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Brethren Road Trips The travel logs of our members. Q- joints, restaurants, entertainment, reviews while we travel around the 50 states. Also, Post here for a shout out to members to meet up with while on the road.


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Old 06-19-2009, 08:44 PM   #1
MilitantSquatter
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Default Surprise visit to Ruby's Famous BBQ

Took my wife and daughter out for dinner tonight at the new home of our own Big Barry - pitmaster of Ruby's Famous BBQ joint in East Meadow.. It was a surprise visit.. Arrived about 7PM.. This was my fourth trip to Ruby's but first since Big Barry's arrival..

First - I will discuss the food.. then conversation with Big Barry.. then pics..

We started with the BBQ Nacho Platter (lots of tasty pulled pork)

For the main meal ordered the Pig Out Platter - which was spareribs, babyback ribs, pulled pork, chicken breast, brisket.. Sides were cornbread, beans, mac & cheese and cajun rice.

I was really pleasantly surprised by what a change in quality from my previous dissappointing visits. Some were avg/good, some very good and some excellent.

This meal came right off the line and was not handpicked for us in any way to get the best of the best.

Excellent
Spare ribs - nice size, extremely moist, perfectly cooked and flavorful.. needs more smoke flavor but overall this was definitely a tasty sparerib by all measure. Was it as good as the spares at RUB ? No.. but it was a really good start to something that has lots of potential and by far my favorite of the night.. Bark reminded me of the type served at Virgil's in midtown NY.. This rib surpassed the more recent ribs I've had at Swingbelly's in Long Beach who uses a broiler/salamander to re-heat and all to often chars the outside to blackened ash.. This had no signs of grill or broiler.. I hope that stays... Just more smoke !!!

Brisket (Cubed Points) - moist, good bark, chunky, flavorful... not burnt ends .. just point meat.

Very Good
Pulled pork - nice portion.. good flavor, nice mix of bark and meat.. cooked to right tenderness...sweet, fruity sauce complemented it well. Only thing I would have perferred was a lot more more chunkiness to improve texture and appearance.. a bit too much pulling.

Good
Baby back ribs - good flavor, properly cooked.. a bit thin on meat even for babybacks.. more smoke flavor would compliment it even better

Brisket (sliced flat) - much improved from previous.. cooked to proper doneness. Definitely resembled brisket but needs more flavor and smoke to wow you.. definite potential for further improvement..

Average
Chicken - needs more internal flavor, moisture, tastier rub and smoke.
Sides - all were adequate.


I had a chance to talk to Big Barry who was shocked to see me.. He filled me in on the game plan and gave me a brief tour of the kitchen after my meal was over.. I shared my thoughts on the meal.. both good and not so good. At a high level, I'd like to see him work on increasing the smoke by adding more chunks to the Southern Pride and possibly using a different mix of wood for the beef.. Then focus on working in more salt and pepper to the beef etc. to really make the flavor pop on the palate... Present rub and sauces are serviceable, but some can use some more tweaking and if he gets to add some specialty sauces like a peppery/vinegar tomato blend would be a nice addition.


As Pigtrip and Motoeric noted.. there has really been some positive changes in the quality.. Big Barry seems to be on top of the task at hand and his gameplan for futher enhancements all seem good. Seems the management has realized that they need to change and is allowing Big Barry to focus on the meats and the rest of the management staff is taking additional actions to build the clientele and spread the word.

Barry looks really happy doing what he loves and his physical size definitely gives him presence in the restaurant and he works the crowd in a positive manner.. He was even sporting a well worn Brethren hat with his pitmaster attire.

I really wish Big Barry continued success and I would not hesitate to go back.. I would certainly look forward to an upcoming Brethren outing hanging out at the really nice sized bar..


Here's the pics from my "crappy" cell phone camera...My apologies for the poor quality if it makes the product not look so good.
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Last edited by MilitantSquatter; 01-02-2010 at 07:50 PM..
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:11 PM   #2
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What a great review Vinny. You definately are in the wrong profession for sure.
Hope Big Barry took all this with a positive attitude and im sure he will try and make the needed improvements.
Heck your pics show me great tasting food.

Last edited by bbqbull; 06-19-2009 at 10:18 PM.. Reason: sp
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Old 06-20-2009, 04:37 AM   #3
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Vinny, great review. I agree that raising the rub and smoke levels is a good idea. But my visit last Friday was so far ahead of that visit with you and other Brethren in March that I'm confident the improvements will continue.
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:15 AM   #4
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What a great surprise to see Vinny and his wife and daughter come in the door!! Thanks for the review and the suggestions.

Seriously, I really appreciate ALL the feedback and use it in my action plan.
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:14 PM   #5
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Yep, this was a great review, but I picked out the following from the review:

Quote:
MilitantSquatter posted:
I would certainly look forward to an upcoming Brethren outing hanging out at the really nice sized bar..
I've already posted numerous "hints" about a NY Metro Brethren Meet, because I still have a long way to go, even though I've learned a lot from the Brethren site. It seems that a Meet would be a great way to meet like minded Que-enthusiasts and increase my knowledge.
-TJ
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjl1962 View Post
Yep, this was a great review, but I picked out the following from the review:



I've already posted numerous "hints" about a NY Metro Brethren Meet, because I still have a long way to go, even though I've learned a lot from the Brethren site. It seems that a Meet would be a great way to meet like minded Que-enthusiasts and increase my knowledge.
-TJ

We usually meet semi-regularly.. The summer months are tougher as many Brethren in the area compete during this season or have family plans etc. Stay tuned as something usually pops up when you least expect it. At the very least remember to attend the Battle of the BBQ Brethren contest in late October in Sayville on Long Island. Many will also be at the Hudson Valley Ribfest in New Paltz in Mid August.
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Old 07-18-2009, 05:56 PM   #7
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Hey Vinny,

Thanks for the feedback. I did "some homework," in that I heard about, and plan to attend the 'Battle' in Sayville, but I need to "study" for the Ribfest in New Paltz. Now that I know, it will be on entered on my calendar.

I mentioned late summer\early fall because the summer is full of activities. Also, it takes time to plan an event so that anyone interested can clear their calendars and make it to the event.

Regards,
-TJ
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