When you walk into Armadillo Willy’s Barbeque, you are enveloped in an enticing aroma of backwoods Texas barbeque. The rustic, cowboy-style décor is inviting and homey. The atmosphere is welcoming and family-friendly. It feels alive and you are glad you are there. The catchphrase “Get Serious…Get Willy’s” is featured on the front of the menu. Open it up and you will see the mantra, “Quality Counts at Willy’s,” and I am inclined to agree. Being a Southerner (and given that I am married to a born-and-bred Texan), I was curious to try it out. This Southern Belle is duly impressed. I am already justifying my next trip to Willy’s.
The 18-Hour Texas Brisket and Memphis Pulled Pork Roast are two must-tries at Willy’s. Both are super tender, lean cuts of meat that fall apart when touched. Living up to its name, the Brisket is marinated and slow-roasted for 18 simmering hours. The pre-scored Famous Baby Back Ribs are surprisingly tender and sport a lovely color within. Incidentally, Armadillo Willy’s is the official Rib House of country radio station 95.3 KRTY. Even the kid’s meals are amazing. The BBQ Chicken meal is generous enough to feed an adult and staying true to Willy’s custom, the meat is fall-apart tender. The Kid-Sized Hamburgers (akin to sliders) include a large patty of real, quality beef turned out on a potato bread hamburger bun…delicious!
The sides are equally impressive. The amazing thing is that none of the spices mask the flavor of the main ingredients. The Famous Spicy Peanut Slaw, for example, is not too sweet, spicy or pickled. The ingredients are fresh and crunchy while the peanuts and cabbage are given their due honor. The spices are simply a beautiful compliment to the dish. The Potato Salad is slightly tangy but not too strong. The beef-laden chili beans have a wonderful flavor, while the Texas Fresh Corn Salad is crisp, clean and well, fresh. The corn and onions stand out, despite the splash of citrus and fresh cilantro. It is a lovely combination that will entice you to clean your plate. Any one of the sides could be a unique entrée. Yes, they are that good.
Willy’s has a nice array of desserts to satisfy any sweet tooth. Sundaes, milkshakes, floats and cookies are some of the things you will find on the menu. The Texas Sized Cookie, staying true to its name, can generously serve the entire family. The cookie is soft and includes an enormous amount of chocolate chips. Take my word for it and gallop, do not trot, on in to Willy’s for some amazing chow.
Armadillo Willy’s Barbeque
2624 Homestead Road
Santa Clara, CA 95051
Entrées range from $6.50 – $21.95
Note: All reviews are conducted anonymously and are typically based on one visit. The Santa Clara Weekly pays for all meals. For comments, questions or suggestions, email April Jones at AprilJanetJones@yahoo.com