Saturday, May 29, 2010

Forbidden Fruit

Just in time for summer, Burger King has dived into the pit with Fire-Grilled Ribs.

I had to find out for myself whether they would be teddy bears or the real stuff. Not desiring to invest very much into this venture, we bought 3 ribs.

BK Ribs Packaging
3 rib package

Are they processed?
It's real pork meat with bone, not ground then reconstituted.

How do they taste?
They aren't bad. The ribs are on the salty side and have a smoky, charred flavor. They taste better than a lower-end restaurant that does not specialize in ribs. Obviously, they don't taste like ribs that come from a rib joint.

They look dry. Is it tough?
They are fairly moist, not slippery with grease. I wasn't offered barbecue sauce, so I didn't know this was available to smother over the meat until I saw images of others' ribs. I am not a saucy kind of gal so the availability didn't matter but I'm sure those who enjoy their meat messy would prefer the sauce. They aren't fall off the bone or alien-meat (think: beef broccoli), but they are tender and appropriately textured.

How much do they cost?
The ribs are rather diminutive and cost around $1 per morsel at $2.99 for 3, $5.69 for 6, and $7.19 for 8 ribs. The meatier rib took around 4-5 bites for me to finish.

Would I eat it again?
Yes, but. While they are pricey for what you get, I have never been to a rib joint that sells ribs by the rib. If you want to scratch that smoked meat flavor itch and don't want to walk out spending $20, this may work. It won't win any rib cook-off contests, but you could do a lot worse.

I'm also restricting my caloric intake. Those 3 ribs would probably cover 1-1/2 meals if not more.

BK Ribs
Did you see the char on dem bones?

I am surprised BK's general counsel gave the green light to serve bone-in ribs with the hubbub some pediatricians are stirring, advocating changing hot dogs because they are a choking hazard. These bones will probably be on their target soon if it becomes a regular menu item (which I doubt).

Teddy bears?
When I was a junior or senior in high school, our cafeteria began serving meat patties with a layer of maroon-colored sauce for lunch. I didn't know what they were so I called them teddy bears because they looked like teddy bears.

teddy bear
Baby bear

Okay, maybe I embellished on the color a bit. They were actually a little greyer. I could have spent hours locating a paper copy of the school menu but I didn't really care. I enjoyed the Chinet cardboard plate textured slab of meat swabbed with the slightly sweet and smoky sauce. At that point in my life, I had not had American-style ribs.

While talking with Bug 2 years ago about school lunches, he reminisced about the riblets he enjoyed (not loved, enjoyed). I recall nodding blankly, no real clue what he was talking about but happy that he enjoyed those riblets. I figured they were tiny ribs, like piglets are to pigs.

He apparently detected that I got lost along the way and began to describe the dish. Ground, formed meat patties with char lines doused in barbecue sauce. I placated him and responded with a nod.

Later that week, we walked along the freezer aisle at a grocery store. Bug pointed to a box of riblets, a flat patty, with little protrusions along its length mimicking ribs and bones. I blinked a few times. The #-shaped meat evoked a long buried memory of eating teddy bears in school 20+ years earlier.


- Cassaendra

5 deep thoughts:

Michael 31 May, 2010 02:18  

One time I was heading home from a late night at the office and stopped by Whole Foods (Paycheck) and perused their hot counter. It was nearly closing for the counter so I chose these ribs that looked like they were sitting out since 1974. I like mine with the sauce baked in, slightly tough on the outside and soft on the inside.

Oh God, I didn't realize I was in for a total treat. I got home opened the bag and apparently sitting under that hot light all afternoon and into the early evening made them absolutely PER-FECT!

It was a little hard on the outside but the best part was they were so soft and tender that I didn't realize I was eating the soft bone along with the meat that FELL off the hard bone.

They were the bomb...

Cassaendra 31 May, 2010 11:13  

Hi Michael~

Whole Foods' offerings are pretty good. I have yet to be disappointed. We've bought several pounds of their hot counter meats (ribs, brisket, etc.), as well as soup and cold items all in one purchase. It's always too much food but it's difficult to not want everything because it smells so good.

I have to say that our favorite rib joint is a chain, Famous Dave's, for their flavor and their price. For people who like to drink beer, they even have $1 draft night on Wednesdays. A great time to check out beers like Sam Adams to Great Lakes (local brewery).

Michael 31 May, 2010 23:23  

Actually, a few friends of my partner Bill were eating some ribs from Famous Daves this weekend during their lunch break. (Bill had on-call duty this weekend)

His coworker Kelly said sometimes the ribs from FD are grissley. I haven't been there yet myself so I will have to go check it out! I don't do grissle.

I would have never thought of ribs at Burger King... I wonder if it will ever go the way of the McRib from Mickey Dees....

Mrs. L 03 June, 2010 18:17  

I may have to give these a try "just because". And isn't McDonalds coming back with their McRiblets? Maybe ribs is the new bacon...

Cassaendra 03 June, 2010 19:58  

Hey Michael,

I know this will sound weird, but I don't order ribs at Famous Dave's, Bug does. He always orders their Memphis style ribs (dry rub). I usually swipe one rib while he eats half a slab. My favorite meat from them is their brisket. Their smoked salmon appetizer is really good too.

Hi Mrs. L~

I've never had McD's rib sandwich. S'pose I'll check it out when it makes a comeback. These days, I'm afraid to check the nutrition facts on some of these sandwiches.

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