Posts Tagged ‘south seattle’

This last quarter, I’ve been pretty swamped with school so Cherry and I didn’t have a whole lot of opportunity to go out and try new spots. However, last night we were both itchin’ for some BBQ and wanted to head to our favorite spot, which to our sad surpise changed their hours and were closed… enter, Willie’s Taste of Soul. Located on Rainer Ave South between Walden and Estelle, Willie’s is a locally own and operated BBQ restaurant that grabs your attention with their big and bright neon sign atop their entrance. One thing they also advertise is selling locally famous “Heaven Sent Chicken” from Ezell Stephens formally of Ezell’s Chicken.


willies.entrancefront entrance


willies.counterordering counter


The Food:


willies.ribtips1 lb. of pork rib tips $9.25

These ribs were extremely tough and chewy! I can’t say I’ve had the best BBQ around the world, but I believe I have a good enough gauge to judge when BBQ is bad… and sadly these made that mark. I’m not sure how they cook the ribs these tips came from, but however they do it, it’s not working! I had to forcefully gnaw the meat off the tendon and bones when trying to take a bite – and forcefully is not an ideal adjective to use when describing how to eat food… let alone BBQ! It’s as though they just boiled some raw tips and drowned them in sauce. Had I not used my He-Man grip, I may have accidentally flung a piece of meat across the restaurant. We chose the medium sauce which brought some heat, but had no depth in flavors. I could see the struggle on her face trying to make it through. Oh yeah, and Cherry found a hair in the sauce… yummy!



jerk chicken dinner with greens, mac & cheese, cornbread $14.95 

The jerk chicken dinner came with two sides and a piece of cornbread – which was average. The greens weren’t bad – cooked well, but a little salty for my taste and I would have preferred some spice. The mac & cheese was good with rich flavors of cheese and had some nice browning around the edges. This was the first time I’ve had jerk chicken, so I don’t have a true flavor comparison. However, I do know that Jamaican jerk spice is supposed to be bold and spicy – this was not. The spice level was very mild and nothing stood out. The chicken itself was very dry and tough to eat – absolutely no tenderness or juiciness. I struggled through this plate too.



My Conclusion:

 I won’t beat around the bush in saying the food was bad and I would not recommend this restaurant. The service was also extremely slow! There was a 6-top and a 2-top already seated and waiting for food at the time we ordered. I understand a 6-top can slow things down, but waiting over 30-minutes is not acceptable – it’s not like BBQ is made to order, its already cooked! One thing I noticed was a woman placing a carry-out order right after us. She got her fried chicken within 10-15 minutes of placing her order… and I’m assuming she ordered BBQ because she had to wait another 40-minutes for the rest of her order to be ready! I don’t doubt that the fried chicken she got first must’ve been close to cold! Now having had BBQ here as well as R&L, Uncle Mike’s and  the Barbeque Pit, (just to name a few in Seattle), make me realize just how good Pooky and his barbeque is! I think the only keeping this place afloat is being tied to Ezell Stephens. Cherry insisted I quote her in saying, “This was the worst meal I’ve had in my life!” I’d agree with her.

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After work one day, Cherry and I had a fixin’ for some shrimp and some friends of ours just so happened to have the same craving. We decided on The Cajun Crawfish because of some positive recommendations we’ve heard. It is a smaller restaurant (seating around 25-30) located in an Asian strip mall off Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Upon entering, I noticed that the inside is really clean and well kept. There are little coastal decorations around such as a shrimp net hanging from the ceiling, some life rings and buoys.  There are also two flat screens on the walls which was nice (since I got to watch the playoff game.)



The Food:

cajun fries

pound ‘o  gulf shrimp

pound‘o blue prawns

The fries came in a generously sized basket with some cajun seasoning sprinkled all over and two dipping cups of ketchup. The seasoning had a good bold flavor and to me, didn’t need any extra sauce. Overall however, the fries were just okay. As an appetizer, they did the trick, but nothing to write home about.

I’m going to combine the review for the shrimp and prawns because  it’s similarities. The main difference, that I saw between the two were the heads being bigger on the prawns. Everything else (taste and texture) was virtually the same. The shrimps and prawns were all boiled and then soaked in boom-bang sauce which is a combination of their original cajun seasoning, garlic butter and lemon pepper. When our food came out, it was served in a large plastic bag and plopped on our table. As tempting as it was to dump everything out on the parchment paper atop our table and go to town, we chose not to because of all the sauce that was also in the bag – it would have been hot mess!  Now, some of you may know, I tend to shy away from shrimp due to my past experiences with how small they turn out to be. However I was pleasantly surprised with Cajun’s shrimp and prawns – they were hearty, juicy and fresh! Now, the seafood in and of themselves were good, however the star of the show was definitely the boom-bang sauce! If I could describe the sauce in one word it would be: amazing! If anyone knows what a graveyard is, it’s like that, but sauces instead of sodas… and it works! The taste buds are initially hit with the bold cajun spices and garlic and ends with a kick of the lemon pepper. We chose to get it hot which is their equivalent to a three-star out of four and it carried perfect heat through the meal. It left my lips with a subtle and satisfying burn. One thing that was recommended by our server was to order some French bread to soak up the sauce at the end and order French bread we did. Toasted and buttered, the mini loaves were perfect – they had a great crunch on the outside and super soft inside to soak all the yummy sauce. I’m actually thinking of the sauce as I write this blog and am seriously considering bringing some tupperware to bottle that stuff up next time!!

My Conclusion:

 The Cajun Crawfish is tucked away in the middle of a busy Asian strip mall in south Seattle– not exactly the most appealing location for some. However, if you ever have a hankering for some fresh seafood served with some finger-licking good sauce (trust me you will be licking your fingers) then definitely come in and dig in! I would advise against wearing your Sunday’s Best… because things get messy! They do provide bibs, a roll of paper towels on each table and gloves upon request… but come on; you don’t want to be the person at a seafood boil with plastic gloves on… do you?

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