Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rib Country, Blairsville, GA

"So Good It'll Make You Squeal" is their slogan, and parts of this claim are true even if I had received at least one comment that was not particularly endearing for this location. This entry sort of has a funny story to it, so hang in there. Rib Country has four locations. Two in Georgia (Cleveland and Blairsville) and two in North Carolina (Murphy and Haynesville). I'd eaten a couple of times at the one in Cleveland, but on today's drive through the North Georgia mountains Blairsville was the stop. The place was buzzing on this beautiful October afternoon with leaf lookers from all over Georgia crawling through the mountains. Few counties in Georgia can match Union for its beauty in October. After a very short wait, Debbie and I were seated in this very well done little joint. Rib Country has their interior done just about right. They've got lots of folk art and relics of the past on the walls and throughout the joint. They've got paper towels on the table, and the placemats are paper grocery sacs like they used to have years ago!

Debbie ordered up the bbq sandwich, a side of fries, and a diet coke. I ordered the pork sandwich and cold slaw. The slaw was really good even if it was rather small in portion size. We both thought the bbq was good in both consistency, cleanness, and taste. We tried out two of their sauces. The sweet was good but highly akin to something that would come our of a Kraft bottle. Their "tangy mustard" (Lord forgive me) was actually pretty good.

This bbq joint does have a couple of downsides from our critical point of view, and it really has more to do with menu options as opposed to quality. Debbie claims the fries are mediocre in that its pretty sure they came out of a frozen bag. Secondly, their ice is cubed and not crushed. You always get extra points for crushed ice! While the menu is actually pretty good and sufficiently varied even for those who don't do pork, there are a few options that would make it better. First, they don't offer Brunswick stew...not good. Second, they don't offer turnips or other forms of "greens". That's such an easy one to fix as well as a great way to recycle pork and chicken trimmings.

As an overall comparison, Rib Country is probably the Blairsville area's best joint, it rates below some other options back down Highway 515 (Poole's). Now for the funny conclusion. As we were leaving, they were actually trying to decide to close the place for the afternoon. If you remember the Andy Griffith episode where Goober had bought the gas station along with Andy and Floyd, you'll remember that Goober ran out of gas on the opening day because he forgot to place the order for more. Ha ha!!! Same thing happened today at the Blairsville Rib Country. They ran out of gas and were telling customers they could not serve either french fries or ribs!!! That pretty well tells you that they don't cook over straight wood, and while most high volume joints do either I would guess, I'd say it is a pretty bad goof up to run out of gas in your bbq joint on an October afternoon in North Georgia!!!

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