In my line of work, there's a lot of people I talk to, & often our conversation centers on the food & wine world. There's customers of course, & sales reps who are often the core of my social life as we won't bore each other with incidental gripes, gossip, & winespeak that would probably put others to sleep or at least elicit a well-meaning huh?
But on Thursdays & Fridays, enter some of the hardest working guys in the biz--the delivery drivers-- & they offer some of the most candid conversations I encounter in the workplace. One regales me with his near-death experiences as a ditch-digger, another his gambling spread on the Superbowl, one seeks flamenco music recommendations, while another reveals his secret recipe for mac 'n cheese made with leaky bottles of Moscatel sherry I return to him. There's one guy to consult on low-carb diets, & another to ask for film reviews. To say the least, it's a rich & envigorating education in life.
So when my driver-friend Lemar talked up Three Sisters BBQ in Renton, I was all ears. To be honest with you, it's been a rough week, especially with some heart-wrenching conversations about the violence inflicted upon a member & friend in our tight-knit community. I started to write about it all last night, but decided that it was better to leave pause for a moment of silence instead.
Three Sisters has not been without strife itself, as racial slurs were spray-painted on their business at the beginning of March. What stirs the soul is a wall of letters & cards that line the south wall of their restaurant, offering prayer & support. Local children have penned notes as well as complete strangers who all seem to love the staff as much as their bbq'd ribs. The palpable heartbeat of community is strong here, & as regulars lined the take-out counter, it made me feel a little pride to have ventured down south with our new home.
So ultimately this blog is about food, right, thank you very much Pete Wells. I'll try to say focused. The dining area at Three Sisters does its best to be bright & cheery in a take-out joint kind of way, but with no other sit-down diners we opted to go the styrofoam route. I use the term "smokey" plenty in my wine descriptors, but Ken's rib dinner left the truck smelling like a Mississippi bbq pit shortly after hitting the road.
In what seemed a salivating eternity to reach home, we quickly took the tops off our little tubs of comfort & dug our forks in before reaching the table, *sigh*, to disappointment. While the greens were solid enough with slow-braised tidbits of pork appearing every-other forkful, the baked beans were sweet enough to triple your glycemic index, and the down-home mac & cheese I'd dreamed of all day was down-right pasty.
As for our dinners, bbq'd pork ribs & hot links, we both felt the spice factor could've/should've been kicked up a couple of notches. I felt a mild burn, but when you want hot, give it to me! I never know if the purveyor thinks I can't handle the heat, so it usually takes a couple of tries to figure out any rhyme or reason to the star system when it comes to Asian, but perhaps the same applies. Is there an extra-hot button, please? Ken rated the rib meat as "okay" after (unbeknownst to me!) a few months of sampling local bbq joints on 1st Ave here & there on his lunch hour. But apparently even Peco's medium sauce is fiery as the devil.
Lemar had talked up the hot link "sandwich" (it's your job to load the quarter-sized bites of sausage onto slices of white bread) he ordered after playing ball with his buddies last weekend, but I couldn't get my game on a pound of sliced pork in a puddle of sticky sauce without crying uncle. Maybe I'll recycle my leftovers & make some jambalaya, ala Three Sisters. Speaking of which, I will definitely be back to try Tony's Special, Crab & Shrimp Gumbo with rice & crackers, their featured Friday only special & I've yet to sample their yams & potato salad. It could be the winning combination... Afterall, I want to love ya like family!
509-b South 3rd Street, Renton 425.277.5076