Yesterday I decided to treat myself to a BBQ lunch at Blue Ribbon in Newton. Realizing that this would be a bit on the heavy side for midday I decided to put in some hard exercise beforehand to justify the trip, so I biked along the Charles from downtown Boston – about a 10 mile ride. Upon arriving I had built up quite the appetite and was ready for what I anticipated would be some delicious ribs.
Now I don’t claim to be an expert on BBQ. I haven’t tried many establishments in Boston and I have been to the South on only a handful of occasions. Here’s what I do know. I can make better ribs than Blue Ribon BBQ, and without much effort at that. I ordered a half rack that came with cornbread, collard greens, and baked beans. The ribs were dry, the beans were undercooked, and the collard greens -well, I think I just don’t like collard greens so we’ll leave them out. I actually did not finish my ribs. For those who know me, it is the rare occasion when I don’t finish what’s on my plate, as well as the plates of everyone else sitting around me. So to leave ribs on the plate, especially after biking ten miles, is a powerful comment on their quality.
I’d much rather devote the very little effort necessary to make my own ribs than return for these. In fact, Mark Bittman has a simple recipe for doing exactly that in a recent column. I hear that the other dishes at Blue Ribbon are supposed to be better (pulled pork, pulled chicken, burnt ends, etc…) and I might go back to try these at some point, but I’m in no rush considering the disappointment of the ribs.