Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rib Dispair

It has happened again-rave reviews from acquaintances on a BBQ joint that failed to deliver. Dreamland BBQ based out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama has been touted as a great example of Southern barbecue started by Big Daddy” John Bishop in 1958 as an answer to a prayer to make a living other than being a mason. Dreamland now has seven locations in Alabama with franchises available according to their website.

We visited the Dreamland located in Huntsville, AL since we were in town for a couple of days. We had driven by numerous times over the two days, salivating at the aroma of the smoke coming from the joint. I usually don't order ribs since nobody seems to compare to the ribs (and brisket) my brother smokes. The aroma and accolades got the best of me and I gave in, ordering a half slab with two sides. The ribs arrived and I swear my plate with the huge pork ribs weighed five pounds and were thick, not skimpy ribs I have seen at other restaurants.

I took my first bite and the disappointment set in! There was more smoke infused flavor in the air than in the ribs! The sauce didn't get my vote either as it was a vinegar based thin sauce. I know I'm in the south and the south seems to favor anything vinegar based, so I was prepared for that. The sauce was not bad by any means and definitely not the worst I have had, however, just isn't my preference. The pork ribs were also very fatty. I ate only one rib and got fat in each bite of that rib which is not a pleasant thing. The sides were good, especially since I was given the choice of a creamy slaw vs. a vinegar slaw. The creamy slaw was probably the best I have had here in the south.

I had to ask my husband what he thought of the ribs since I seem to always be the one who gets the plate that is sent back for not being up to par. My husband will usually order ribs if it's on the menu and is not as picky when it comes to what goes into his mouth. He actually agreed with me that they were probably one of the biggest disappoints he has had in awhile. He was so looking forward to these ribs that he ordered a full rack with no sides and only ate half the rack.

I do have to be optimistic though, that the original Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa probably is outstanding. When franchising, restaurants seem to lose some of the greatness that made them great to begin with. If I am ever in Tuscaloosa, I will visit the original and then give my final verdict.

1 comment:

  1. I have a very hard time enjoying ribs at any restaurant since I started smoking my own. But I've heard Dreamland was overrated like Rendevous in Memphis....used to be good but sold out to the tourist. If I was in AL and wanting Q I think I'd have to go to Big Bob Gibson's and get me some of that quirky white BBQ sauce on Lilly's smoked chicken.