Ribs Challenge, Week 5: Holland Café & Meats and Boodle’s BBQ

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It’s here. It’s here! It’s Week 5, the final week of the Ribs Challenge.

Over the past five weeks, I’ve visited 10 different restaurants to try their ribs. Did you read that correctly? Ten. Restaurants.

I’m going to be completely honest and say that I don’t want to see another rib for a long time. I still love BBQ, and I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for ribs, but much like bread pudding and chicken wings, I need a break.

This timing was actually quite perfect; I started marathon training this week (I’m running the Disney Marathon in January!), so I needed to clean up my eats a bit anyway. Smile

Enough of that. This isn’t a running blog. And even though I am a little tired of ribs, I still have two restaurants left to talk about! Let’s get to it.

First up? Holland Café & Meats!

This cute little shack is located in the heart of Fenton, MO. I’ve passed by it numerous times while on the way to work, and I finally had a reason to stop in!

I ordered a half rack of baby back ribs, of course.

Look at that sauce! Yum. I couldn’t wait to tear into this sucker.

And tear into it I did. Smile

Wow. I’m speechless right now. I wasn’t sure what to expect with these ribs; after all, it wasn’t a place that was specifically recommended to me. Their ribs could have been terrible for all I knew!

Thank goodness they weren’t. Oh nooooo…these were awesome. The meat fell right off the bone, and it was juicy, smoky, and ridiculously tender. And the sauce? That was pretty fantastic as well. It was a little sweet and just a tiny bit tangy. I really enjoyed these!

Next up? Boodles BBQ.

(source)

Boodles is located in Affton, MO. Again, this was another spot that wasn’t necessarily recommended to me. However, Boodles has been on my list of places to try for quite some time, so I was anxious to see what they had to offer.

I went with a half rack of baby back ribs.

Hmm. Well, once again, I’m speechless. Unfortunately, this isn’t the good kind of speechless. No…it’s more of a “What did I just put into my mouth?” kind of speechless.

I don’t know what exactly offended me the most with these ribs. Was it the smell? That definitely played a part, I think; these certainly didn’t smell like any ribs I had ever tasted before. It wasn’t a smoky or meaty type of smell like the other ribs I tried. It was…well, it was interesting. I honestly can’t identify the smell, but it was pretty off-putting.

However, taste is much more important to me, so I dove in and took a huge bite.

Hmm.

No.

To be fair, I did like the taste of the outer part of the ribs. It had a nice caramelized crust that was pretty tasty.

However, the rest of the meat was majorly lacking something. The flavor was just off. These didn’t taste like they had come off of the grill; they tasted like they had been microwaved. I hate to throw out the dreaded “m” word, but I had to.

I’m not going to be overly dramatic by stating that these are the worst ribs I’ve tasted in my life. I’m sure they’re not. I’m sure I’ve had worse. But out of the ten places I’ve visited during this challenge, Boodles is pretty close to the bottom, sadly. I hate to be mean, but you know me – I’m always honest!

So there you have it. Ten rib reviews under my belt.

Now it’s time for the fun part – choosing a winner! I have an idea of what my top choices are, but I need time to really mull it over and look at all of my notes.

Next week, I’ll have a rundown of each rib place, and I’ll choose the winner! I can’t wait. Smile

See you next week!

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