Thursday, March 28, 2013

Meaty Ribs

I don't usually blog about what and where I eat. For one thing, that would be a lot of blog posts. For another, I don't want people to know what I'm eating. Besides, I need something for Twitter!
Yet, tonight we just had the best ribs I've ever eaten.
Let me explain. Darling found a coupon for ribs at the local Spring Creek Barbeque, a buy one Rib Meal at the regular price, get one free. Today was the last day for the coupon, so we had to go – use it or lose it. We decided to use it.
We've eaten there once before and it was okay. I had the beef, and we had a salad. That seems odd for a BBQ place, but I felt like a salad that day. They brought fresh bread to our table – little loaves hot from the oven. I'm not supposed to be eating much bread, but I couldn't resist those. They smelled just like the bread my Aunt Nora used to make for us as boys. If you've ever seen the movie Ratatouille, when the food critic is transported back to his childhood – well, that was me. Except he is thinner and has a longer nose and no whiskers.
I'm not much of a rib fan. I've had good ribs before and have some good memories of eating ribs at Tony Roma's with friends of mine in Ohio. Those were good ribs, but they never really seemed like a good deal to me. Messy, with sauce all over my fingers and just a tiny bit of meat. Good meat, but I guess I'd rather have the beef and eat it with a fork.
But the coupon was for a couple rib dinners. I figured it was worth it. I'll get a lot of pickles and some potato salad and some cole slaw (which I am not a big fan of either, but I should eat something healthy, right?).
The cook – I'm guessing he was the cook because he kept going over and flipping the ribs and he was the guy slicing the beef for the people ahead of us – anyway, the cook takes our orders and plunks down a couple slabs of ribs on our plates. He says “You want sauce?” and I say “Sure” and he puts a nice amount of sauce on them.
Now another nice thing about this place is that you can come back for as many sides as you want. That's really smart, because I'm willing to bet that most people are like me. I pile the sides on my plate when I get it and by the time I've finished with that and most of my meat, more side dishes are the furthest thing from my mind.
I'll get to that in a minute.
So I get some sweet tea, and I'd like to add to restaurant owners in the North, would you guys please get a clue about sweet tea and start brewing it. Sure it isn't good for you, like regular tea, but a lot of people, myself included, add sugar to our tea. I don't have to do that with sweet tea. I probably have to explain that for some of you Yankees. (According to Texas friends, I'm a “damn” Yankee because I came down and stayed.) Sweet tea is made by adding sugar to the water you use to brew the tea, so it's sweet when it's finished. Adding the sugar after the tea is brewed just isn't the same thing. I'm just trying to help you northern cooking places out – if you offer sweet tea, people will buy it. Trust me.
So I get the sweet tea and head to the table. I had one of their little ears of corn, and that isn't the best in the world, but that's okay. It's hard to get good sweet corn except fresh from the garden. I look a bit askance at the ribs and then figure what the heck and grab one from the end, expecting, as in the past, a small bit of meat around a large rib bone.
My first bite was a mouthful of tender meat, satisfyingly tangy from the bbq sauce the cook added. The rest of the ribs were just the same. Three ribs into my meal and forget about the side dishes. I eat the pickles (Darling grabbed me a couple also) and the hot peppers, but the ribs have me mesmerized.
A lady we know from church comes by and asks if we want some fresh bread. We do, of course, but were surprised to see her working there. Turns out she doesn't work there. She's a teacher and Spring Creek Barbeque is having a night for their school, where some percentage of the proceeds go directly to the school. This is the second time they've teamed up, and the school loves this place. I'm agreeing with her as I dive back in.
I'm chomping away and Darling asks me if I'd like something else. She's had about four ribs and puts the other two aside. I'm considering snagging those too.
Chewing I grunt a simply no and Darling goes and gets some Mac and Cheese, some pinto beans and some green beans. She likes the green beans. The pinto beans are okay. She simply beams as she puts a forkful of Mac and Cheese in her mouth. She stabbed a bit for me as I swallowed my bite of ribs and took a long drink from my sweet tea.
Their Mac and Cheese is fabulous! Absolutely the best I've ever eaten! And they bring a couple loaves of fresh bread to the table!
So here's the bottom line. I ate all my ribs – I think there were six, but there was a lot of meat on those ribs. I'm glad I didn't eat the two that Darling boxed up for later. I wish I'd saved a couple ribs and had some Mac and Cheese.
Now I'm a big fan of ribs. At least the ribs at our local Spring Creek Barbeque. If you get a chance, go get some.
And enjoy the bread, too. I might see you there, because I'll be going back. Well, next time we get a coupon for ribs...

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