I have been following the posts about this place. To sum them up, it appeared that the bbq afficionados do not really like this place. But, a lot of people reported tasty good which, after all, is significant. So I tried it.
We took out ribs, pulled pork, beans, corn bread, fries, and onion rings.
In brief, the food was awful. Almost inedible. Nevermind authenticity. We could barely get the stuff down!
The ribs were fatty. Yeah, I know, they're side ribs. But, side ribs, done right, have the fat rendered out of them ever so slowly, leaving a tender toothsome favourful sweet meat. These just had massive globules of white opaque fat all over the dang place! They needed some serious picking over. Now, in fairness, you could find pockets of meat (mostly on the outer portions of the rib) which were lean. And, in those pockets, you could taste the rub and a few hours of smoking. But, all in all, these ribs were a goopy fatty mess. And, without even touching them, everything fell off the bone leaving it bare: a suspicious sign, indeed.
Pulled pork. This was, I suppose, the best item we had in that it was not total crap. Seriously, it was just alright. The pork was a little gray, and the sauce was just plopped atop it rather than everything being tossed about lovingly. But, it was edible. Hallelujah!
The beans were surprisingly bad: very bland. Almost like baby food or something. I was told the recipe is a "Knoll family secret". Well, it should have stayed that way. Heinz (and many other canned brands) are better. Now, 61's have some meat in them, mind you. But, the beans are totally mushy. The sauce is flavourless and starchy. No character. No tang. No nuthin'.
The "jalapeno cornbread" was baked yesterday, maybe the day before. Hard little rocks, these. Not much to them. If you throw one at someone, he'll probably get a concussion. Unfortunately, there's no better use for these things.
Fries and onion rings were not really worthy of much mention except to say that neither were very good. But, take-out ruins even the best fries.
I called the place to give them some feedback. I spoke to a manager, "Nick" who assures me that the meat is rubbed, then smoked low for four hours. It's not parboiled or anything else. The beans, he insists are a Knoll family secret and they take great pride in them. I told him what I thought of the food and he acknowledged hearing my comments and said goodbye.
How is it that a rib joint takes over the space of a failed rib joint and then sucks even more than the original out-of-business rib joint?