Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Tony Roma’s – Bloomington, MN
While this isn’t part of Rib Quest 2011 (mainly because it’s a rib chain), I do enjoy going to Tony Roma’s, mainly because my family has eaten at these restaurants since I can remember eating ribs. They’re not ground breaking or trendsetting, but I’ve never had a bad meal here (I’ve had a funny meal here, but not a bad one). My family wanted to go to the Mall of America while they were visiting D.Rough and I in the Twin Cities, and I didn’t realize we were going to Tony Roma’s until my mom brought it up. Then I knew we were going.
We were a larger group, so we had to wait half an hour for a table, but that wasn’t bad on a Saturday around lunch time at the MOA. Once seated, we got menus from our waitress (who sadly, didn’t get any of our jokes or teasing), and tried to figure out what to get. I opted for the lunch time half slab of original ribs (which oddly, is the same price and amount of food as the dinner portion). I got fries and baked beans as my two sides. D.Rough got the lunch portion of chicken – a quarter-chicken with white meat and some sides.
My sister, Notmomsfavorite, ordered some potato skins for us all to share – I’m not usually a huge fan of potato skins. I’m fine with eating them, but I don’t think I’ve ever ordered them at any restaurant I’ve ever been to. They were good skins though. Lots of toppings and lots of cheese. Good call on the appetizer!
The food generally comes out pretty quickly here – like at most rib places. Most of the times, the ribs are already cooked and are just heated up, since they take so long to cook in the first place. The baked beans were really BBQ saucey – like really. That was most of the flavor, in fact. I wasn’t a huge fan of these beans, but that obviously didn’t stop me from eating them all up. The fries were pretty standard fare and were good. And there were an appropriate amount of fries. Not too may, not too few. This has always been an issue with me, but probably because I’m not a fry person. I just use them to break up the flavors a little bit. I don’t think of them as a meal component or anything.
The ribs themselves were really good. This place seems to have the constancy thing figured out. The meat was juicy and about halfway between tender and tough. You knew you were eating meat, but you didn’t have to fight it off the bone or gnaw on the bone to get all the meat off of it. People who like tough ribs would like these and people who like tender ribs would like these. They’re just good ribs. No gristle or cartilage to speak of, so these ribs would have already ranked higher than some of the places we’ve gone for rib quest in the past. AND they have HOT wetnaps after your meal. Low-Vee, you hear me? HOT wetnaps.
And, as a bonus for me, my niece’s fiancé, Porky, couldn’t finish his cheese burger, so I got to polish that thing off before we left. It was a pretty decent burger. Again, not life-changing, but a truly solid attempt at a restaurant-sized cheese burger. And finally, my mother couldn’t finish her ribs either, so I got to polish off her honey glazed ribs. I still had room for more, but sadly, everyone else finished their food. hahahahaha
Top 5 things about Tony Roma’s
1. Original ribs
2. Honey glazed ribs
3. Cheese burger
4. D.Rough said her ¼ chicken was really quite good
5. Potato skins
Bottom 5 things
1. Baked Beans were too BBQ saucey
2. Waitress was a little daft (yes, I used the word “daft”)
3. D.Rough didn’t get some of the items she asked for after her food came out
4. They used to put the sauces out on the table, but I think they ended up getting stolen. Sad.
5. My niece’s 7-month-old daughter didn’t get to eat “baby’s first ribs” just yet. Soooooon, though.