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Restaurants & Bars

BBQ at Ryles

MC Slim JB | May 18, 2004 01:26 AM

Got to Ryles for the music, stayed for the BBQ. There's definitely some open-fire grilling happening in that kitchen, but I'm less sure that there's much slow-smoke cooking going on. The brisket sandwich was okay, overly lean, cut into 1/4" slices, somewhat dry, saved almost by a tasty ladled-on finish sauce, but definitely lacking the texture and flavor I associate with real Q. Served on a supermarket-grade bun with weak, obviously frozen skinny fries and good mayonnaise-dressed slaw. Chili was a real bust, had a kind of burnt-on-the-stovetop whiff and a decidedly fake-smoke flavor.

The one winner was the "New Orleans BBQ shrimp", ten nicely fire-grilled, largeish shell-on shrimp in a peppery (maybe hot paprika), oily sauce. Decent, fairly priced Rosemount Shiraz by the glass, friendly service, plus fantastic, Turkish-flavored jazz. With three big pours of wine, $42++, a bargain. A fine evening out, and a big improvement on earlier menus here, but this won't make my short list for barbecue.

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