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Good Messy Barbecue in Walker’s Point

Ashley’s Que adds excellent vibes to their down home meals

Nov. 8, 2016
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When I walked into Ashley’s Que, I was greeted by Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison” playing beneath the unmistakable noise of folks having a good time—laughter and the general hum of conversation. Ashley’s has good vibes; it feels like the kind of place you want to be. Of course, good vibes don’t get you too far in the restaurant business; luckily, Ashley’s offers knockout barbecue.

Ashley’s is probably best known for their soul food brunch on weekends, which is awesome, but it’s also an excellent dinner spot as well. I suggest starting your meal with an order of Ashley’s Fries ($8.95), which combines the titular menu item with pulled pork, shoulder cheese, their house barbecue sauce and a spicy giardiniera. Texturally, it’s remarkable: crispy fries, soft pulled pork and crunchy giardiniera all harmonize beautifully. In terms of how it tastes, it’s an amazing mess: salty and spicy, with just a bit of acidity from the barbecue sauce and richness from the cheese.

If that doesn’t sound messy enough for you, their Buffalo wings (six for $6.99 or 12 for $9.99) are served wet atop a bed of fries; the sauce—which was a medium heat—comes down onto the fries, too, softening them a bit but giving them the heat from the wings as well. You’ll go through a couple of napkins eating them but they’re worth the sticky fingers.

For entrées, Ashley’s offers a classic Half & Half ($13.99), where you can choose from any of their long list of meat, poultry and fish: short ribs, brisket, rib tips, pulled pork, pork chops, chicken breasts (grilled or Southern fried), catfish or perch. I went with the rib tips and catfish. The meal also comes with two sides, and out of the near dozen they offer, I ordered their breaded okra and mac and cheese. 

I was really pleased and pleasantly surprised by how well the rib tips and catfish complemented each other. The catfish was well breaded and was, well, fishy, while the rib tips came soaked in their house barbecue sauce, which is tomatoey with a small spicy kick at the end, in the Texas style. The cornmeal breading on the catfish gives it a bit of sweetness that’s offset with a healthy dunk into tartar sauce. 

In terms of their sides, the breaded okra was my favorite—crisp and crunchy. The okra tasted fresh, bright and bold, and it was nice to have some vegetables after all that meat and fries! (I don’t think giardiniera counts as a vegetable, unfortunately.) Their mac and cheese is the standard gooeyness you’d expect from a barbecue joint and is kicked up a bit with an addition of a bit of their barbecue sauce. 

Rarely when I write these reviews do I find myself craving the food I’m writing about because I just ate there, but this review was a different story. Ashley’s Que is an excellent spot to get excellent food with good vibes aplenty.

Ashley’s Que

124 W. National Ave.

414-276-7666

$-$$

Handicapped access: Yes

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