A restaurant and tap room in downtown Washougal specializes in serving meats smoked on site. Alex Smokehouse has smoked salmon, turkey, pork and chicken, for use in salads and sandwiches.
The restaurant, owned by Alex and Carolina Ramirez, was previously named Alex’s BBQ. It also serves lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, ribs, cobb salads and vegetarian chili, as well as a children’s menu and gluten-free options.
The name of the business was changed from Alex’s BBQ to Alex Smokehouse in December 2017, after Amnesia Brewing closed. Alex Ramirez had been in partnership with Amnesia Brewing for more than three years, and he ran the kitchen as an independent business. A new operator for the brewery will be announced soon. The tap room currently has a variety of beer on tap.
Alex Ramirez has more than 20 years of culinary experience. He worked as a dishwasher for four months at Sammy’s Restaurant and Bar in Northwest Portland, before advancing to his passion of cooking for six years at Sammy’s.
Ramirez then received intense culinary training at Milo’s City Cafe, in Portland, where he worked for six years.
“That’s where I knew I wanted to do it,” he said, regarding cooking at Milo’s.
Ramirez was hired as a cook at Milo’s, and after two years he advanced to the title of head line cook. He has also worked as a line cook at Alberta Street Oyster Bar & Grill, head line cook at Por Que No? Taqueria, and main chef at Clay’s Smokehouse, all in Portland.
Before opening Alex’s BBQ in 2014, Ramirez owned the PDX Sandwich Club, a food cart by Portland State University, for three years.
Carolina Ramirez has event planning and management experience.
She and Alex, and their two children, have visited Dougan Falls, north of Washougal, and they have climbed Beacon Rock, in Stevenson.
Alex Ramirez described Washougal as a family town. His goals for the restaurant are to make people happy and have them come back.
Alex Smokehouse’s community involvement has included donating to the East Clark County Relay for Life — a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society — as well as efforts to build a new library in Washougal.
“I’ve been here for a while,” Alex Ramirez said. “This is my town.”
Alex Smokehouse, 1834 Main St., Washougal, is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call 360-335-1008 or visit www.alexsmokehouse.com.