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BBQ at Ryles (long)

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BBQ at Ryles (long)

Natalie | Apr 26, 2004 01:48 PM

Decided to stroll over to Ryles on Saturday night to check out the new BBQ menu. Even though I live less than a 5-minute walk away, I've only been once because the cover charge is usually way too steep for a jazz nonafficianado like me. Plus, the pizza that I had that one time left a really bad taste in my mouth and in my memory. However, after reading the recent Globe review and walking by the place with the new window ads, my boyfriend and I decided to give it a try. We went around 7, said we were there for dinner, and paid no cover charge. (This is definitely a huge benefit for anyone who wants to see a show, although I'm not sure if this policy is waived at a certain point in the evening.) The only other customers were a couple at the bar and one guy chowing down on a plateful of ribs. The bartender was our waiter at the beginning of the evening and he was very friendly. The menu has been completely streamlined to showcase BBQ and southern cuisine such as catfish, crab cakes, hush puppies, etc. I ordered a full rack of baby back ribs for $15.95 (half racks are available as an app for $6.95). My boyfriend ordered the pulled pork platter for $9.95. Both came with a choice of two sides and two mini corn muffins. I had sweet potato fries accompanied by some kind of sweet yet smoky dipping sauce and the veggie of the day, which was a mixture of corn, okra, and tomatoes. His sides were collard greens and rice. He was tickled that they had a couple Louisiana beers (he spent some time at LSU), so he ordered an Arbita Turbodog. The meat on both of our platters was much better than expected. My ribs were slathered with a tangy and tasty sauce and the pulled pork was a huge portion. The sides, though tasty, ranged from lukewarm to cold. The muffins were a nice sweet contrast to all of the savory flavors. For dessert, they offered a choice of 4 pies: pecan, key lime, chocolate chess, and sweet potato, plus a special of the day. They're $4.95 each and they're actually an individual pie that's plenty big enough to share. The crust was mediocre-it seemed like it was a storebought pastry shell that they filled with batter. The filling was nothing extraordinary but pretty good nonetheless. I had the chocolate chess, which was similar to brownie batter with chopped nuts. It wasn't overly sweet, which I liked. My boyfriend had the pecan and said it was good-again, not too sweet. The show started at 9:30 and the room started to fill up fast around 8:30, so service was predictably scattered after that. We didn't mind, though, because our waitress (who took over for the bartender) was really sweet and did an awesome job considering the crowd she had to deal with. Incidentally, I know Ryles used to get their food from the S&S Deli, which would explain why it was so bad. I did see a couple carts go back and forth across Hampshire Street during the first part of the night, but I'm not sure if S&S is still doing everything or just parts of the new menu.

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