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SILVERDALE – The best way to find Danny’s BBQ is to follow your nose. It’ll lead you straight to the barrel-shaped smoker in front of the Silverdale Way café and a heap of alder and apple wood fueling the savory aroma.

The restaurant in the Fairfield Office Park is unassuming and it’s easy to miss the sign, but once inside you’ll likely meet a friendly bunch of regulars who are eager to share recommendations and talk about why Chef Danny Miller’s Texas-style ribs and brisket are second to none.

“I like really good ribs and it’s the best barbecue ribs I’ve ever had,” said Lena Moen of Bremerton. “They are so meaty and so tender. They fall off the bone.”

“I’ve been in Texas and this barbecue would hold its own with any of the guys down there,” said brisket fan Sam Smith, also of Bremerton. “It kind of melts. It’s very tender with a smooth and good flavor. I eat it too fast.”

Miller, who is from western New York, not Texas, and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, calls it caveman cooking.

“Texas barbecue is all about brisket. There’s no hiding behind it. It’s just salt and black pepper and low and slow smoke,” he said. “I call our restaurant a sauce-optional restaurant. You shouldn’t have to drown meat in barbecue sauce to call it barbecue.”

And though he doesn’t have a Texas twang, Miller earned pitmaster cred smoking whole hogs as a kid and spent part of his youth in the South. He also has a background in fine dining and traveled the world for a decade as a private chef for high-end clients. Most recently, he owned Local Harvest Restaurant, a Bainbridge Island farm-to-table eatery, before a divorce forced him to change course.

When he moved into the office park, Miller had no plans to open a restaurant. He needed a commercial kitchen for his catering business and wanted a place where potential clients could taste his food. He started running daily lunch specials after realizing there were more than 50 hungry people working around him in the office complex.

The response was enthusiastic and Miller decided in 2015 there was a gap in the local barbecue scene waiting to be filled. “This is a meat town,” he said. “People love meat here.”

His hearty menu centers around ribs, pulled pork and sliced or chopped brisket, either sold by the pound or served as a meal with two sides and Texas toast. The smoked meat is $13 to $17 a pound. Meals are $13 or $14. He adds smoked chicken and turkey to the mix in the spring and summer.

Popular sides include smoked macaroni and cheese flavored with bits of pulled pork, Texas baked beans, potato salad and hearty rounds of cornbread. All are sold separately for $3 each. Patrons can order their food to go or dine inside the 25-seat restaurant on red plastic trays with much-needed rolls of paper towels at each table.

“We’ll fill you in,” Miller said, gesturing to his waistline. “It’s like grandma’s house around here.”

Miller smokes the brisket about 12 hours – the restaurant’s first shift starts at midnight – and rests it for two before offering patrons a choice of slices from the lean flat side or the thicker fatty end. When the meat comes off the grill, it’s black on the outside with a pink, juicy interior.

“See this nice beautiful jiggle,” he said as he sliced into a slab. “It doesn’t need additional salt and pepper. It’s tender and delicious. It’s a labor of love, I’ll tell you.”