OK, all you chowhounds who think you know good BBQ...COME ON!!! I'd rather drive the 100 or so miles down to Phil's in S.D. than the 10 miles to the valley.
So I managed to get a reservation on Christmas Eve, not the best night to go out to a new place I admit, but oh well my grandmother read S.I. Virbilla's wonderful review and wanted to go. I've read several reviews on this site about Boneyard and I am perplexed with those who thought this place was great, or anything even remotely close to that. No, I didn't get the venison special, just wasn't interested in ordering anything that came with foie gras anywhere other than a fine dining restaurant.
First thing, what is the deal with the menu? This place is more confused than Steve Martin's character in 'The Jerk'. The first side of the menu is supposedly bistro fare (personally I didn't set out to eat barbeque, but the bistro selection sounded so unappealing that I really didn't have much of a choice). The other side is entirely BBQ, which started sounding like a great alternative. I actually got excited about the Q because it had been quite awhile since I had any. Little did I know....
I must say that I was most satisfied with the baby corn bread muffins which came in the complimentary bread basket, which is not saying much considering they tasted just like Marie Calendar's mix.
First, we ordered several appetizers (we did this because our waiter warned us that the wait would be "very long" before we saw our meals) including the fried calamari, pulled pork dumplings, and duck spring rolls. The calamari was piled sky high with mostly an asian vegetable slaw. One question, where's the calamari? Literally. That's a great way to keep food costs low. The pulled pork dumplings were a disgrace to dumplings. I couldn't even determine what the pulled pork tasted like because my mouth and taste buds were exhausted trying to get around what had to be a huge mistake. The dumpling dough was tougher than shoe leather. Add the greasy dimension of being dipped in the fryer, and well, i'm just not interested in taking another bite, ever. The duck spring rolls were the best, but still not wonderful. What was good was the cherry chutney that came along side. That was the BEST part of this entire meal.
My sister and I decided in conjunction, to each order a different rib and meat plate so we could sample four different types of BBQ and several different sides. What a mistake, we just ended up with an enormous doggy bag that really was meant for the dogs. I ordered the beef ribs, brisket, baked beans, and cole slaw. She ordered the baby back ribs, tri-tip, fried macaroni and cheese, and collards. So the beef ribs and brisket were basically inedible. They were tough, dry, charred to a crisp (for those of you who were wondering, charcoal is NOT what you eat, it's what you cook over), and extremely overly seasoned with salt and pepper. The way too sweet BBQ sauce that comes along side couldn't even lubricate them enough to be swallowed. So, I gave up. Two for the doggy bag, zero for me. The beans were mediocre at best. They were lacking in flavor and seemed to be just beans added to the BBQ sauce that had been watered down. The cole slaw, not much flavor there. I guess they figured that after the copious amounts of seasoning on the ribs you just needed a break. Check please. But no, I had to continue.
Next the baby back ribs. My spirit was reviving because they actually looked really good, but as we all know, looks can be deceiving. And boy were they. They did have a nice smokey flavor and they weren't charred, but again they had spent way too much time smoking and in the end they were just tough, dry, ribs. The tri-tip was the only meat that wasn't dry. But it too was over seasoned and just not appetizing. Strike...seven...? I can't even keep count. The fried macaroni and cheese is just bad. And why deep fry it? It becomes very dry and not nice and cheesy. The collards, I can't even explain that one. It was our opinion that the flavor was reminiscent of the way too sweet BBQ sauce, watered-down even more than in it was in the beans.
So when all is said and done, I will NEVER go back to Boneyard Bistro and I will NEVER recommend it to anyone, ever. It seems as if someone needs to go back to cooking school or just actually spend more time tasting what is sent out. I predict that this place won't be around for very long unless they make some drastic, and I mean DRASTIC changes.