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View Full Version : Disappointing BBQ Restaurants


volkanator
12-02-2009, 03:03 PM
So i just recently returned from lunch at a new BBQ place that opened up near my work. It's called Ruby's BBQ in East Meadow, NY. So disappointing.

It looked like a legit place but the Memphis dry rub ribs were just overcooked char, the pulled pork was meh, and the corn bread tasted more like a gritty vanilla cupcake.

Here is what I am wondering...am I being too tough on these guys or do I have a right to be frustrated?

I recognize that as fanatical about BBQ as I am it takes a lot more drive to open up a restaurant then I will ever possess. But here we have an establishment that went through the hard part of actually turning a dream into a reality but the reality is the food sucks.

Is it that cooking BBQ professionally is so much more difficult then in the backyard? I could see that but still, the place just opened. They can't be burnt out yet. Cooking yummy food should be the easy part.

What do you think...am I being overly critical?

deguerre
12-02-2009, 03:06 PM
So i just recently returned from lunch at a new BBQ place that opened up near my work. It's called Ruby's BBQ in East Meadow, NY. So disappointing.

It looked like a legit place but the Memphis dry rub ribs were just overcooked char, the pulled pork was meh, and the corn bread tasted more like a gritty vanilla cupcake.

Here is what I am wondering...am I being too tough on these guys or do I have a right to be frustrated?

I recognize that as fanatical about BBQ as I am it takes a lot more drive to open up a restaurant then I will ever possess. But here we have an establishment that went through the hard part of actually turning a dream into a reality but the reality is the food sucks.

Is it that cooking BBQ professionally is so much more difficult then in the backyard? I could see that but still, the place just opened. They can't be burnt out yet. Cooking yummy food should be the easy part.

What do you think...am I being overly critical?
Will you be going back?

Skip
12-02-2009, 03:07 PM
Hempstead Tpke next to a 7-11?

Its not new. One of our brothers (BigBarry) had taken over as pitmaster almost a year ago. He had done some great things and the restaurant was turning a corner. Then they decided to let him go. Seems they felt they should cut out their pitmaster rather then the one of the three front people who did nothing. Wasn't it nice to see a manager, hostess and greeter when you walked in? Too bad they had no one in the Kitchen with any clue as to how to make BBQ.

Sorry you had a bad time and no you are not wrong. A BBQ restaurant can't do well without a dedicated pitmaster.

Here is BigBarrys thread

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=72136

HumboldtSmokeBBQ
12-02-2009, 03:27 PM
hard to get good Q on LI, huh?
My brother lives in Farmingdale. I am trying to get him to Join the Brethren...he is citing children, wife, job issues, no time. But I know he could meet some good folks to enjoy back yard Q with.

I used to get great ribs in Hempstead when i was a kid, but we werent allowed to get out of the car.

Against The Grain
12-02-2009, 03:30 PM
I went to Rudy's outside of San Antonio last winter and the ribs were very dry. The time I went before that it was great. I guess its a hit and miss thing. The other Rudy's I have eaten at were good from Austin to N.M.

n2dabluebbq
12-02-2009, 04:36 PM
Rudy's was good when there was only one in Leon Springs. after they started opening stores like chains, they went downhill. too bad too, cause they used to take a lot of pride in the food.

no1likhim
12-02-2009, 04:57 PM
If you are in MOntgomery Al, DO NOT waste your time on:
Country's
Dreamland

Head on over to Atlanta Hwy and eat at Sam's.
Hole in the wall, but they know how to cook real BBQ
All they serve is pulled pork and sausage, and sides.

If you are in Wetumpka, north of Mont. go to Champ's on Hwy 231 north.
Great Q

Dont waste your time on Smokin S or Hog Rock.

Too many restraunts that serve inferior meat and sauce.
Too few real BBQ "joints".

Bamabuzzard
12-02-2009, 05:00 PM
I've come to learn that BBQ joints that have a lot of neon lights and all the bells and whistles usually suck. It's the ones that don't dump a ton of money into their overhead that seem to put out the best Q.

Sooner21
12-02-2009, 05:17 PM
Rudy's is terrible. There's only one place around Austin that I would recommend and that's Salt Lick. The meat there is some of the best in the world, and nothing else comes close.

firecracker jack
12-02-2009, 05:31 PM
So i just recently returned from lunch at a new BBQ place that opened up near my work. It's called Ruby's BBQ in East Meadow, NY. So disappointing.

It looked like a legit place but the Memphis dry rub ribs were just overcooked char, the pulled pork was meh, and the corn bread tasted more like a gritty vanilla cupcake.

Here is what I am wondering...am I being too tough on these guys or do I have a right to be frustrated?

I recognize that as fanatical about BBQ as I am it takes a lot more drive to open up a restaurant then I will ever possess. But here we have an establishment that went through the hard part of actually turning a dream into a reality but the reality is the food sucks.

Is it that cooking BBQ professionally is so much more difficult then in the backyard? I could see that but still, the place just opened. They can't be burnt out yet. Cooking yummy food should be the easy part.

What do you think...am I being overly critical?

I'm relatively new to all this, so I'm certainly no expert, and I've never tried Ruby's....But one thing I have noticed while trying different Que while traveling around.....Some folk just need a product to sell. and have no passion about producing it.....:mad: Just my two cents...

firecrackerjack

Buster Dog BBQ
12-02-2009, 05:44 PM
I went to a new BBQ place here in town shortly after they opened. Tons of diamond plate all around and a cocky name on the door. I had a comp shirt on and the guy asked me about it. Told him I compete. He said he would come by and ask about the food. When he did I, I asked if he wanted an honest answer. He did, so I told him I didn't like the food because it was too bland and I wasnt sure if it was pulled chicken or pork. Told him he needs more taste. He really didnt know what to say and I have not been back.

I will try non chain BBQ places once. If I like I will occasionally go back, but really hate going out for BBQ as I can do better then most. When I do, I try to order something I generally don't make or don't do a lot of. That way my expectations aren't so high.

GreasePig
12-02-2009, 05:54 PM
I get picky about the BBQ places serve. I'm lucky that I have a couple close that turn out pretty good stuff. Not as good as I get off the smoker, but still good enough I don't complain about paying for it.

Anyone thought about doing a national database of BBQ joints? How hard would it be? I'd love to be able to jump on and research places when I am going to be traveling, it just seems that the big national review sites are loaded with mis-informed people posting or business owners doing posts to pump up their scores.

There ARE a lot of really good BBQ restaurants out there. Some even post here. So much comes down to personal preference anyway.

h20loo
12-02-2009, 06:09 PM
Rudy's is terrible. There's only one place around Austin that I would recommend and that's Salt Lick. The meat there is some of the best in the world, and nothing else comes close.
I travel Tx often and I have to agree that Salt Lick is worth trying to find. Currently my favorite but my wife prefers Blacks BBQ. Either way I can do better, especially when I'm the cook and judge!!

Psyco Realm
12-02-2009, 06:34 PM
I concur with what Buzzard said. the best BBQ in LA is Big Mistas at farmers market locations. the next place was Woodys in Goletia, CA ( but that was 2yrs since Ive been there.) Calling these chump BBQ places out needs to be done. there is plenty of rubbish out there and I dont want to pay for it.

jestridge
12-02-2009, 06:40 PM
I have finally decided after a lot of money spent . I like my Q better than most places.

Rich Parker
12-02-2009, 07:04 PM
I'm relatively new to all this, so I'm certainly no expert, and I've never tried Ruby's....But one thing I have noticed while trying different Que while traveling around.....Some folk just need a product to sell. and have no passion about producing it.....:mad: Just my two cents...

firecrackerjack

I think you just hit the nail on the head.

When I was traveling through Kentucky my wife and I stopped at this local BBQ joint and the guy was telling another customer about how the restaurant don't do much and he prefers to be working the festivals selling fried foods. My wife and I just laughed.

Bamabuzzard
12-02-2009, 09:37 PM
Most bbq chains are not run by "BBQ People". That is why they lack in taste, flavor and texture. Most people are right when they say the best bbq joints you'll find are the hole in the wall "mom and pop" one owner places. They do it because they love it and they know how to do it as well.

Jburt
12-02-2009, 09:44 PM
I thought this was about RuBy's and not RuDy's...

As far as picking a good place, I look for a shack that couldn't possibly get higher than a C+ health inspection rating with a bunch of white pickup trucks in the parking lot.

Skip
12-02-2009, 10:12 PM
As far as picking a good place, I look for a shack that couldn't possibly get higher than a C+ health inspection rating with a bunch of white pickup trucks in the parking lot.

Meet you there! :lol:

volkanator
12-03-2009, 08:33 AM
Hempstead Tpke next to a 7-11?

Its not new. One of our brothers (BigBarry) had taken over as pitmaster almost a year ago. He had done some great things and the restaurant was turning a corner. Then they decided to let him go. Seems they felt they should cut out their pitmaster rather then the one of the three front people who did nothing. Wasn't it nice to see a manager, hostess and greeter when you walked in? Too bad they had no one in the Kitchen with any clue as to how to make BBQ.

Sorry you had a bad time and no you are not wrong. A BBQ restaurant can't do well without a dedicated pitmaster.

Here is BigBarrys thread

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=72136

Oh snap! I know BigBarry! This makes so much sense.

I assumed the place was new because I never saw it before but I don't work near there so I guess I was wrong.

That place missing some real leadership explains so much. When we first got there they had customers at only like 4 tables yet it took almost 15 minutes before a waiter came over and when he did come over he came all in a huff. Almost as if he just came from the kitchen where he was cooking too or something. Seemed weird to be that flustered with so few customers.

In addition they had a manager looking type and a busboy type just kinda meandering around the place with nothing to do because there weren't many tables to clear.

I had asked a couple friends who work in the jail down the block as well as the guy in the Jiffy Lube 2 stores down if they knew of the place and liked it and they all said the food was no good and that I'd be better off going to Texas Roadhouse just down the block (unfortunately they arent open for lunch during the week)

I had a long conversation with my buddy in the stall while we were waiting 45 minutes for our food about how it boggles me that a place like this could be run so poorly. We joked about how they needed Gordon Ramsey to show up and whip the place into shape. Turns out they just need BigBarry.

It all seems moot anyway. With this hot new Texas Roadhouse open down the block that everyone is talking about it sounds like the death knell has already started ringing anyway.

Hey BigBarry - You should wait until they go under and then buy the place for cents on the dollar! All the local brethren can be investors and between us all we'd have so much expertise the place would rule!!!

BigBarry
12-03-2009, 12:33 PM
Volk,

Thanks for the kind words. It's sad how things have gone downhill since they let me go. We had improved the food a great deal and the customers were overwhelmingly positive. It's too bad that so many people (Jiffy lube guy and the sheriffs as ex.) were burned by the place before I got there and never returned.

For more news, head over to the other thread!!

BigBarry
12-03-2009, 12:47 PM
It all seems moot anyway. With this hot new Texas Roadhouse open down the block that everyone is talking about it sounds like the death knell has already started ringing anyway.



Actually, Texas Roadhouse is a chain with so-so food. Like Outback with a Texas theme. Steaks are good and cheap but most of the food is chain-like.

It certainly will hurt Ruby's but it's not a BBQ place.

puddle jumper
12-03-2009, 06:13 PM
I have finally decided after a lot of money spent . I like my Q better than most places.

I agree, after you spend a little time learning how to make your own,there is very few resteraunts that can compair to your own Q,,
and there are so many different ways to make it that its really hard for a joint to cater to everyones different tast,,,
Just my .02
Puddle

mgwerks
12-04-2009, 01:09 PM
Rudy's is terrible. There's only one place around Austin that I would recommend and that's Salt Lick. The meat there is some of the best in the world, and nothing else comes close.
I find the BBQ at Salt Lick to be well, okay. Twenty years ago it was a much different place: smaller, less well-known, and much better food quality. I am afraid that fame has found them. I really like Cooper's in Llano, even though their brisket I found unimpressive. Everything else was great.

The various Rudy's chain 'raunts are a step above Bill miller's chain, but that's not much of a hurdle. I don't go to any of them. Truly excellent Q seems to be found in only a handful of places in Central Texas.

Notwithstanding, of course, all the great stuff that comes out of our back yards!

Diva Q
12-05-2009, 08:11 AM
I've come to learn that BBQ joints that have a lot of neon lights and all the bells and whistles usually suck. It's the ones that don't dump a ton of money into their overhead that seem to put out the best Q.

I have to disagree. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse NY has more bells whistles and neon signs than most and their food is top notch quality. I would gladly go back in a second. I don't think making blanket statements like this is right. Its all individual to the BBQ place. How much care they put into it.

Learnin Querve
12-05-2009, 10:08 AM
Interesting observations. I don't think that the general public knows the difference between good que and the mediocre stuff. For most of them, burgers, brats, chicken, or steaks on the gasser is "BBQ".

Occasionally, they go to a local que spot for a change of pace, (chain or otherwise) eat food with some smoky flavor from an unknown source that's been slathered with a sickenly sweet sauce, and pronounce it wonderful.

I'm convinced that good BBQ is a food that I can cook at home as well or better than about any restaurant out there. I know I'm not turning out award winning BBQ, but with just a few cooks in my UDS, I'm doing as well or better than I have had eating out. It may not be even close to to the standards of the more experienced folks her, but as I cook more and learn from my screw-ups, it will get even better.

But even if it's not that great by someone else's standards, my family and I like it, and that's all that matters to me.

Chris