So…what I’m about to say may rile some people up. It may be an unpopular opinion. But I can’t hold it in any longer, so I’ll just say it:
St. Louis has way too many BBQ restaurants.
Whoo! That felt good. I’ve been wanting to get that off my chest for a while.
But back to my point. I think the BBQ restaurant market is so oversaturated in St. Louis. Don’t get me wrong; I love BBQ – remember my ribs challenge? But gosh…every time I hear of a new restaurant opening and it’s yet another barbecue place, I can’t help but sigh.
So when I heard that Spare No Rib had opened fairly recently in Benton Park, I’ll admit that I rolled my eyes. A little more diversity would be nice!
However, as a food blogger and food lover in general, I’m a sucker for new restaurants. Curiosity always gets the best of me.
So I went.
The inside looked oddly familiar for some reason:
And then I realized why: This used to be the home of Bittersweet Bakery! This was one of the first places I blogged about five years ago. I went back and read the review, and holy moly those were some horrible pictures. I feel like I’ve gotten a little better at the photography thing in the past 5 years. 🙂
I took a look at the menu. Everything sure sounded good! In addition to ribs, the restaurant also offers sandwiches, tacos, and salads. When it came to ordering, I was torn!
I guess I’m not the only person who felt that way, because the restaurant offers what they call the “SNR Plate”; it comes with two ribs, two tacos, and one side. The best of both worlds!
For my tacos, I went with the chorizo (spicy mexican sausage) taco and the cachete (braised beef cheeks) taco. The baked mac & cheese came highly recommended, so I chose that for my side.
While we waited for our food, we ordered an appetizer of chips and salsa to share:
The chips were fresh and crispy, and the salsas weren’t too bad, although I would have liked to see a spicy option offered. All three salsas were decent, but they were all pathetically mild. Give this girl some spice!
Thankfully, our main courses came out pretty quickly.
Look at that big ol’ plate of food! I was excited to dig in.
The chorizo taco (bottom left) was definitely my favorite thing on this plate. The chorizo was spicy and flavorful, and whatever sauce on top was delicious, even if they sort of overdid it on the amount they glopped on my poor taco. I still gobbled it down and loved every bite!
The braised beef cheek taco (top left) wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t super crazy over it, either. Unlike the chorizo taco, this one was pretty flavorless, even with the salsa on top. Upon closer inspection, I noticed this salsa also made an appearance as one of the choices for our chips. Bland meat and bland salsa, but hot diggity, that tortilla was good!
My mac and cheese was okay, but it had a weird taste to it – the graham cracker crust made it taste more like dessert. It was a weird experience. I had a few bites for good measure, and then I called it a day. My friends liked it, though! So your results may vary.
And finally, the ribs. I wish I could say I saved the best for last, but it was quite the opposite. These were tough, flavorless, and whatever rub they had on the outside of the meat was chalky and coated the inside of my mouth. It felt like eating a powdered donut, except these were ribs. Sugarfire this was not.
So…yeah. Sadly, Spare No Rib didn’t do much for me at all. I loved my chorizo taco, but that’s not enough reason for me to come back. I’m not even sure I could be convinced to come back. You can’t win them all, right?
However, as with all of my less-than-stellar reviews, I urge you to try it for yourself and form your own opinion. What I consider awful someone else may rave over – that’s the beauty of personal tastes!
I’ll see you next week with (hopefully) a more successful food-filled adventure!
Spare No Rib
2200 Gravois Avenue, #101
St. Louis, MO 63104