Friday, September 11, 2009

Rooster’s BBQ Deli & Catering – St. Paul, MN

To continue the 2009 Twin cities Rib Quest, HotGirlsBrother, LowVee, Smallz, and I hit the road for Rooster’s in St. Paul. We tried to go here a few weeks back, but in keeping with our regular nightmare of trying to get ribs, we got to the place and it was closed. We checked the website this time and even called to make sure this was going to happen. We pulled up outside the place and no one changed the sign from open to closed, so we thought this was a good sign.

We strolled in and there were people inside waiting for orders, and all of the booths (by “all”, I mean “both”) were open. The guy behind the counter greeted us pleasantly and asked what we needed. We were scouring the very large and comprehensive menu sign (not even handwritten – these people are classy like that), and eventually made our decisions. I got a BBQ spare rib dinner (with the spicier sauce) and an order of deep fried cheese curds. Oh yeah, and a can of DEW!!!!

This is the first thing we saw when we sat down. This is the BEST idea for a pepper shaker EVER!!!

We grabbed one of the booths and sat down to wait. The guy brought us out some free appetizers – little fried squash raviolis. They were quite tasty. He told us this should tide us over while we waited. They were in a waxed paper boat with a bowl of red hot sauce in the middle. These things didn’t last long.

My cheese curds came out pretty quickly and we all helped ourselves to those. They were white cheddar – the best kind of cheese curd, and were really good. Almost as good as the ones at the fair booths. Again, these things didn’t last long.

We didn’t wait long for the dinners to come out. These things were piping hot and really large. The ribs came in a large boat and the fries, coleslaw, and roll came on a separate plate. No room was left on the table at all.

Here’s a close-up of the ribs – super thick and saucy.

The ribs were VERY meaty and tender. The meat came off the bone pretty easily. The sauce really wasn’t that hot, or so I thought, but by the time the meal was over, my face was tingly a bit. And I’m not sure how many actual ribs are on a pig, but I feel like a half slab of ribs here is more than the usual half slab I get. But I was pretty happy with them. Not the best ribs no the quest, but I think I’d eat them again without a single complaint.

The guy behind the counter came back out with some shredded cabbage of some sort in a boat and told us it’s kind of like kimchee and is good on the pork. We all took a couple forkfuls to try. It was pretty spicy, but I’m not a fan of kimchee, so I passed after the first bite. Some of the others put it on their ribs or sammich and liked it, so I think it was pretty tasty for the rest of the group.

The fries were super seasoned (you could see the seasoning on them) and were really tasty. They were also very crispy, which I know is a personal preference, but it’s MY personal preference. Again, I’m not a huge fry lover, but they were pretty darn good. I asked about the coleslaw and got word that it was super good. Why? I asked. The response came back, “Because it tastes like KFC’s.” So apparently, the Colonel is the grand wizard of coleslaw and if you can copy his, you’re gold.

I had a bite of Smallz pulled pork sandwich, and it was pretty good. Not as good as Psycho Suzie’s or Bryant Lake bowl, but it was still really good. Might have been even better with the spicy kimchee and all.

We had a great eating experience here. The food was above average and the customer service was out of this world. The guy either knew we were new and was making sure we came back, or he was just a really awesome guy that makes sure his customers are happy (and full). Go to this rib place when you get a chance. You won’t be disappointed.

Top 5 things about Rooster’s BBQ Deli and Catering
1. Customer service – no question about it. Amazing and lots of unexpected free stuff!
2. Fries with seasoning
3. Ribs with the super sloppy sauce
4. They had a sit down space invaders game (booth or game? Booth or game? Let’s have the game!)
5. They have DEW!!! (oh. also, the coleslaw is good)

Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd loved her some ribs and would have liked being pampered at a BBQ joint. I’m’ sure she would have added this place to the list of 731 places we needed to take her parents when they came up to visit
2. The BBQ sauce could have been spicier
3. There’s not a lot of room to eat inside, so get there early or be prepared to take your food away
4. It got REALLY smoky in there a couple of times. Not sure if that’s a regular occurrence or not, but it was pretty funny
5. I wish I had asked if I could substitute beans for coleslaw. The guy probably would have said yes. My own fault

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