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Bens Barbecue ..Top Tip?

Bens Barbecue ..Top Tip?
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  • Post #31 - September 1st, 2013, 7:04 pm
    Post #31 - September 1st, 2013, 7:04 pm Post #31 - September 1st, 2013, 7:04 pm
    High hopes were dashed on today's visit to Ben's. We arrived at 12:20 to find the door locked. They let us in and explained they'd gotten a late start and that they were still getting ready. They said we could order and come back in half an hour. I was curious how things could be so fast given that there did not appear to be a fire going (my phrasing was much more delicate) and I was told that they pre-cook the night before and just needed to finish them off. I'm going to type that again and make it clear. It is policy to start the cooking process the night before, take the meat off the heat, and then finish it off the next day.

    Given that my friends and I live several miles east, we decided to put in an order and head over to Johnnie's to kill some time. They had no rib tips and no beef ribs so we put in an order for a full slap and something called turkey tips, which are just hunks of smoked turkey (dark meat only). She volunteered to give us a 15% discount for our troubles which was nice.

    At about 2:15, our food was ready. At 2:25, we threw it in the trash. I don't like writing that (or throwing out food) but this was really just bad.

    The previous night cooking of the ribs had to include either steaming or boiling. The ease with which the bones pulled cleanly out of the meat and jello-ish texture leave no other logical interpretation. Throw in the fact that there was zero smoke flavor and there's really only one conclusion here.

    The turkey tips fared no better. They had even less moisture than the pork.

    Now, in defense of this place, I don't think it's at all uncommon for even some of the better barbecue places to serve reheated product in the early hours of business. And the tardiness is also a forgivable mistake - it's a small business and it's the Sunday of a holiday weekend. But even with that charitable take on the events, that doesn't excuse the complete lack of smoke, the dry turkey, or the texture of the ribs.

    The woman I spoke with there was incredibly nice and I really hope my experience is far from the norm. I'd love to see a few more people try Ben's out at different times and report back. I'm also very curious about the beef ribs.

    Barbetour 2013 023.JPG The bbq portion of the menu
    Barbetour 2013 024.JPG The fried portion of the menu
    Barbetour 2013 025.JPG The rest of the menu
    Barbetour 2013 029.JPG Here's what happened when tried to pull a rib off the slab
    Barbetour 2013 031.JPG Turkey Tips


    edited for typos
    Last edited by MarlaCollins'Husband on September 2nd, 2013, 9:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #32 - September 1st, 2013, 7:15 pm
    Post #32 - September 1st, 2013, 7:15 pm Post #32 - September 1st, 2013, 7:15 pm
    When I went there last week shortly after opening I had the ribs and tips. The ribs were exactly as described above and I only ate two bones. The tips, on the other hand, were more than serviceable .
  • Post #33 - September 1st, 2013, 8:10 pm
    Post #33 - September 1st, 2013, 8:10 pm Post #33 - September 1st, 2013, 8:10 pm
    Hmm...
    Guess I'll stick with the tips.
    I've called several times and they have never had beef ribs. I need to ask what days they have them.
  • Post #34 - September 1st, 2013, 8:44 pm
    Post #34 - September 1st, 2013, 8:44 pm Post #34 - September 1st, 2013, 8:44 pm
    Oh man. This is indeed pitiful. All I can say is that I've only had the combo after dark on weekends, and obviously got a different product. Never tried the ribs. Guess this explains why those who have tried Ben's early in the day have commented on the lack of smoke flavor and generally were not pleased. Sorry if I led people astray on this.
    Lacking fins or tail
    The Gefilte fish
    swims with great difficulty.

    Jewish haiku.
  • Post #35 - September 1st, 2013, 10:08 pm
    Post #35 - September 1st, 2013, 10:08 pm Post #35 - September 1st, 2013, 10:08 pm
    The times I have been were late at night, past midnight both instances. The BBQ I received was excellent both times. This is a late night place, not somewhere to be the first in the door.
  • Post #36 - September 2nd, 2013, 4:29 pm
    Post #36 - September 2nd, 2013, 4:29 pm Post #36 - September 2nd, 2013, 4:29 pm
    JohnGalt wrote:The times I have been were late at night, past midnight both instances. The BBQ I received was excellent both times. This is a late night place, not somewhere to be the first in the door.


    What he said!
    Lacking fins or tail
    The Gefilte fish
    swims with great difficulty.

    Jewish haiku.
  • Post #37 - September 4th, 2013, 9:23 pm
    Post #37 - September 4th, 2013, 9:23 pm Post #37 - September 4th, 2013, 9:23 pm
    IMAG0934.jpg w00t!

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #38 - September 4th, 2013, 10:07 pm
    Post #38 - September 4th, 2013, 10:07 pm Post #38 - September 4th, 2013, 10:07 pm
    Now those look right to me! Not reheats I hope!
    Lacking fins or tail
    The Gefilte fish
    swims with great difficulty.

    Jewish haiku.
  • Post #39 - September 5th, 2013, 3:23 pm
    Post #39 - September 5th, 2013, 3:23 pm Post #39 - September 5th, 2013, 3:23 pm
    kuhdo wrote:Now those look right to me! Not reheats I hope!

    Not re-heats but they were probably held -- very expertly -- for a short while. That did not diminish one bit how utterly delicious they were -- moist, smokey meat with the perfect amount of entirely edible bark (not hard or desiccated as it can sometimes be). We also had a couple other items that were noteworthy (please forgive the lousy, liquor-hindered cellphone pics) . . .

    IMAG0932.jpg

    Spare Ribs (half slab, sauce on side)
    These were some of the best ribs I've ever had in a restaurant. I mean, they were dead solid perfect on the texture front and the flavor -- just meat, smoke and salt (and rub)* -- was spectacular. Less is more, baby!

    IMAG0931.jpg

    Beef Ribs (small order, sauce on side)
    I really enjoyed these flavorful, cross-cut beef ribs. The texture was, again, perfect with a tenderness that never approached mushy and still had a bit of tug to it. These did not taste like bbq, though, and I'm guessing they were cooked differently than the pork was. Still, they were really tasty.

    We met the owners, Tyrone and Linda. They could not have been nicer, and they really take a lot of pride in what they're doing. Linda makes some of the desserts from scratch. Her banana pudding and peach cobbler were both excellent . . .

    IMAG0927.jpg

    Banana Pudding

    IMAG0928.jpg

    Peach Cobbler

    Truly great stuff. Thanks, for sharing your find with us.

    =R=

    *edited for correction
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #40 - September 5th, 2013, 3:47 pm
    Post #40 - September 5th, 2013, 3:47 pm Post #40 - September 5th, 2013, 3:47 pm
    That looks a lot more like what I've seen Ronnie.
    It's hard to believe we're all talking about the same place.
  • Post #41 - September 5th, 2013, 4:01 pm
    Post #41 - September 5th, 2013, 4:01 pm Post #41 - September 5th, 2013, 4:01 pm
    zoid wrote:That looks a lot more like what I've seen Ronnie.
    It's hard to believe we're all talking about the same place.

    Well, no matter what, you have to ask for sauce on the side. I sometimes forget and get so mad at myself when I do. The other thing is that bbq, by its very nature, is inconsistent. There's always going to be some range of quality in the final product, even at the very best places. But for me, that's what makes BBQ exciting. I don't expect it to be the same every time. That innate variability is exactly what makes the highs so high. It wouldn't surprise me to have a different experience at Ben's next time I go -- it could be even better, it might be not as good. Fwiw, this visit was at about 9 pm on a Wednesday.

    Also, Tyrone mentioned to us that he is an accountant by day and that he comes to the restaurant in the evenings. I doubt he's running the pit himself but his schedule may have some bearing on things.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #42 - September 5th, 2013, 4:03 pm
    Post #42 - September 5th, 2013, 4:03 pm Post #42 - September 5th, 2013, 4:03 pm
    It's baffling that a place that takes enough care to turn out such good food and make desserts from scratch is happy putting out the stuff I had last weekend. That said, my interest is piqued. I'll make it back at night to give it another shot.

    Ron, did you happen to ask about the differences in preparation and different experiences people have had based on time of day?
  • Post #43 - September 5th, 2013, 4:18 pm
    Post #43 - September 5th, 2013, 4:18 pm Post #43 - September 5th, 2013, 4:18 pm
    What I said!

    How were the tips? They looked beautiful.
    Lacking fins or tail
    The Gefilte fish
    swims with great difficulty.

    Jewish haiku.
  • Post #44 - September 5th, 2013, 5:08 pm
    Post #44 - September 5th, 2013, 5:08 pm Post #44 - September 5th, 2013, 5:08 pm
    Spoke to owner/pitmaster Linda Leslie today. Note on the beef ribs: they are initially smoked, then braised in brandy (and other things) in a slow cooker. Not very smoky tasting, but very delicious.

    Also, in winter they're open all day.

    Delicious all around. Thanks kuhdo!
  • Post #45 - September 5th, 2013, 5:16 pm
    Post #45 - September 5th, 2013, 5:16 pm Post #45 - September 5th, 2013, 5:16 pm
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:Ron, did you happen to ask about the differences in preparation and different experiences people have had based on time of day?

    No. This being my first time in, it never really occurred to me.

    kuhdo wrote:How were the tips? They looked beautiful.

    See my comments upthread. They were terrific. :)

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #46 - September 5th, 2013, 5:21 pm
    Post #46 - September 5th, 2013, 5:21 pm Post #46 - September 5th, 2013, 5:21 pm
    m'th'su wrote:Note on the beef ribs: they are initially smoked, then braised in brandy (and other things) in a slow cooker. Not very smoky tasting, but very delicious.

    Thanks, for the info. In the pic above, you can see some onion slices on the beef ribs. The slow cooker must wash a lot of the smokiness away. Whatever the case, they sure were tasty-tender.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #47 - September 5th, 2013, 10:34 pm
    Post #47 - September 5th, 2013, 10:34 pm Post #47 - September 5th, 2013, 10:34 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:Ron, did you happen to ask about the differences in preparation and different experiences people have had based on time of day?

    No. This being my first time in, it never really occurred to me.

    kuhdo wrote:How were the tips? They looked beautiful.

    See my comments upthread. They were terrific. :)

    =R=

    Oops, when I scanned your post initially I assumed all your comments were about the ribs. Those are the tips that got me to post in the first place. Simple straight up Barbecue. The meat is the message here. Did you try the skinny links?
    Lacking fins or tail
    The Gefilte fish
    swims with great difficulty.

    Jewish haiku.
  • Post #48 - September 5th, 2013, 10:51 pm
    Post #48 - September 5th, 2013, 10:51 pm Post #48 - September 5th, 2013, 10:51 pm
    kuhdo wrote:The meat is the message here.

    Precisely.

    kuhdo wrote:Did you try the skinny links?

    That was actually an Extra Large Combo Links & Tips in the pic above, which I'm guessing includes the hot links. Are the "skinny" links the turkey links I saw on the menu board? I didn't see skinny links specifically listed on the board.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #49 - September 5th, 2013, 11:03 pm
    Post #49 - September 5th, 2013, 11:03 pm Post #49 - September 5th, 2013, 11:03 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    kuhdo wrote:The meat is the message here.

    Precisely.

    kuhdo wrote:Did you try the skinny links?

    That was actually an Extra Large Combo Links & Tips in the pic above, which I'm guessing includes the hot links. Are the "skinny" links the turkey links I saw on the menu board? I didn't see skinny links specifically listed on the board.

    =R=

    Not listed as such. Just the hot links I've had there have been, well ...skinnier than most.
    Lacking fins or tail
    The Gefilte fish
    swims with great difficulty.

    Jewish haiku.
  • Post #50 - October 10th, 2013, 3:55 pm
    Post #50 - October 10th, 2013, 3:55 pm Post #50 - October 10th, 2013, 3:55 pm
    The Lunch and Weather Gods were on my side today. Had my inaugural lunch from Ben's today dining a la trunk. This also insured that I wouldn't drip sauce on myself as I needed to see a client after lunch. 8)

    I selected the medium links and tips combo. As echoed above - good stuff indeed. My only gripe is that they have a heavy hand with the sauce. Next time I'll request it to be lite.

    Sadly - the after lunch "Bar-Be-Cue" aroma in my car didn't last very long. If I could figure out a way to bottle the stuff, I'd make a fortune. Maybe a "Bar-Be-Cue" air freshener to hang from the rear view mirror?
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #51 - October 10th, 2013, 11:38 pm
    Post #51 - October 10th, 2013, 11:38 pm Post #51 - October 10th, 2013, 11:38 pm
    Dave148 wrote:My only gripe is that they have a heavy hand with the sauce. Next time I'll request it to be lite.


    Why not order with sauce on the side and avoid any possibility of over saucing?
  • Post #52 - October 11th, 2013, 6:57 am
    Post #52 - October 11th, 2013, 6:57 am Post #52 - October 11th, 2013, 6:57 am
    scottsol wrote:
    Dave148 wrote:My only gripe is that they have a heavy hand with the sauce. Next time I'll request it to be lite.


    Why not order with sauce on the side and avoid any possibility of over saucing?


    In a perfect world - that's what I would have done. However, by the time I had decided what to order, the bbq smoke had affected the part of my brain that would have told me to do that. :D I plan on a return visit in a few weeks.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #53 - March 12th, 2014, 2:07 pm
    Post #53 - March 12th, 2014, 2:07 pm Post #53 - March 12th, 2014, 2:07 pm
    I enjoyed a STALCWSOTSP at Ben's at the top of the month. The place now has a wall-size reprint of the Sula article up mentioning LTH. The tips were well-seasoned and fresh from the smoker, but did not have much bark or an assertive hardwood flavor. Good, not great. The burnished, small-diameter snappy links were absolutely sensational, best or second-best I've had.
  • Post #54 - July 26th, 2014, 3:09 pm
    Post #54 - July 26th, 2014, 3:09 pm Post #54 - July 26th, 2014, 3:09 pm
    All positives for Ben's: they've consistently answered the phone during posted business hours, they accept and package to-go orders well, woodsmoke pours out the roof, and if you hit the late evening sweet spot, these tips and the little sagey links are indeed top. They've slid nicely into the hole left by original UJ's and Ribs 'n Bibs on my normal routes.
  • Post #55 - August 16th, 2015, 9:21 am
    Post #55 - August 16th, 2015, 9:21 am Post #55 - August 16th, 2015, 9:21 am
    I went to a backyard BBQ yesterday with three trays of ribs from Ben's. Ribs were great and offered everything: smoke, bark, easy chew, and melty fat. Since it was a large order, there was some variation, but I appreciate that. The sauce, which was too sugary, was my only complaint. Can't wait to get back for tips and links. Someone on Yelp said they "like spicy food, but the links were too hot" - only makes me want to get there sooner.
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF

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