GA Pig, Brunswick, GA

GA Pig, Brunswick, GA

Friday, March 18, 2011

Roper's Ribs, Florissant, MO

We finally got around to trying Roper's Ribs on our latest trip to St. Louis. We were going to go last year, but, when we got in the van, we discovered that someone had broken in and taken the ignition cylinder right was on the floor of the van, and we weren't going anywhere! Roper's is famous and highly regarded in this part of the country, and we can see why. This is certainly one of the top 20 places we've been for BBQ. We tried both the St Louis style and baby back ribs and found them both to be perfectly smoked, tender and delicious. They weren't quite as succulent through and through as some in our top 5 or so but they weren't dry either. They come out sauced but the sauce doesn't overwhelm the flavors of these meaty porksickles. It's not very sweet, slightly tangy and subtly spiced. You can taste the rub through the sauce and can taste the pork and smoke through both clearly. We couldn't stop eating them. They also serve chicken, turkey leg, pulled pork, rib tips, snout, fried shrimp and burgers. The sides are potato salad, baked beans, slaw and fries. We had the baked beans and the slaw. The beans were pretty sweet but really nicely seasoned and baked and we both really liked them. The slaw was great. It tastes like it might have some pineapple juice and was really perfect with the ribs. We will definitely be back to try something else. The restaurant is very smokey, the seating is very limited and the wait for perfection is long. It's worth all this. The locals call ahead and get their barbecue to go.

Reviewer ratings for this restaurant:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Doctor of Barbecue

As with many of our barbecue finds, this one I discovered on line while searching the Springfield, IL area for places to eat. I always search under BBQ wherever we are, because you never know, right? All it takes is for one passionate, dedicated individual to bring great barbecue to an area that, until then, may have had none. This is exactly the case with the Dr. of BBQ, who runs a food truck and smoker parked in an otherwise empty lot between 5th and 6th streets where they intersect with Stanford St. in the capital city of Springfield. We pulled up in our car, placed our order and took it back to the hotel, where we tortured the front desk staff by eating it at a table in the lobby. We chose the ribs, which are baby backs, and a pulled pork sandwich, both with our usual sides of beans and slaw. The ribs were great...somewhat assertively smoked and falling apart tender. They come naked save for the rub he uses on them, and with a side of sauce, which is a tangy and delicious tomato based sauce with just the right amount of heat and vinegar. These were almost perfect, but just a little dry. We've discovered something that most great pittmasters already know...ribs have a short period of perfection, after which it's a challenge to hold them there. Maybe if we'd had lunch there, we would have found that rib perfection...we suspect so. The pulled pork sandwich was also delicious...not as smoky as the ribs, and sauced with the same great tomato sauce. The sides... well, here's where The Dr. falls short of the mark. The slaw was past its prime...grayish in color, with that unpleasant gassiness that old cabbage has. If we were in a sit-down restaurant, we would have sent this back. The baked beans had been overly sweetened with white sugar, and we didn't like those either. If we lived in the area, we'd make our own sides at home and drive over for take out ribs to go with them. The Dr. also has smoked beef brisket, sausage, hot dogs, BBQ stuffed baked potatoes and gumbo on the menu. I'm willing to try it all after having these wonderful ribs...he just needs to work on the sides.