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Restaurant closure: Out with barbecued ribs, in with Philly sandwiches

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on May 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm | No Comments »
May 31, 2013 10:43 am
Spareribs at Thrill of the Grill are long smoked over wood. They come sauced or naked, your choice.
Ribs at Thrill of the Grill were long smoked over wood. They came sauced or naked, your choice. The barbecue restaurant closed recently

I hate to be the bearer of terrible rib news, but three Tacoma barbecue restaurants are no more. However, good news is on the horizon for sandwich lovers – Philly cheesesteaks are on the way. Read on.

The closures: Thrill of the Grill, Papa Jones and Porter’s Place
The opening: Go Philly

IMAG0447Thrill of the Grill, a tiny barbecue joint, opened in November 2011 by business partners Sarah Slaughter and Gregory Brock at 1402 Tacoma Ave., near the County-City Building. They served a homestyle menu of Texas barbecue with Louisiana twists. Several months ago, their storefront went vacant and paper went up on the windows. A new sign recently installed at the storefront announced the opening of Go Philly, serving cheesesteaks, hot pastrami sandwiches and wings. That’s good news for cheesesteak lovers who miss Philly Joe’s and DelBrocco’s. I’ll write more after the restaurant opens, but in the meantime, you can read my Philly cheesesteak report from last August to find the best Philly sandwiches in town. UPDATE MAY 2013: The restaurant Go Philly opened May 30. Read the review here.

In other rib news, Papa Jones Barbecue in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood closed a few months ago and owner Helen Alfred said she won’t be reopening. That restaurant opened in July 2011. Alfred previously worked with Seattle barbecue legend William Jones.

That closure came on the heels of another barbecue restaurant closure – Porter’s Place. The owner of that restaurant, Alton Porter, died last summer (read this lovely tribute by Kathleen Merryman). The restaurant had relocated in recent years from its perch near the La Quinta to its home on South Tacoma Way.  I can’t get anyone from their sister restaurant – Dixie’s BBQ in Bellevue – on the phone, but they appear to still be in business.

YOUR TURN: With three well-regarded barbecue restaurants now closed, where do you go for your ribs?  Uncle Thurm’s in the Lincoln District? Bob’s Bar-B-Q Pit in the Hilltop? Branks in Sumner? Po-Boy in Puyallup? The Warthog in Fife?  Dowd’s in Parkland? Have I missed anyone?

Send me a note with your thoughts to

I’ll thank the reader who sends the best tip with a grilling cookbook.

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