Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Quick Restaurant Critique

I've traveled I-44 Through Missouri probably 125 times in my life, mostly while I was driving truck. Usually I was running through there bitching and complaining about the lack of good food. Well, today I quit complaining.

If you get off I-44 at exit 127 (Lebanon) and go back east 2-3 blocks, you'll find Gary Doud's Catfish and BBQ. Seemed to be plenty of parking and most of the vehicles in the parking lot had local (Missouri) plates so we stopped. That's a clue to rating a restaurant while traveling.

We went inside and were seated immediately, drink orders were taken (unsweetened iced tea), menu's were passed out, drinks were delivered and we were left alone to peruse the menu's in just a minute or two longer than it took to read this paragraph.

To get down to the gist of this, I ordered a half rack of (pork) ribs and Mom ordered 2 whole fried catfish. The side list was extensive. I ordered fries and sliced tomatoes. Mom had fried mushrooms and cottage cheese.

When the food came out, I had literally, a half rack of ribs, still connected together. They were lightly smoked and then, I'm guessing baked. Mom's fish looked great, about 1 1/2 - 2 pounds live weight each, breaded and deep fried.

I would give the ribs a 6 rating on a scale of 1 - 10. They were better than a lot of ribs I have eaten, good but not great. I don't think they were cooked in a smoker, but rather smoked for a short time, then finished off in an oven too quickly at too high a heat. Usually, when ribs are slow smoked right, and completely cooked by this process, they will be so tender as to allow the rib to pull completely out of the meat. These ribs were a little tough, so were probably cooked a little too quickly at too high a heat.

Anywho, I'm going to try to rate this place thusly:

Ribs 6 a little tough, not smoked long enough
Servers 9 very friendly, good servers
sides 7 good selection, servings a little small
decor 6 roadside hillbilly kitsch
price 6 decent price for the size of the entree

rating 6.8 I'll probably stop in and eat there again.

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