June 19, 2011

Ribs @ Highway 61

I can't get enough of ribs. I just can't. I used to not care for it at all, but in the past year, I've developed a very unhealthy obsession with ribs that's not very good for the waistline. I've been meaning to try Highway 61 for a long time, but never had a chance. After the recent underwhelming experience at Barque Smokehouse, I decided to give ribs and southern food another go.
I liked the feel of the place and I found the d├ęcor charming. The water was served in a cute jar, and there's a bowl for the bones. It felt very homey, as I have the exact same metal bowls at home.
I also wanted to try the pulled pork here, so I ordered the Mississippi-style baby back ribs and pulled pork combo, served with tasters of coleslaw, baked beans, cornbread and 61 sauce. According to the menu, the pulled pork was supposed to be "tender hand-pulled pork shoulder barbequed low and slow for 14 hours." Unfortunately, there was nothing tender about the pulled pork. The meat was dry, tough, and under-seasoned. After two bites, I left the rest of it untouched. As for the baby back ribs, I thought it was pretty good, certainly a vast improvement from the pulled pork. However, I wasn't a fan of their house-made 61 sauce. I much preferred the sauce from Barque. The sides were relatively enjoyable and I particularly liked the cornbread, which went well with accompanying maple butter.
Luckily, even without the pulled pork, there was plenty of food to fill me up. I also ordered a basket of homemade onion rings, hand-dipped in 61 Lager batter and served with chipotle ranch dip. The onion rings were humongous and extremely greasy (but in a good way). The exterior was very crunchy and I couldn't stop eating it even though I could feel my arteries clogging up with every bite.
Of course, we weren't really satisfied with half a rack of ribs from the combo, so we also ordered another half House Signature Pork Ribs- "Ontario-raised side ribs slow smoked ‘til the meat nearly falls off the bone."The side ribs were actually more tender than the baby back ribs. All in all, I thought the food here was decent, but not quite worth the journey to midtown. One thing that infuriated me was that they charged us for extra sauce without warning, and I didn't even enjoy the 61 sauce that much. I'd be happy sticking with more accessible places for ribs, like Baton Rouge or Montana's.

Highway 61 on Urbanspoon

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