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Manhattan

Finally tried RUB: not heading back anytime soon

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Restaurants & Bars

Finally tried RUB: not heading back anytime soon

Nor'easter | May 3, 2005 06:01 PM

Let me start by saying that I have been somewhat skeptical of all of the criticism heaped on RUB by participants on this board. Barbecue is an inherantly controversial subject, and I am convinced that no barbecue place exists anywhere that doesn't have numerous vocal detractors.

I live near RUB and and figured they've been open long enough to have worked out some of the opening-day kinks. So I decided it was time to give it a try. (I actually tried yesterday, but they are closed on Mondays.) I ordered the burnt ends dinner, with beans and vinegar-based slaw as my sides.

The burnt ends consisted of a generous serving a 1" cubes of meat (this is different than anything I've ever seen as "burnt ends," but then again, having spent most of my life in Boston and NY, I'm hardly a barbecue expert). Consistent with the menu description, they were a little on the fatty side, but unlike the menu description, they weren't as crisp as I would have preferred: some of the pieces had a crispy coating, others had no crispness at all. The taste was good, but they were cold (yes, I ordered them to go, but I live close enough that they should have been warmer when I ate them). They were not sauced, but rather served with a side of decent sauce.

As for the sides: the slaw was inedible (and I'll eat just about anything). I prefer vinegar slaw to mayo-based slaw, but the vinegar flavor was just far too intense. I literally ate one bite. I would have liked to have tried the beans, but they failed to give them to me (it's not like they were busy; at 5:00, I was one of exactly two customers at the time).

Bottom line: meat was fine, but nothing extraordinary. Service kinks haven't been worked out yet. Maybe I'll try again in another six months.

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