Went with a big group yesterday to give RUB another chance and was pleased to see that the service was attentive and friendly and that the food is hitting its stride.
Alot has already been said about what this place is doing wrong, which I wont rehash. People will never agree on 'cue, but different doesn't mean worse.
We tried just about everything on the menu minus the duck and sausage and found the spareribs and babybacks to be moist and flavorful with a rub that stood up to the long cooking and complimented the meat without the use of sauce. The meat doesn't fall off the bone which is how I like it-- a bite and a tug did the job. Could've used a crisper crust, but that's a quibble.
The chicken was moist, smoky and flavorful, both white meat and dark.
The brisket is getting moister and more tender by the day. I thought it was dry when they first opened. The flavor profile is mild and beefy with a pleasant smokines. The burnt ends are smoky, little cubes of heaven.
The pulled pork was sweet, juicy and mild with a hint of smoke and plenty of pieces of crunchy bark mixed throughout-- on white bread with a little hot sauce to offset it was a real winner.
Of the other meats, the ham was negligible, I have to say. Fine, but not special. Sliced thin and a bit sweet and dry, but not a star for me. The pastrami can't compete with Katz's. It is tender, moist and has a lovely flavor spiked with coriander, but is too lean and, as has been mentioned, the texture isn't quite there. I'm sure it would make a nice sandwich.
Of the sides, the ultra-smoky beans were nice, the slaws and potato salads are forgettable.
The oreos are killer.
I still think their sauce overpowers the meats, but was a nice compliment used sparingly. The smoke flavor they acchieve with green hickory is mildly assertive and blends well as one flavor of many in the mix.
RUB is coming on strong and is nothing like the other 'cue joints around NYC in terms of intentions and recipes, which I think earns them a second look.