Saturday, June 13, 2009

Q: All About the Ribs

I'm not a rib connoisseur. In fact, I rarely order ribs because they’re so messy, and I seem to make enough of a mess when a fork and knife are involved. But when last Friday looked like it was shaping into a girls night out after work, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to pick a place specializing in finger food.

Q in Port Chester isn’t entirely what I expected. When I heard ‘barbecue joint,’ I envisioned a dark bar, creaky, worn tables, and sawdust on the wooden floor. If anything, Q has a family-friendly—almost cafeteria—vibe. Clean, bright light sparkles off fixtures, casual white paper covers communal tables, and the bar upfront is more of a throwback to a ‘50s soda pop counter. Orders are placed at the register upfront, at which point customers can sit down at a designated table number, and wait for their food.

The food was not entirely what we expected, either. My friend Erin got wings, which were much bigger and less seasoned than she was hoping for, as well as sweet potato fries that could’ve used some extra time in the deep fryer. My other friend Tia ordered a grilled chicken sandwich, which was entirely unexceptional (she did perk up considerably over her side of baked beans, which she deemed a 10).

I, on the other hand, in keeping with the fact we were at a barbecue joint, ordered the Quarter-Slab of St. Louis-style ribs (described on the menu as “meatier than baby backs, leaner than spare ribs”). A benefit of cooking ribs St. Louis-style is that by chopping spare ribs into a more rectangular, uniform shape, the ribs as a whole cook more evenly. Boy do they ever. Wonderfully tender, pink, and juicy, with a tangy, smoky wet barbecue sauce infusing every bite, my ribs alone were reason to come to Q. My friends looked on enviously, and admitted they would happily return if they had ordered my meal. And what a bargain it was!

My quarter-slab was $12.50, and came with cornbread, and two sides—I went with the macaroni and cheese and the potato salad. Throw in a delicious Boylan’s Black Cherry soda and my tab for the night was $16.50!!! While the sides were almost laughably small, they were also quite good. The cornbread was soft and moist, perhaps not as gritty as I would’ve preferred, but tasty, and suitably sweet. The potato salad was eggy and colorful, with chunks of red and white onions, scallions, and red peppers (my buddies stole this; we all loved it).
The mac and cheese resembled Velveeta shells in both look and taste, so might not be everyone’s thing, but lucky for me, I love Velveeta shells, as well as just about any type of processed or homemade mac and cheese there is.
Tia and Erin couldn’t resist getting a signature drink from the bar. I believe the drink below is called an Applejack, but have no clue what was in it; I only know it added a hefty $10 to each of their tabs. I took a sip and wasn’t impressed.
Here's a pic of Erin's wings:
and Tia's sandwich:
I saw some items around us worthy of future trips: a pulled pork sandwich, brisket... the guy next to us had a house-smoked sausage that looked out of this world. For now, though, I heartily recommend what I ordered, down to the black cherry soda.

Anybody have some tips as to what else is worth trying at Q?

Q Authentic Barbeque Restaurant and Bar
112 North Main Street
Port Chester, NY 10573
(914) 933-7127

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