If you haven't been to the Country Tavern lately, you haven't been to the Country Tavern. I've been eating ribs there for more than 20 years and most of the time they have been good. Once in awhile they have been excellent. Yesterday they were as good as ribs get.
BUT -- if you don't like change you won't like the Tavern today. The owner, Lois, died in a car wreck awhile back and her grandson, the new owner and manager, has gone in for a major renovation of just about everything...such as:
1. The room has been redone with new paint, elevated ceiling with air conditioner ducts revealed, much more light in the room (sort of an old warehouse look rather than the old honky-tonk look.)
2. The bathrooms now sport black toilets, sinks with countertops, hot water and even fresh flowers!
3. They have menus.
4. Rather than having three offerings (rib plate, brisket plate and brisket sandwich), they now have two kinds of ribs (St. Louis style, which they say is what they have always served, and loin backs, which are a dollar a plate more), brisket, brisket sandwich, Earl Campbell sausage and a choice of coleslaw, potato salad, beans and chips.
5. They bring you hot wet towels after you eat.
6. The waitress brings you the bill and tells you she will "be your cashier," rather than your just going to the bar to pay.
7. There is now no smoking at the tables, but you can still smoke at the bar.
Whether you like the change really depends on your personal taste, but it ain't the same old Tavern.
We had ribs yesterday afternoon and got some brisket to bring home. Ribs were excellent. Brisket is a little soft (like it had been steamed) and was lacking in smoke flavor. Not terrible, just not great.
I would love to hear from some of you who have been there before and/or after the changes and know what you think.