkerboard paper within minutes of ordering.

With a menu featuring classic smoked meats and a brownie called a “redhead,” Rowdy Cowgirl’s kitchen tries to live up to the pitch-perfect atmosphere, though with mixed success.

Barbecue favorites — featuring grass-fed, hormone-free beef and free-range chicken — are reasonably priced from $6.95 to $8.95. The “Whole Hog” includes two sides. Order “Cowgirl Up!” and get a drink and dessert for an extra $1.50.

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Rowdy Cowgirl BBQ

3620 Stone Way N., Seattle; 206-954-1100;



Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.

Drinks: Soft drinks, house-made iced tea, lemonade.

Credit cards: MC, V, AE.

Access: No obstacles.

Rating: Recommended.

Other variations include the BBQ Sundae ($5.95), which layers pulled pork, beef brisket or portobello mushrooms with coleslaw and barbecue beans in a cup; and a pulled-portobello sandwich ($7.95), served with roasted red peppers, that can be dished up with a side of vegetarian baked beans.

Those who love barbecue more for the sides than the main course should dig into the sweet-and-smoky baked beans; a toothsome succotash that includes edamame and black beans; a straightforward coleslaw; and, of course, corn bread.

But the kitchen’s execution can be uneven. The pulled-pork sandwich had a lovely, soft bun, and the meat was tender and savory. But a generous helping of ribs was tough and difficult to cut apart with a plastic knife. Other flavor combinations, like salty capers in the potato salad and sweet-and-spicy Southern greens, were too dominant to really appeal.

Rowdy Cowgirl has the prices and spunky attitude down pat. Now if only the kitchen would follow suit.

Pulled Pork Sandwich: This sandwich is a simple yet effective combination of soft, toasted bun, tender strands of pork and tangy sauce. A side of cornbread was sweet but slightly dry, while the barbecue baked beans were smoky and flavorful. A filling lunch or dinner, especially with the sides.

Pork Ribs: A rib dinner includes a generous slab of pork with a spicy, savory rub. But the meat, instead of being tender, was tough and could have used more seasoning. A side of coleslaw had a simple, refreshing dressing, and the succotash came with edamame, black beans, red pepper and red onions mixed with a lime-cilantro sauce — a nice contrast that tasted even better with the rub seasoning mixed in.

Pulled Pork Sandwich: $7.95

Pork Ribs: $8.95

Lemonade: $1.00

Tax: $1.68

Total: $19.58

Nicole Tsong:

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