Thursday, November 8, 2012

Baldy’s BBQ – Lakeville, MN (Bar-B-Quest 2012 Semi-finals!)

As the Bar-B-Quest nears its end, the excitement is building more and more. Western Division super-contender Baldy’s is up against Q Fanatic to go to the Finals against C.G. Hooks in the Eastern Division. We’ve been to Baldy’s numerous times – both for this competition and for fun – and have had awesome ribs there. This time was no different.

Here’s the quick review:

Low-Vee, HotGirlsBrother, and I all got the combination platter. It comes with a half slab, a pile of pulled meat, and two sides. Additionally, we ordered a pint of baked beans, and a pint of potato salad. And because they are some of the best fries in the area, we got a basket of fries to split. Finally, of course, there’s beers to be had here, so we got a bucket of mix and match stuff.

The sides are pretty awesome here.

The cheesy corn bake is incredible EVERY time. This time seemed more fresh than usual and more liquidy, which was fine by all of us. Also, it looked like there was ham instead of bacon mixed in this time. Didn’t matter – still awesome.

The coleslaw was good – one of the better ones in the challenge. No complaints at all on this slaw.

The potato salad still surprises me. I’ve never really liked it until now and, having had it a few places since then, I think Baldy’s is the best I’ve had. Big chunks of potato, just the right amount of pepper. Perfect.

The baked beans are really good here. Maybe not my favorite of the quest, but still up there near the top.

The fries are seriously the best in the area. They’re double-fried and the have some sort of beautiful dust on them to season them. All three of us fight over them when we come here. Dang it, these are fantastic!

The ribs are really why we’re here, though. Fantastic flavor on these, especially with the rub they put on them. You get to add your sauce (they have a few) and we all seemed to like the sweet sauce over the original, though Low-Vee liked the gold (mustard) sauce on her fries. There was a lot of meat on these bones, and most of the meat fell right off the bone. This go around, the meat was a little tougher to get off the bone. You could still get the bones clean, but you had to work at them. Still, the meat was very tender and flavorful, without being fatty or gristly.

I got the pulled brisket on the side and really liked that, especially once I hosed it down with the sweet sauce. Really tender brisket always makes me happy and this didn’t disappoint.

Overall, Baldy’s is still one of the best (if not THE best) in the area. Q Fanatic is going to have to put on a good show to beat out Baldy’s for the win in the Western Division. I’m looking forward to it, but really there’s no loser in this battle. Baldy’s is pretty impressive and I look forward to hitting this place up anytime I make the drive to/from Illinois to see my folks.

No top 5 for this one, since it’s been reviewed before. The bracket hasn’t changed since we finished up the Eastern bracket, but I’ll post it anyway, so people know where we’re all at. Things are getting down to the wire!!!

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