Roy's BBQ

This Columbia City smoker won't turn your messy-cheeked pleasure into a Tums moment.

Pairing iconic Jones Barbeque with its newfangled Rainier Avenue kid brother, Roy's BBQ, gives historic Columbia City the smoked meat equivalent of Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade. The old man tends toward bulk and power, with agility an afterthought, while the sleek youngster's got to turn the corner and pull up nimbly for a teardrop jumper at full speed. So how does Roy's stay so spry? Unlike practically every other barbecue joint in the free world, Roy's—which operates out of a virtual crawl space along the spiffy southeasterly hood's main drag—doesn't use high-fructose corn syrup in the kitchen, an ingredient that has been known to turn many a casual barbecue fan's innards into a fizzy ball of acid reflux. On Roy's simple menu of sandwiches and sides, you'll find juicy beef brisket (with a bun by Columbia City Bakery, $5.85) and the sumptuous Georgia Gold (pulled pork garnished with mustard barbecue sauce and coleslaw, $5.60). A baked square of homemade mac 'n' cheese ($2.50) is a must-try, too. Since the HFCS-free meat won't turn your messy-cheeked pleasure into a situation requiring Tums, perhaps you'll be up for a full-speed surge to the hoop afterward. MIKE SEELY 4903 ½ Rainier Ave. S., 206-723-7697, www.royscolumbiacity.com. COLUMBIA CITY

 
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