A Saucy Good Time

In the past 5 years or so, I have really started to enjoy and delve more into the world of barbeque.  I had always watched the shows on tv but it wasn’t until more recently that I became more involved with it.  I now love to try different barbeque restaurants and give my take on them.  I also highly enjoy going to bbq festivals where I get to be the runner of All Out B B Que and assist with many steps of the entire process.  In Naples & the surrounding area, we have a bbq restaurant called Rib City.  Before this weekend, I had never been there before.  On Friday night, we headed to Rib City for a Saucy Good Time.

While Rib City is not a new restaurant in Naples, it is not one that we frequent.  For what reason, I really don’t know.  We were heading up to Estero on Friday night and decided to stop in to the newest location for dinner.  It was about 6pm when we arrived and it was busy yet we did not have to wait for a table – a great thing considering it is season.  The restaurant is quite large, dimly lit and had lovely décor.  I, of course, forgot my camera so I was only able to take photos with the phone.

We decided to order a batch of onion rings as an appetizer.  Onion rings are one of those foods that just go so well with barbeque.  The onion rings arrived quickly and were piping hot.  I let them cool down for a few moments and put some sauces on my plate.  Rib City has three sauce choices:  Sweet, Tangy and a Mustard-Barbeque.  Before I dipped the onion rings in, I tasted each sauce.

Wow.  These sauces were really good.  Like exceptionally good and far better than I was expecting.  The sweet sauce was sweet but in no means overpowering.  You could still taste all flavors within the sauce and were not overwhelmed with any sweet flavor.  It had a great after taste and the consistency was not too thick.  The tangy sauce was great as well – tangy but still mild enough to complement the food well.  I tried just a bit of the Mustard-Barbeque and it tasted fresh but I just didn’t have a need for it.

Once the onion rings had cooled off a bit, I took a bite.  I found them to be very crispy with just enough coating to cover the onions.  The coating was sweet and crunchy and complimented the onion really well.  I ate a few bites of the rings on their own and really found them tasty.  I then dipped the onion rings into the sauces and I loved them even more.  The sweet sauce made the onion rings succulent and the tangy sauce gave the rings a delicious bite.  The only downfall in these rings is that the onion came out of the coating in a few places but, this is to be expected with onion rings.  The sauces mixed with the onion rings created just a great overall product.

For my meal, I ordered the BBQ Chicken Dinner which featured a ½ smoked chicken, a piece of Texas Toast and two sides.  For my sides, I opted for Sweet Potato Fries and Baked Beans.  There was an option to upgrade to all white meat chicken for $1 but I declined.  Mommy ordered the BBQ Pork Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries.  Our food arrived and I was ready to dig in.

I received a breast, wing, thigh and drumstick for my chicken pieces.  Each piece was cooked in the smoker with dry rubs but did not have any bbq sauce on them.  I removed the skin from the chicken (I do not care for it) and started to pull the meat off the bones.  The meat was pink in color – a result of the smoking – and pulled off the bone so easily.  In just a few moments, I had all skin and meat removed from the bones.  I began to eat and found the chicken to be extremely moist and juicy.  Even though the chicken itself was not overly flavored, the addition of both the sweet and tangy bbq sauce, proved to be just perfect.  I found myself alternating bites between the sweet and tangy sauce with both complimenting the chicken.  This chicken was smoked so perfectly – to the point of being moist rather than being dry.  Succulent & smoky and a really good sized portion.

Sweet Potato Fries are one of my favorites and I dislike the fact that they are so hard to come by.  If a restaurant serves sweet potato fries, I am sure to order them.  Once I saw them on the menu at Rib City, it was a no brainer to me.  The sweet potato fries came with a $1.29 upgrade charge which I don’t think is really needed.  The amount of fries I received was okay but in no way great.  The fries were crinkle cut and had no apparent exterior seasoning.  The sweet potato fries had a slight crisp on the exterior and were very soft on the interior.  These were not crispy fries by any means but, sweet potato fries usually aren’t.  The flavor was there but really in the distance.  They were not overly flavored by any means and they kept me wanting more of the sweet potato taste.  I didn’t dip these fries into anything but found when I ate a few in a row, with no other food, I got more of the sweet potato taste.

Baked Beans are one of my favorite food items but I didn’t love Rib City’s.  They tasted very smoky and had many pieces of meat inside of them.  I did like the smoky flavor and the beans were cooked to the point of being perfectly tender.  I did not like the amount of meat pieces within my small bowl of beans.  I ended up only eating a few bites of these and would definitely not have to order them again.  Plus, I really love baked beans cold – right out of the refrigerator.  Odd I am.

My plate also housed a large piece of Texas Toast.  This Texas Toast was not overly crispy but had just a great flavor overall.  The toast had a slight exterior crisp with an extremely soft interior.  The flavor was simple yet buttery and paired so well with the bbq sauce.  This was by far some of the best, if not the best, Texas Toast I have ever had.  I easier could have eaten many more slices with that great sauce.  Mmm.  Saucy.

I left Rib City feeling full and glad that I tried it.  Mommy liked her food but didn’t think it was anything overly amazing.  By far, the sauces were some of the best I have ever had, if not the best, and made this meal for me.  I will visit Rib City again and will devour even more of these sauces.  Aside from the smoked chicken I have had at friends’ homes, this is the best smoked chicken I have ever had.  Perfectly smoked chicken with those sauces, and of course the onion rings & sauce, made this just a Saucy Good Time.