Was driving up MLK today and noticed that the taqueria across from Hannah Bea's is now a BBQ joint. I hadn't eaten so I decided to stop.
Had a little difficulty parking as one guy was washing cars in the back of the lot while a group of guy were selling shoes through the windows of other cars.
They have a range of soul food and BBQ, including fried catfish, hot links, ribs, and rib tips. I got the rib sandwich ($7), which was 4 or 5 ribs slathered in sauce with two pieces of white bread on the side.
Their pit was in back and I saw the ribs come in and they looked good. Unfortunately, you can't judge a rib by its color. They were mediocre, about the quality that you'd get at a family BBQ form someone who takes pride in their cooking, but doesn't really have the equipment or ability to do a truly good job. There was decent smoke penetration, but not enough fat or connective tissue on the large spare ribs was melted. This left the ribs chewy and fatty. Sauce was tangy and sweet, not bad. But I can't recommend the place for ribs. They looked to be reheating their sausage in the microwave. I might go back and try some soul food. These African-American BBQ shops, like Doris's and Tropicana, seem to do better with the soul food which doesn't take quite the skill as the BBQ. There are a few others in N Portland as well that I could try sometime.
Afterwards, I was getting ready to pull out of the lot and onto MLK and a woman came up to my window. She looked like she might want some change so I went ahead and rolled down the window. She asked if I could do her a favor, that it was hot, and that she just wanted a ride down to the Chevron. Reluctantly, I agreed.
We pulled out and the first thing she said to me was, "You're kind of cute." I was just silent for a moment and sheepishly thanked her. She told me it was her birthday and that she just had three shots of tequila. She was twitching and talking quickly in abbreviated sentences. I suspect she had had something more stimulating than alcohol. Again not really knowing what to say, I congratulated her. Just then she asked, "So, you a cop," and went to grab my crotch. I had to use my Karate Kid knowledge to wax off and keep her from scoring. Luckily we reached Chevron and I don't remember exactly what she said, but she was asking if I wanted a "date". I thanked her, but insisted that I didn't. She asked for some change, which I gave her, and she hopped out.
This sort of thing is becoming a common narrative in my food explorations. I need to follow my mother's advice and quit talking to strangers.