Saturday, May 17, 2008


This past week I met up with friends for dinner. We debated about where to go and they suggested barbecue. Rub BBQ at the southern end of Light Street, is an easy place to ring up a huge bill, but it's also equally easy to get full on $20 after tip. Of course, I chose the latter option.

The night was nice enough that we got to sit outside, though inside is quite comfortable. The decor is very Texan, while HDTVs show baseball and English Premier League soccer - giving a sort of sports bar aura. That is, if sports bars served Texas dry rub BBQ. Various beers were on tap, including both Blue Moon and Honey Moon (Blue Moon with honey). I ordered the Honey Moon for about $3. My friends got a bottle of wine - I think it was a Shiraz. No, I'm wrong - it was a Syrah. I give up. You can tell I'm not sommelier material here. But the same can probably be said for the twenty or thirty somewhat loud twenty-something men and women coming in from (I think) a series of kickball games. They didn't bother me, except for the four or five drunk fools who stumbled around in the street as we were pulling up to find parking (not hard to do), ogling a big fluffy white cat roaming around on the awning of one of the local buildings. You'll do just about anything when you're drunk.

Rub BBQ offers Texas-style barbecued Angus brisket, sausage, pork flat ribs, chicken and turkey, plus a whole host of other offerings - sandwiches, platters, hot wings, and a whole host of vegetable and other sides. Both my friends opted for the three-meat platter with two sides ($16 each), while I went for the still-filling two-meat platter ($13), again with two sides. My choices were flat ribs and Angus brisket, with sweet potato fries and Texas corn pudding (this one, unlike the recipe I just linked to, is without jalapeños). Included for free is a slice of Texas toast, raw onions and pickles (that includes a pickled jalapeño). All was very satisfying, though I fully admit that I'm not used to dry rub - most of my barbecue has been on the wetter, more vinegary side, though I have to get up to that Alabama BBQ Company at some point. They have that odd sounding but delicious mayo-based BBQ sauce.* As for Rub BBQ and its dry rubs, they let you get around that with BBQ sauce at every table, mild, hot and honey-mustard. I went for the hot, of course.

Everything was quite good. I was impressed with the Angus brisket - more tender and juicy than I am used to in a brisket. I must say this was the best brisket I have had in a very long time. Same with the ribs, which I naturally assumed would be much messier than they were (again, dry not wet). The creamy corn pudding was a very pleasant surprise. I've never had it before and will be making it for myself at some point soon. And what little of it I did bring home - yes I got a doggy bag - did live up to a second meal.

The total for all of us was about $80 before tip. That included a two-meat platter and two three-meat ones, one bottle of Syrah (about $30 - which is why I don't usually buy wine. I only had a little of it so my friends got the cost of the wine) and a Honey Moon (about $3). My math may be off here, and I may still be wrong about the prices of the drinks. My cost was about $20 - for the platter, the beer and something towards a tip. I'll have to head back sometime this summer - even if I can't avoid drunken kickballers harassing cats on rooftops!

*I haven't been able to find a good run down of all the many varieties of barbecue/barbeque/BBQ varieties in the US, not to mention all over the world. Wikipedia's comes close, though they make no mention of Texas dry rub at all, and instead imply that it's only found in Arkansas. If only we could get local boy Steve Raichlen in here to sort it all out - he's up on both BBQ and grilling, which are - of course - two different things altogether.

Rub on Urbanspoon


allergic said...


You should try Bare Bones on rt. 40. It is in Ellicot City. Well worth the trip. It is the best BBQ ribs I have ever had in my life.