Well, the third time's a charm. After two previous attempts (1: closed, despite "Open" sign and hours listed on menu; 2: "open," but no ribs to sell (???!!!)), I hit Ron's last night for some dinner--ever in search of the perfect ribs. I ordered a pork rib platter: 5 ribs, two sides. They were out of corn bread and sweet potato pie (and told me the former was "usually availabl" and the latter was "not available on a regular basis"). Oh well, I'm not looking for Mickey D's here, so I can deal with the inconsistency. I chose baked macaroni and red beans and rice, and added an extra side of the baked macaroni. Total came to $16.42, a tad on the steep side.
Ribs: the smokey flavor was delicious, and the sauce was out of this world. I read an article recently which stated that the smoker has been in operation since the 50's, which explains the intense smoky flavor. The sauce was sweet (I ordered mild), but with a nice kick. Unfortunately, the ribs themselves were not "prime stock"; they were pretty fatty and slightly overdone. Sauce/preparation: 4/5. Meat: 2/5.
Mac: decent, not great, macaroni & cheese. Tasted rewarmed from the previous day; not particularly warm, either. Passable, but nothing to write home about. 2/5 (for cheesiness).
Beans & Rice: slightly bland, but otherwise did exactly what you want plain ol' red beans & rice to do--complement the meal. Could have benefited from some more seasoning. 3/5.
Summary: I'll try them again, but there seem to be some supply/consistency issues. So far, in Philly, my ultimate pork rib platter would be as follows:
Ribs: either a) Rib Crib ribs (with the bread on the bottom, consistent 5/5) or b) Phoebe's rib meat prepared by Ron's Ribs with RR's smoker & sauce, and two pieces of bread on the bottom a'la Rib Crib; Phoebe's Mac & Cheese (out of this world, straight up 5/5 EVERY TIME), Phoebe's red beans & rice OR candied yams (yum!), Phoebe's pan-fried cornbread (5/5), all with WaWa skim milk and an individual sweet potato pie from Rib Crib (4/5 to discount for the one I got that was moldy) for dessert.
What should I try next?