The Brothers visit a former Dynasty
Lets start with some of the more recent reviews of Bub-ba-Q:
“To me, a perfect night starts with using my flip phone to order Bub-ba-Q takeout on my way to Blockbuster video” –Local mom whose kids all wear Crocs.
“I just saw the Hangover in the theater and I’m bringing the whole wolfpack to Bub-ba-Q” – a man in a brand new Phillies world series shirt.
“I ate here recently and it was great”- legendary musician Michael Jackson.
Ok, you get the point. As part of my research before going here, a lot of reviews hinted that they have gone downhill recently, but a decent looking menu had me excited about the trip.
We got the Burnt ends and the Bub-ba-penos. The burnt ends were fantastic. they were perfectly cooked chinks of brisket with a sauce that had the perfect amount of sweetness to compliment the meat without overpowering it. I could have eaten a plate of those by myself. The Penos however did not deliver. the menu says they are “stuffed” I was assuming cream cheese, but they were wrapped in bacon, so that was good enough for me. While i thought this was a can’t miss offering, it was an overwhelming fail. it wasn’t stuffed with cream cheese like i anticipated. In fact, I still can’t tell you what it was stuffed with. Something brown and mushy. Sausage maybe? Breadcrumbs? Mushrooms? If you gave me 10 to 1 odds where all I had to do was name which food group it was stuffed with, I’d still wouldn’t take the bet.
I went with the Combo plate, which was only two dollars more than the pork plate, and came with two sides and toast. I went traditional with the beans and mixed it up by getting fried mac and cheese. The beans were great, they had shreds of pork in them and I think I could taste rosemary. they seemed homemade. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the fried mac and cheese, but they looked like McNuggets and made it difficult to get a real sense of the cheesiness. The meat immediately made me realize what the other reviews were saying. This was not a good offering. The pork was a little dry, and the chicken did not seem like it was cooked that day. I realize there’s a catch-22 with starting out in BBQ. To be really good, you need a lot of turnover, and to have a lot of turnover, you need to be really good. I felt this place should have worked that out by now. I will say though, that all four of their sauces were very good and really helped pull together some food that needed a little help.
The service was OK. The hostess stand is at the back of the restaurant, and even then, you cant really tell if you order at the register or not. Our waitress didn’t seem to know much about the beer offerings, which were written on a chalkboard at the back of the place without any description of the local craft beers ( I know what an IPA is and what a porter is, but it helps to tell me which hipster beer is the IPA). Also, we asked to split the check and you would have thought we were trying to hand her a stack of American Express travelers checks. We ended up having to go to the register and each claim our food one by one. It shouldn’t have been that difficult.
In summary, all we can gather from the dozens of trophies is that this place was fantastic from 2009-2011. If they can find a way to reclaim their glory, I’d give them a second chance. Until then, I’ll pass.