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Meat-Up in Memphis

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Order men's and women's T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Aprons, Mugs, Caps, Tote Bags, Flasks, and more, all imprinted with the Pitmaster Club logo. There's even a spiral bound journal where you can make notes on your cooks.

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BBQ Stars

SPOTLIGHT

Some Of Our Favorite
Tools And Toys

These are not ads. These are products we love and highly recommend. Click here to read more about our medals and what they mean.

 


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Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

maverick PT55 thermometer

A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

Click here for more info on the Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Instant-Read Thermometer Review shown above. It may be the best value in a thermometer out there


If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow 'N' Sear

slow n sear

The Slow 'N' Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.

Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool


Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet's Dual Tube Burners

the good one grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King's proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review


The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

the good one grill

The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

Click here to read our complete review


Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

Griddle And Deep Fryer All In One

The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, and home fries. Or pancakes, fajitas, grilled cheese, you name it. Why stink up the house deep frying and spatter all over? Do your fried chicken and calamari outside. Blackstone's Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer does it all. Plus it has a built in cutting board, garbage bag holder, and paper towel holder. An additional work table on the left side provides plenty of counter space.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only 9 delivered to your door!

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them


The Swiss Army Knife Of Thermometers

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The smart folks at ThermoWorks have finally done it: The Swiss Army Knife of thermometers, two in one. Start with the industry standard food thermometer, the Thermapen MK4, (Platinum Medal winner) truly instant (2 to 3 seconds) precise (+ or – 0.7°F). Then they built in an infrared thermometer ideal for measuring the temps of pizza stones, griddles, and frying pans (also great for finding leaks around doors and windows in your house).

Click here to read our test results and comprehensive review and why it won our Platinum Medal.


Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater

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Char-Broil's Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you're off to the party! Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

NK-22-Ck Grill

Their NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special


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G&F Suede Welder's Gloves

Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder's gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

Click here to read our detailed review

Click here to order from Amazon


GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

grill grates

GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


kareubequ bbq smoker

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.

Click here for our review of this superb smoker


Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

masterbuilt gas smoker

The First Propane Smoker With A Thermostat Makes This Baby Foolproof

Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

Click here to read our detailed review


Professional Steakhouse Knife Set

masterbuilt gas smoker

Our founder, Meathead, wanted the same steak knives used by steakhouses such as Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, Morton's, Kobe Club, Palm, and many others. So he located the manufacturer and had them stamp our name on some. They boast pointed, temper-ground, serrated, high-carbon stainless-steel, half-tang blades with excellent cutting edge ability. The beefy hardwood handle provides a comfortable grip secured by three hefty rivets. He has machine washed his more than 100 times. They have never rusted and they stay shiny without polishing. Please note that we do not make, sell, or distribute these knives, they just engrave them with our name.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


PK 360 grill

Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for AmazingRibs.com readers only


Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

fireboard bbq thermometer

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

Click here to read our detailed review


Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

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Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Save $100 by booking before November 28th,Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis2020)
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Restaurant Review Dilemma

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  • carolts
    Charter Member
    • Dec 2014
    • 264
    • Cookers:
      KBQ C-60C
      Primo Jr. + accessories
      Pit Barrel Cooker
      Weber Genesis propane
      Vintage PK Grill
      Frontgate portable infrared grill
      Propane Lobster/Corn cooker
      Magma Marine Kettle 2 Grill and Stove Party Size

      Gadgets:
      Looftlighter
      Weber charcoal chimney
      Chimney of Insanity
      BBQ Dragon
      BBQ Guru Party Q
      GrillGrates for all grills (including custom set for Primo)
      iGrill2 and iGrill mini
      Backlit Thermapen
      Stainless smokebox for gas grill
      sawdust "maze" for cold smoking

      Coffee stuff:
      Gene Cafe CBR101 Coffee Roaster
      Toddy cold brew coffee maker
      Cuisinart burr grinder
      KitchenAid blade grinder (with spice grinder attachments)

      And, while cooking:
      Harpoon IPA
      Tuckerman's Pale Ale
      Wachusett Light IPA
      Dogfish Head American Beauty
      Bent Water Thunderfunk

    Top | #1

    Restaurant Review Dilemma

    I finally went to the hot new BBQ restaurant that opened up near work. Celebrity Chef, cookbook author, and KCBS multiple Grand Champion, etc. Between my son and I we ordered ribs, wings, pulled pork, brisket, and hot links and a variety of sides. Our dining companion ordered a vegetarian dish (which was apparently quite good). Everybody, including the local media, has been giving the place rave reviews.

    My review? Meh.

    I'm not sure if my expectations were too high or what. The hot links were very good, but the ribs were of the fall-off-the-bone variety without much texture or flavor. Same with the brisket...flavor was ok but not memorable and my son, the brisket hound, told me mine was better (what a good son!). Wings were very good, but not the kind of thing that makes you have to go back. Sides were interesting but serviceable. Service was very good, and when I requested the ribs with sauce on the side the waiter commented that I must know BBQ. They were able to answer questions about the menu items and were very helpful.

    Have you people ruined me for less-than-great BBQ? I know my husband and father like their ribs of the falling-apart variety, so are they catering to local tastes? Was it just an off night? Quite frankly, with all the hype, I expected better. I've omitted the restaurant name and location in case I'm totally off base here.

    Thoughts?
    Confused in Cambridge.
  • Atalanta
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 449
    • Barnsley's Ford
    • Grills: 22" Weber (wood handles) (another Weber on the way), Lodge Sportsman "hibachi"
      Smoker: None yet, part of why I joined
      Thermometer: 10+ yr old Taylor digital thermometer with remote
      Sous Vide: Anovo Imersion Circulator (1st gen)
      Coffee Roaster: Hot Top Coffee Roaster
      Adult Beverages: Fighting Cock Bourbon, Leinny Shandy, Troegs Mad Elf

    Top | #2
    Well....
    How new was it? If its too new, it could just be adjusting for restaurant as opposed to competition. We've been to new restaurants that got better as they settled in to what they were doing.
    Could have been an off night. If you're willing to consider that, then go back and see if things are better.

    I'm fussy about wings. The local place we go smokes and I swear they deep fry the wings later. They're still good, but I'd much rather they didn't. They also have fall-off-the-bone ribs with great taste. We get everything sauce on the side, IMO sauce can hide too much.

    (if it's the place I'm guessing, the yelps aren't all that favorable)

    Comment

    • smokinfatties
      Club Member
      • Oct 2015
      • 551
      • Upland, CA
      • Paul Arquette

        18.5" WSM + stoker
        KBQ C-60
        Weber 22" Kettle + S'n'S + GrillGrates
        BGE XL
        Yoder YS640

      Top | #3
      You are probably spoiled once you cook your own BBQ. Maybe give it a try again and a few months. I always try a place 3 times before i really make up my mind! Hard to do it with BBQ though cause I always compare the restaurant cost to the quality of meat I can buy at costco and cook myself and cooking yourself almost always wins. The better half almost refuses to eat BBQ that I don't make.

      Comment

      • RonB
        Club Member
        • Apr 2016
        • 10822
        • Near Richmond VA
        • Weber Performer Deluxe
          SNS
          Pizza insert
          Rotisserie
          Smokenator 1000
          Cookshack Smokette Elite
          2 Thermapens
          Chefalarm
          Dot
          lots of probes.
          CyberQ

        Top | #4
        You may be correct, but a one time visit may be a fluke. There is a local chain in my area that is owned by one of the big names in Q and competition. He's on tv too, but I'm not impressed with any of the meats I have had at his places, and I have been a number of times, (not always my choice ).

        Comment

        • carolts
          Charter Member
          • Dec 2014
          • 264
          • Cookers:
            KBQ C-60C
            Primo Jr. + accessories
            Pit Barrel Cooker
            Weber Genesis propane
            Vintage PK Grill
            Frontgate portable infrared grill
            Propane Lobster/Corn cooker
            Magma Marine Kettle 2 Grill and Stove Party Size

            Gadgets:
            Looftlighter
            Weber charcoal chimney
            Chimney of Insanity
            BBQ Dragon
            BBQ Guru Party Q
            GrillGrates for all grills (including custom set for Primo)
            iGrill2 and iGrill mini
            Backlit Thermapen
            Stainless smokebox for gas grill
            sawdust "maze" for cold smoking

            Coffee stuff:
            Gene Cafe CBR101 Coffee Roaster
            Toddy cold brew coffee maker
            Cuisinart burr grinder
            KitchenAid blade grinder (with spice grinder attachments)

            And, while cooking:
            Harpoon IPA
            Tuckerman's Pale Ale
            Wachusett Light IPA
            Dogfish Head American Beauty
            Bent Water Thunderfunk

          Top | #5
          I hadn't read the yelp reviews, just did. Yes, it's the Smoke Shop in Cambridge. Some of the reviews are right on the money as far as the food goes. The service when I was there was excellent and we were acknowledged both on our way to the table and leaving by multiple folks, so not ignored at all. I really wanted to like the place. The presentation was good, just the taste and texture weren't all that great.

          Given I work in the area I'm willing to give them another try, but I wouldn't drive out of my way.

          Comment

          • Obi-Dan
            Club Member
            • Feb 2016
            • 493
            • Jersey Village, TX
            • Smoker: PBC
              Grill: A 20-year-old Webber 22.5" Kettle with a Slow and Sear
              Thermometers: A Maverick ET732, A Thermapen, a few miscellaneous thermometers
              Misc: I just seem to keep buying things.

            Top | #6
            Since I have gotten serious about my BBQ I find myself not enjoying restaurant Q as much as I used too. To be honest it's taking a real special place these days to get me excited about their food. The site should come with a warning label. Warning: Joining this site may lead to you finding yourself looking down on most BBQ restaurants.

            Comment

            • ecowper
              Founding Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 2752
              • Maple Valley, WA
              • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
                Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

                Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
                Thermometer = Maverick ET732
                Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
                Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
                Thermapen Classic = Grey
                PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

                Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
                Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
                Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
                Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

                Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"


                Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

              Top | #7
              In my experience, most BBQ restaurants cook for the masses. The vast majority of us will eat BBQ just a few times in our lives - not, obviously, the vast majority of Pit members. So, the food is cooked for mass appeal and that means fall off the bones ribs, flavor can't be strong, everything is sauced to appeal to the "coca-cola palate" .... I have always found that I hated sugary tasting foods, liked strong, robust flavors, and completely detest soda flavors. I prefer a genuine steakhouse to most BBQ joints because steakhouses don't try to cater to the masses.

              If I opened a BBQ joint, my goal would be to produce "true" Texas beef and "true" southern pig. I would only serve a few meats, not every BBQ meat under the sun. Most likely spareribs and butt for the pork side of the house and short ribs and brisket for the beef side. On Fridays, I would add tri-tip and pinquito beans, so that people could enjoy Central California BBQ. Corn bread, crusty sourdough bread, green salad, beans, corn on the cob and home fries would be the only sides. Beer and wine. Iced tea. Water.

              Oh yeah, I'd offer 3-4 sauces .... All on the side. A mustard sauce, a whiskey sauce, a KC sauce and a vinegar sauce.

              Comment


              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                sorry about the home fries ... I could be convinced to offer another form of potato.

              • Potkettleblack
                Potkettleblack commented
                Editing a comment
                potato salad. But seriously, consider... you're gonna do a griddle or a frier just for potatoes when nothing else in the restaurant uses either? Here's how to think about a Q stop:
                http://www.smoquebbq.com/manifesto.pdf
                And they do fries... but they explain it.

              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                Well, so far it is just imaginary. But potato salad probably makes more sense, even though fries is my personal preference.
            • morganjim
              Former Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 118
              • East Texas

              Top | #8
              Yup. Same thing here only I went to Stanley's (world famous comp. winning) and not only was the food lackluster the service was that much worse. There is no way that a place starts out small, wins competetions, gets a lot of business and expands, then sells multimillions a year and can sustain the same quality that got them there. I'm certain the pitmaster that won those comps isn't doing all the cooking still. Anyway - I got jumped on and cussed out by not only the owner but "fans" as well.

              Comment


              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                No different than Famous Dave's. Same issues.

              • LangInGibsonia
                LangInGibsonia commented
                Editing a comment
                ecowper Our local Famous Dave's got shut down by the health department. Apparently they were re-plating bread and sides that were left on tables. Yuck!!

              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                I only eat leftovers at home!
            • Potkettleblack
              Club Member
              • Jun 2016
              • 1833
              • Chicago, IL
              • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330
                Thermometers: Thermapen / iGrill 2 / Fireboard
                For Smoke: Chunks / Pellet Tube / Mo Pouch
                Sous Vide: Joule / Nomiku WiFi
                Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something)

              Top | #9
              So, Charlie McKenna operates a pretty good place in Chicago (that I haven't been to because it kind of burned down without updating their webpage at one point) called Lillie's Q. I believe he got the big trophy for Pork Shoulder at Memphis in May this year, so good restaurant, solid competitor.

              Any rate, he was on a podcast I listen to a month or three ago: https://soundcloud.com/thefeedpodcas...harlie-mckenna

              He talks about why competition is different than restaurant. You can also apply the difference between competition vs restaurant to backyard vs restaurant. Unless you're catering, you're not doing 2-300 covers a day. And, unless you're catering, you're not watching cost and profit margin as closely as you would in a restaurant situation. IIRC, Charlie says in the podcast that he'd have to charge north of $20 a sandwich to offer the competition pulled pork in the restaurant.

              So, I don't find trophies to be a disqualifier, but I don't find them to be a mark of excellence, either. Now, while I don't think Chicago has a great BBQ culture, it certainly has more than the northeast, by dint of our history of meat packing and aquarium smokers. so, when Smoque opened in Chicago, people were ready for a better BBQ. When the wave of places that followed followed, again, the market was ready to rate them fairly accurately. I'm not sure that base exists in New England (I grew up in New York City, and am surprised to read that a lot of folks think it's a new BBQ hub... I also spent a few years in Connecticut, where the only good Q place was run by a carpetbagger from South Carolina). With a lack of clientele in the know, with the cost of doing business what it is, I don't think what you've seen from them should be out of line with expectations.

              Comment

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              Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

              Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Save $100 by booking before November 28th,Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis2020)
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              About this website. AmazingRibs.com is all about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, with great BBQ recipes, tips on technique, and unbiased equipment reviews. Learn how to set up your grills and smokers properly, the thermodynamics of what happens when heat hits meat, as well as hundreds of excellent tested recipes including all the classics: Baby back ribs, spareribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, burgers, chicken, smoked turkey, lamb, steaks, barbecue sauces, spice rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best buying guide to barbecue smokers, grills, accessories, and thermometers, edited by Meathead.

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