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Backyard grilling and smoking from the people who make backyard grills and smokers. This sounds like a winning concept. We even sat at the bar looking in on the "open kitchen," A/K/A the giant charcoal grills. Being one who loves me some backyard bbq, this really was the ideal situation in which to find myself. But in practice everything fell apart. Watching the burger-and-steak assembly line was neither educational nor appetizing. Maybe my expectation for food prep was out of line with the location. Maybe I wanted fine dining and maybe they have the efficiency goals of a place with a drive-thru window.
To start, the pretzel rolls and cheddar-garlic-onion spread were awesome.
Next, the Fire-Roasted Artichoke & Spinach Dip was very good. My recommendation is to have them leave off the hefty dollop of sour cream that tops the dip just prior to service. I'm probably the only one who would have them leave tomatoes/pico de gallo off as well. But I found it a strange contrast of cold veggies to fire-roasted dip. I'm like that. But the dip itself and the grilled pita wedges comprise what is probably my favorite spinach-artichoke dip.
I ordered a three-item combo plate. I wanted their "signature" bbq ribs, brisket and pulled pork. The pulled pork was either good or just soaked in too much bbq sauce...or both. The ribs were overcooked and not what I had hoped for as a signature item. The brisket was awful. It would be more accurately listed as jerky than brisket. It was tough, dry and unimpressive all around.
The two biggest standouts are the artichoke dip and the brisket. Together, they make me ultimately say this: This is a fun place to meet for happy hour and some appetizers. As bbq goes, there are just better places to eat.
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