I went to Camp 31 for lunch today, while en route to Woodstock.
In short, a dang good plate o' bar-b-que.
I ordered the combo plate: 3 choices of meat, plus beans, plus one side. The meat choices are side ribs, pulled pork, smoked sausage, or chicken. I made a mistake, choosing ribs, pulled pork, and sausage. The mistake was I shoulda gone for ribs, pulled pork, and more pulled pork.
Yes, the pulled pork was excellent. The stand-out part of the meal, for sure. It was tender, sweet, and smoky, and even a bit crispy in some places. It had the deep, rich flavour that only comes with smoking meat low and slow. It was lightly sauced. It was quite delicious to say the least.
The side ribs were very good. The best I've had in fact. They were quite dark on the outside (not charred), and hot pink/red in the inside. They did not leave the bone bare and quickly like a parboiled rib; rather, they offered some resistance to the tooth, and then tore gracefully from the bone. Again, I saw the telltale smoke ring inside. Camp 31 proves that side ribs done right need not be fatty at all.
The sausage. Good sausage, but, comparatively, a waste of space on the plate. But, good sausage. Ditto the fries.
The beans were a bit of a disappointment. DiPamo's were better, because they had chunks o' pork within, and their sauce was browner and deeper. My beans today were much like the Heinz baked beans that my 3-year-old enjoys for their mushy sweetness. In Camp 31 beans, there was also a vaguely strange oriental flavour that I could not identify. Not too good.
Another negative: Camp 31's "award winning sauce" was on the table. The two main ingredients: water and high fructose corn syrup. Huh? Who gave awards for that. Now, I must confess that it was quite tasty. But, not that great. Not worthy of bragging or any award.
On the whole: really good, uniquely authentic bbq experience.
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