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LesThePress | Jun 17, 2004 04:55 PM

Reading all the Bar-B-Que threads lately has me drooling for beef ribs. I love beef ribs and can’t get enough and all this BBQ talk is killing me.

I’ve had several beef ribs over the last week or so. Limited by time and location (work: Santa Monica; Live: SF Valley), I could not get to many places discussed. However, here are my comments on the places I did visit (being a purist, I am not discussing the sides):

#1 - Rib Ranch (Woodland Hills) Ordering a full slab on the way home ($16.95 – 7 ribs) I could hardly wait to get home to eat, especially once I picked them up and they were sitting – and smelling – next to me. I always liked the beef ribs here but hadn’t had them in a while. Either I forgot how good they were or my cravings made them seem better than I remembered. Nice long, very meaty and great flavor! The meat was tender but not to the point of falling off the bone. I used my own sauce on them, although I do like their sauce, but I need the heat. I used only the smallest amount to preserve the great beef flavor. I can’t believe I ate all 7 ribs, but I don’t regret it!! It won’t be so long before I go back.

#2 – Tony Roma’s (Encino) – I may be boo’d off this medium, but I had the beef rib dinner at TR’s last weekend since that’s where the family chose to go. They really weren’t that bad. Not as much of a Bar-b-Que flavor as other places, but the (4) ribs were very meaty and tasted very good and of medium length. I know TR’s is generally not considered real BBQ, but these weren’t half bad.

#3) - Wood Ranch (Northridge) – While another chain I’ve always found WR to be minimally acceptable. Usually my choice only when picked based on location, never as a destination. The beef ribs were nice long ribs with a fair amount of meat. Pretty generic tasting and while nothing to write home about they’ll do in a pinch. This is also a good family place, like TR’s.

#4) – Benny’s BBQ (Santa Monica) – I had to go to Costco in Culver City today and found myself again desiring beef ribs. While my preference would have been Western Smoke house, it was too far out of the way and this was on lunch time, after all. That left me with 2 choices, 4 J’s and Benny’s. I went to Benny’s a few times just after starting working in this area. I was never impressed so I never went back. I went to 4 J’s once and it was so bad I never re-visited it. So it was off to Benny’s.

Unfortunately, I now remember why I wasn’t previously impressed. 4 ribs = $10.95. They were short, not a lot of meat, and basically no flavor. Not smoke, BBQ or even beefy taste. They barely satiated my cravings. Definitely will not be going back.

I am still anxious to try Grandpa Fred’s previously discussed on this board. Any additional suggestions are gratefully accepted.

Side note: IMHO None of these, not even Rib Ranch, begins to compare to Hogly Wogly’s.

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