We had to find a place serving “traditional American food” that could seat 8 people at short notice – this was our mission. A quick search online led us to RUB – Righteous Urban Barbeque. I mean, barbeque is American right? Let’s leave out the part where there are different regions within America and that New York isn’t a traditional place for barbeque and just bear with me, okay? There were cranky people to feed, cranky people who’d been listening to talks since 8am and they were all carnivores. RUB had a lot of seating and a lot of meat – bring it on!
We started the meal with a couple of starters for the table: some finger-licking good barbeque chicken wings…
… and fried green tomatoes. The tomatoes were just ok but not the fault of the restaurant, I think. This was my first time having fried green tomatoes and I was slightly disappointed to find out that they’re exactly as the name suggests – battered, fried slices of green tomato. Nothing mind-blowing.
I hoped to have The Baron – “A tasting of beef, chicken, pork, ham, pastrami, turkey, sausage, and topped with a quarter rack of ribs”. The waitress ensured us that this would feed three people and so I roped in two of my colleagues and ordered this.
This is what came to the table:
THREE people?! Are they insane? Maybe three giants. Or three rugby players. The chalkboard at the front said they were out of ham so this is the only thing missing from the platter.
My favourites were the pulled pork and the pork ribs and the brisket that just fell apart at the touch of my fork. On the table, there’s both their classic and spicy hot barbeque sauces, which were both delicious tomato based concoctions, but many of the meats didn’t even require extra sauce. I wasn’t a big fan of the turkey, which I found dry, but then again, I always find turkey dry.
It came with two large side dishes. I chose the onion strings while my colleague went for the super fries. The onion strings were greasy and good, exactly what I hoped for, and the fries were very good and actually were much better than I expected.
Needless to say, we didn’t finish the platter. We enlisted help from our other colleagues but they were struggling with their own orders.
For example, one friend of mine ordered a whole slab of baby back ribs with cornbread on the side. She just about managed to finish this by freely handing out ribs to all takers.
Here’s another friend’s two meat platter; he chose beef brisket and pulled pork. A quarter of the way through, he declared himself full but he soldiered on and just about finished the platter. A good effort!
We pretty much rolled out of there. And for a Londoner, the prices were frankly, ridiculously low. I mean, that Baron platter? The one that can feed at least six people? $45. And yes, that includes the two large side dishes. I’m not sure how much barbeque normally costs in the US, but this was a pretty good deal for so much food!
208 W 23rd Street
New York, NY