Sunday, August 2, 2009

C&G Smoking Barbeque – Minneapolis, MN

My father was in town visiting, and I had to come up with an idea for lunch. I had read a review of this place that mentioned it had loose meat sandwiches like the Maid-Rite in Illinois. The Maid-Rite is one of my father’s favorite restaurants in the world, so I thought we’d both try this new place together. And the C&G Smoking Barbeque is relatively close to my neighborhood – It’s on Nicollet and 47th. I knew it had just opened according to the other review I had read. In fact, there is still a grand opening sign still on the grass out front.

There’s a small parking lot outside the building that houses a gas station, a gluten-free, dairy-free, ice cream and treat shop, and C&G Smoking Barbeque. We found a spot and strode in like we owned the place, which was funny because we saw the guy that DID actually own the place back in the kitchen.

The place had four tables with three chair each at it. I’m no mathmatologist, but that means that 12 people MAX fit in this place. Just a warning, you might be eating your food outside. Thankfully, we got a table.

There are hand-written dry-erase board signs in this place for menus. And another one for daily specials. From the review I had read, I knew I wanted to order the loose burger and the hot water bread. I didn’t know what either one was, but I was going to do it anyway. I knew I had to get the loose burger without onions or mustard, which are actually the condiments that generally arrive on the thing. My father ordered the loose burger and some baked beans. I saw they had a ton of other things I needed to try as well as adding this place to the 2009 Twin Cities Rib Quest list, so I would be back, no matter the food turned out. Thankfully, it gave me hope for the ribs. The guy that took our order was super helpful and made sure we got what we needed, and was generally a super nice guy.

The food came out and wasn’t at all what we expected.

The hot water bread was really interesting. It was good, also, but it was more interesting than good. It was like deep-fried corn meal nuggets. Or maybe cornbread deep fried. Really awesome idea and I think they would go good with the ribs I’ll be ordering next time I go here. The baked beans were some of the best I’ve ever had. Know why? Because they have ground beef and beef brisket cooked in with the beans. The guys from C&G are dead serious about their beans. The first bite I stole from my father’s beans was good. The second one was even better. I’m assuming they would just keep getting better, but he totally cut me off after bite two. But he did confirm they got better with each bite. In fact, and I’m not kidding you, my father walked over to another table who was preparing to order and basically demanded they get the baked beans. The best he’s ever had. He brought his bowl of beans to their table and moved things around with his fork while raving about it. It was seriously awesome. My dad rules. He’d better rule, since I’m turning into a longer-haired version of him (which my friends point out with glee everytime it happens).

The loose burgers were not at all what we thought they were going to be. It was in fact loose meat, but it was in a hot dog bun and then there was chili poured on top. It doesn’t really lend itself to eating like a hotdog, as it would get quite messy REALLY quickly. So basically, what you have is a chili dog but without the dog. I understand these things are a Detroit staple, so there’s your culinary history lesson for the day. It was good chili and not spicy enough that my dad couldn’t eat it, which was my first concern. In fact, he even put ketchup on it. Maybe he was trying to jazz it up a bit. It was not Heinz ketchup which we all know is the best, but rather Chef’s Quality ketchup. I didn’t even try it, so I won’t make any comments about that.

After we finished, we raved about the food to the guy behind the counter and in fact, I sent out a couple of text to Low-Vee and HotGirlsBrother to let them know we WOULD be going here for the Rib Quest and it was awesome. So we told the guy we were in fact spreading the word as we spoke about how good it was. The cook came out from the back to make sure our food was good and we assured him it was fantastic and I would be back for sure. Despite the fact that “sandwiches” was spelled “sandwhiches”, I think this place has a lot going for it, and I’m hoping I get to be enough of a regular that they recognize me. It was fantastic. I’m crossing my fingers for the ribs. I generally try not to do two reviews of a place, but I’ll make the exception for the Rib Quest.
And Low-Vee, they do have moist towlettes (or mouse toilets as my nephew Stealth Buffalo calls them). They’re also open until like 10pm, which is awesome for us being on weird work schedules.

Top 5 things about C&G Smoking Barbeque
1. Homemade baked beans
2. Loose burgers
3. Hot water bread
4. They have Dew
5. Super awesome people run this place

Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd would have been house hunting in this neighborhood so we could have moved closer to C&G
2. The hand drawn signs (which I realize might be there temporarily) with misspellings
3. Chef’s Quality ketchup
4. NO bathroom
5. It’s small, so you’d better get there early enough to score a table


Trash said...

AHEM. I wonder what BRILLIANT person suggested this restaurant...

No, seriously, I'm glad you tried it out first. It would have been too sad had it sucked.

Tee said...

I went to this place last night. I dont know if things have changed since last year, but the chicken and fries where awful. It was like they haven't changed the oil in ages and it left an awful aftertaste in my mouth. I will not be revisiting this place. I am so surprised that they actually have good reviews.