This BBQ Joint review is a long time coming. I’ve heard rumblings about Willie’s BBQ for a while now, but haven’t had the chance to stop in (even though I pass by it every work day). Leave it to US Highway 101 in the ‘above the San Fernando Valley’ area, but to be quite honest, I’m sad I never did take the time to visit.
So a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to meet a friend (and fellow BBQ junkie) Jason P. for a lunch that was quite amazing. First off, I’ll let you know it’s not easy to find. Please use the map below or plug it into your GPS as it’s on a road below the freeway. Secondly, it’s a lot larger than you’d think from just pulling up. There’s a large dining area and an even larger patio area that is great to hang out at on a warm night (we’ll have them again soon enough).
I had the Southern Pulled Pork which is pork shoulder smoked for 20 hours over hickory wood and is topped with their coleslaw. Jason had the BBQ Chicken Breast Sandwich which is topped with coleslaw as well. We also got a chance to taster their ribs and brisket. My sandwich was incredible. The pork was cooked perfectly and the slaw did not over power. Also, they make their own bread (it’s very similar to a mexican torta’s bread) which rounded out the sandwich perfectly.
I tasted Jason’s chicken sandwich which really was good, but not as good as the pork in my opinion. I will be ordering the ribs the next time I go in. They were ‘pull easily off the bone’, not ‘fall off the bone’, which made them perfect. They didn’t need sauce too, which was a great sign. The brisket was a little dry on the day I visited, but I have friends that go only for the brisket.
Here are their Ribs via Traeger Smoker
Here’s some additional information about Willy’s Smokehouse. “It’s named after the late Willy Harris, a North Carolina native and onetime military cook who cooked for Bob Hope during the entertainer’s USO tours. He gained fame as a barbecue chef at his own restaurant in Tacoma, Wash. It’s owned by barbecuers Dennis Ofsthun of the original Rib Ticklers in Saticoy and Marco Gonzalez, who joined him in a late ’90s Rib Ticklers venture in Agoura, the rustic Willy’s uses the original Harris recipes, which have won the Ofsthun-Gonzalez team a championship at the 1996 Best in the West Rib Cook-Off in Reno, Neveda.”
I’d recommend it wholeheartedly. I give the pork 4.5 out of 5 stars, the ribs 4 out of 5, the chicken 4 out of 5, and the brisket 3 out of 5 (hoping to go back and have a better brisket experience). The owner Marco really cares about putting out great low and slow BBQ. You should definitely stop by if you are in the area.
Here’s their entire menu
You can find it here:
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