I’m a strange bird. A place can be on my list for quite a while, for whatever reason, and for no solid, real reason will it jump to the very top. And so I found myself at RUB BBQ one slightly rainy night… Weirdly enough, I used to take dance classes across the street once a week for about 6 months, but I never managed to cross the street and try it, though this night, I got up off my couch and dragged my lazy butt into the city to have dinner with a friend.
I’m a sucker for wings, and appetizers, and fried foods, so I was indulged and “allowed” to order whatever I wanted, which included BBQ chicken wings, coated in a thick and sticky, slightly sweet BBQ sauce, served in a paper basket with a cup of blue cheese. I liked these enough, though they were by no means wonderful nor amazing.
Next up, fried green tomatoes, which I’ve only tried once and were AWFUL (I don’t even want to link to my review, but the place was bad). These stayed hot way too long for me to enjoy while we were at the restaurant – my friend kept trying to eat them all while my sensitive-to-excessive-heat-mouth made me refrain, so I finally yelled “Stop eating that! I want to try one when it won’t burn the shit out of my mouth, geez!” and was obeyed. The ‘green’ of the tomato spoke strongly to my taste for the savory; I love a ripe tomato but this appealed in a different way. Expertly fried with a crisp exterior and a piping hot interior, I think, if there were no such thing as health repercussions, I would eat these daily for the rest of my life.
BBQ bacon chunks, deliciously salty, fatty, awesome. I could feel my arteries clogging as I consumed this, but I couldn’t bother to care, they were so good. Little nuggets of joy, melting happily in my mouth… mmm
The real kicker though, the final push to the bypass I had to order later? BBQ chili cheese fries; smothered in bright yellow liquid cheese (I’m a philistine, I love liquid cheese, ha!) and – be still, my pounding heart – no wait, don’t be still, because that means you’ve finally clogged completely – their house made chili… with brisket and burnt ends… omfg! OMFG! Each morsel of brisket/burnt end was meltingly tender and delicious, the cheese added to the fries and the fries were crisp enough and potato-y enough to stand up to what was piled atop it. Love, love, love, these are the chili cheese fries of my dreams. If I dreamed about such things. Okay, who’m I kidding, of course I dream about chili, and liquid cheese, and fries… mmm
My dining companion ordered the burger of the day, the Mediterranean.
I don’t recall the details, but I know it was not enjoyed and was, in fact, proclaimed a soggy yucky mess.
I was there for BBQ though, so I ordered a platter combining four meats. Wait, that doesn’t look right… yeah, our waitress, who was fairly inattentive (it took forEVER to bring us anything, though it was not busy that night… though later, another server came by to tell us he was our new server because she hated us, then amended by saying she wasn’t feeling well and went home…), brought me the above and then ran back over to ask me if I’d touched it because this wasn’t my order. I hadn’t touched it because I was so busy photographing it, but amusingly, I hadn’t even noticed that there was a sausage link where none should be.
My real platter of pastrami, brisket, ribs, and pulled pork, along with collards and onion strings. The collards were fairly bland, and needed a bit of salt, but worked well as a foil to the salty meat (not too salty, but salty, obviously). Pickles were just taking up stomach space (though good), and the bread was ignored. The onion strings, as expected, quickly turned to an oily, greasy ball… but what you want to know is about the meat. I was excited to try smoked pastrami, and it was tasty, but needed something to elevate it to new heights (which, I discovered using the leftovers, was an egg sunny side up, which also went well with the bacon bits from earlier). The brisket was on the dry side, but better with sauce; even more amazing when made into chili by the crew at RUB, yum! Pulled pork lacked oomph and the ribs were just so-so…
So what am I saying?
Yvo says: The BBQ was not amazing. Most of it was solid but flawed, which is to say, not suited for my palate. I know people rave about this place so clearly those people and I are just looking for something different in our ‘cue. I wouldn’t argue against going back, but nor will I fight to do so (except maybe for some takeout appetizers! and bacon chocolate chip cookies, of which they were sold out that night). And I wouldn’t argue if someone handed me a big container of any of these meats, I just might find myself frying an egg with a raw yolk to pop over the meats… mmm
middle of the road; liked the appetizers, the main was OK