Barbecue Bummer

July 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm
filed under food
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A good friend and coworker of mine, Trudie, offered me free Tigers baseball tickets for the game last night, and I do love Trudie, baseball and free things. So Drake and I packed our Tigers game-viewing gear (jeans and flip flops for me, shorts for him, and the obligatory Tigers tee for each of us) when we went to work yesterday morning. We planned on grabbing a bite to eat after we got off work at 5 so when we went to Comerica Park we wouldn’t be ravenous for Italian sausages, peanuts and popcorn (all of which we scarfed on Monday when we went to the game in his company suite). I’ve been having a slow go of my Weight Watchers success as of late, and I need all the help I can get. So I suggested Quizno’s, where I used to go all the time when I worked with him at the Chamber. I researched the healthy sub I’d get on Dottie’s Weight Loss Zone, printed out my coupons (never pay full price!) and was ready to go.

Work ended and we walked to the Buhl building (I think that’s the one), but it was dark looking through the glass door – Quizno’s had closed at 5. Silly of me to think a place that far in the heart of downtown would stay open past cubicle farm hours. We ended up hopping on the People Mover and taking it to, oh, which one was it, Grand Circus Park, near the stadium. We were handed a postcard at lunchtime out at Campus Martius for a new barbecue place, Rub BBQ Pub, and we decided we’d try it.

I thought back to 2005 when I worked for DTE Energy and I was handed a postcard for a new barbecue place, Slows, and how the girls from work and I thought “Hey, we’ll go there someday,” and the day we went, how happy we were with the atmosphere and the quality of the food. Since then, I’ve eaten at Slows plenty of times, and it’s never been as good as that first experience, but if you’ve been there, you know you’ll usually be in for a good time and you’ll leave the place stuffed and happy. The food and service have gotten worse, and the last couple times I’ve gone, the wait has been long enough so that the person taking names has encouraged me to go somewhere else, and in short, I think Slows has gone downhill and they’re overhyped, but that’s another blog for another day.

So Drake and I decided to try Rub. We got there early enough and were seated immediately. The decor is cute. The menu is thorough and the prices are mediochre. I’d budgeted plenty of Points for the occasion, so I ordered a platter of the pulled pork, beef brisket and andouille sausage, but I asked Chuck the waiter if I could sub pulled chicken for the sausage, and he said yes (plus sign). For sides, I ordered mac & cheese (a must at any barbecue joint) and a house salad. Drake ordered the same as me but he kept the sausage, and for sides he wanted cornbread but they were out (minus sign) so he got coleslaw and baked beans.

I honestly ordered the salad out of curiosity. The way a place makes a house salad is a good indicator for me of other stuff. So Chuck brought it out to me. It looked fresh and consisted of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and tons of white onion. He remembered the dressing on the side. It was unexciting, though, and I wish I’d’ve gone with sweet potato fries. It didn’t give me the feeling I’d hoped for, and I don’t handle disappointment well. I saw another guy get a salad with a bunch of cheese shreds on top, and I wondered if he’d asked for it or if I’d just been deprived.

The meal itself came out looking weird. A pile of meat and only meat on a plate doesn’t seem unappealing to many people, but I couldn’t do it. Immediately I asked Chuck for some bread, and he looked at me funny, and I said “Do you have that? Texas toast or a roll or something?” and he said “Texas toast, oh, we have that.” So I asked Drake if he wanted one, and I said to Chuck, we’ll take two pieces, please. After that, Chuck disappeared for ten minutes or so. My Diet Pepsi ran dry while I was trying to swallow a plate full of dry meat (even soaked in 5 different sauces). The mac & cheese was creamy and cheesy and tasted fatty, like it should, but Drake’s coleslaw was bland and hot (I’m sure that was an accident – ew!) and his baked beans tasted out-of-a-can.

When Chuck returned, he said something like “They didn’t bring you your Texas toast, did they. I told them to.” We said no, and I asked for another Diet and he brought back the refill and Drake had a second beer. I still had plenty of meat on my plate, but Drake was finishing up. We ended up asking for the bill, which Chuck brought to us without one of those black folder things (“we’re short on server books,” Chuck offered). Not another word about Texas toast was offered. Call me nit-picky, but I really missed it! Who gets pulled pork without any bread at all? Especially weird since they were out of cornbread, too.

So overall it was $50 with tip for dinner for two with one pop and two beers. And they’re not as good as Slows and I doubt I’ll go there again. 2.5 stars out of 5 I guess, and it wasn’t awful, but honestly, the meat was pretty dry and the sauces were all ketchup-y tasting except for the House sauce (and the Carolina, which instead of ketchup-y was mustard-y and also bland). But the place is pretty new, so I hope they do better. Any honest, new business in Detroit is good business, as far as I’m concerned, and the location for this place is very good.

I haven’t checked reviews for them on Yelp yet, but I think that should be interesting. We shall see. Haven’t decided yet if I’ll copy and paste any of this review there. I want to be gentle!

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