My favorite BBQ item is beef ribs. I also care about the sides, especially cole slaw and potato salad, but for me, the most important part is the beef ribs. I have now had them in the 3 places that I know serve them, County Line, Salt Lick and JJ's. Here are my impressions so far.
County Line, both Austin locations- Best value for money (you get 7 for 19.45 on the Big Daddy Beef Rib Platter). The ribs are very moist, easy to eat but retaining a chewiness that I find enjoyable and extremely flavorful. Best tasting sauce, not too sweet, nicely spiced and enjoyable. The coleslaw is some of the best I've ever had, with a noticable flavor of celery seed, firm slaw, served on the same plate as the other items and no seepage (I despise seepage). The potato salad is decent, the potatos retain their shape, there is no overpowering taste, but nothing special. Overall, when I want beef ribs, until I find something better, I will go to County Line for my beef ribs.
Salt Lick Round Rock - Their big platter is 19.95 and you get the equivalent of 6 ribs (actually 3 bones on the plate, but the meat is cut next to the bone). The cut on the ribs makes these ribs easier to eat than County Line as the meat is doubly as thick on each rib you pick up, but I miss the extra rib's worth of meat. Before any sauce, it is as tasty as County Line. However, the Salt Lick sauce isn't to my preference. It seems too sweet and doesn't compliment the beef. Their coleslaw is not as firm as I expect, as if it was salted and left to drain some of it's water before it was put into the slaw, making it less crispy. It still was tasty, just different than I've had before. The potato salad was far too cooked for me, not quite mashed potatos, but softer than I prefer. Another note is that the seating is picnic tables. For inexpensive food, this seating is fine for me, but when my entree is nearly $20, I'd like a more comfortable seat; not a deal killer but not preferred either. All in all, if my friends are going there, I'll be glad to go to Salt Lick and have beef ribs, but they aren't my favorite.
JJs Cedar Park - This restaurant is just down the road, so I really wanted to like it. However, my first experience was likely my last. This place has counter service and not waiters.I wanted a large order of beef ribs, so I tried to order 7 beef ribs (they don't have the big half rack). The counter person informed me that the beef ribs were about a pound each, so that much would be 42 dollars and recommended I have the platter. The platter was 3 beef ribs. Each rib was cut down the middle, but the meat portion wasn't nearly as long as the County Line version. I got it with coleslaw and potato salad. The ribs weren't remarkable, okay, but not as tender and flavorful as the others. The sauce was ok. I don't remember the potato salad, but the cole slaw ruined it for me. It had far too much liquid seeping out of it, ruining the plate.
Overall, I like the County Line whenever I want Beef Ribs. It has excellent beef ribs, is the most comfortable, has had consistently excellent service in my experience (Salk Lick also had excellent service, no issues there), has the best value for money, has the sauce I prefer, the cole slaw I prefer and the bread I prefer.
Does anyone have another place to get beef ribs that they can recommend I try?