Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rudolph’s – Minneapolis, MN

Since HotgirlsBrother had already been to this BBQ place, and he had to work late, LowVee and I went by ourselves to knock this one off our list of rib places. We had heard some things about the place, both good and bad, but we have to try it out ourselves for it to be officially ranked on the list of Twin Cities Rib Quest 2009.

The place has a bar area and also a full service restaurant area. The bar area we walked through seemed pretty nice, so I’d have no problem eating in there sometime. But tonight, we needed to be seated and pampered. We also noticed an inordinate number of wheelchairs in the place – weird. We grabbed a tabled and began to scour the menu. Brandon, one of the best waiters ever, came to help us out and answer questions. And, he surprised me with 1919 root beer on tap – oh, that cheeky Brandon. Brilliant suggestion!

We knew we needed a skillet of cornbread so we ordered that right off. Then LowVee got a half slab of spare ribs and some coleslaws (it’s called the Rudy – as in the retarded munchkin football player, also from the Cosby Show, also retarded), and I got the Hollywood which is a full slab of spare ribs and some baked beans. I also got a Caesar salad because I’m classy like that.

The cornbread came out still in the cast iron skillet and with a scoop of butter on the top. Amazingly awesome! Sweet without being sugary (like me), and PLENTY to go around (also like me). This cornbread was also very moist, not all dried out like it had been back there a while. The coleslaw (according to LoVee) was really quite good – as good as Scott Ja-Mamma’s coleslaw, but slightly less good than Lee and Dee’s. The Caesar salad was also really good – it’s hard to wow someone with a Caesar salad, but sometimes, you just gotta have one.

The ribs they brought out looked fantastic. Brandon told us they don’t cook the spare ribs with any sauce, so they’re a bit more dry than the baby back ribs. That’s the way LowVee likes her ribs, and she really liked these spare ribs. The baby back ribs were really juicy and flavorful and almost no fat at all on them. I’m glad I went with the full slab. I was really hungry. LowVee developed some concoction of the original BBQ sauce and the spicy BBQ sauce which tasted quite good. Both sauces on their own were just meh, but together, they were pretty awesome. The sweetcorn on the cob was dangerously hot - I could tell because LowVee yelled out and basically threw the cob onto her plate immediately after picking it up - sorry for laughing LowVee. The baked beans were some of the better ones I’ve had on this Rib Quest, despite their being large chunks of onion in them. The flavor was really nice and not liquid smokey like some places.

Bottom line is this place was waaaaay better than I expected it to be. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and throw out a preliminary ranking of the places we’ve been so far, just so you know the standings.
1. Lee and Dee’s (sleeper bbq)
2. Mr. B’s
3. Big Daddy’s Saturday BBQ (will need to re-affirm this with a more recent trip)
4. Ted Cook’s 19th Hole BBQ
5. Rudolph’s
6. Scott Ja-Mamma’s
7. Cap’s Grille

The best part is we really haven’t had BAD BBQ anywhere, so don’t hesitate to try any of these places. But someone has to be at the top of the list and someone has to be at the bottom of the list. That’s how rankings work. Cap’s Grille is just fine (don’t be offended, Cap) – in fact, go there and spend some money and prove me wrong.

Top 5 things about Rudolph’s
1. Baby back ribs
2. Spare ribs
3. Cornbread
4. 1919 Root beer
5. Brandon, the best waiter in the world

Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd did love her some ribs, and I know she would have eaten a full slab with me. She was courteous like that.
2. HotGirlsBrother couldn’t join us. You’re a part of this team, brother! Don’t ever think differently.
3. I get yelled at when I say I had a date with Ribs and LoVee is just coming along as a third wheel – ha ha ha
4. I really really want to comment on the waitresses working in the back dining room where we were, but I’m a gentleman (but only on Tuesdays)
5. It’s not a cheap place to get ribs, that’s for sure

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