Tony Roma's Original Baby back ribs $27.50 (full slab)
Cut from tenderloin and basted with original barbecue sauce,
we consider them the "filet mignon of ribs"
I love my veggies. And I love my meat.
The best meat is cooked whilst still attached to the bone. Bones add flavour, give moisture protection, and give some reassurance that the flesh you're eating really is what it claims to be (chicken nugget anyone?)
We had lunch at Tony Roma's, my first-ever visit to this finger-lickin' rib institution. Back in 1972 Mr Tony Roma opened his first restaurant in Florida's North Miami. Today there are over 260 branches in 27 countries around the world.
There is only one Tony Roma's in Sydney, sitting on Sussex Street near the city exit of the Western Distributor. There's a strong smell of barbecue, a thicky heady scent of charred meat and sweet caramelised marinades.
Inside it's clean and family-friendly with American-style booth seating, varnished wood tables and plenty of framed photos on the wall. After our waitress taps our orders into her PDA we are given a rustic-looking chopping board of bread. It's not cut up though so we hack into it with the oversized knife and decorate it with alternate scrapings of herb butter and good ol' Meadow Lea.
Red Hots St Louis-style ribs $26.50 (full slab)
A zesty blend of chilli pepper, black pepper, crushed red peppers,
chipotle peppers (smoked, ripe jalapenos) and real Tabasco sauce.
The ribs? They're good. A little on the sweet side and the meat is eerily tender. It falls off the bone with the greatest of ease, although they're quite fatty too--a fact which my rapidly bloating stomach is quick to remind me.
Blue Ridge Smokies St Louis-style ribs $26.50 (full slab)
Bursting with smokey flavour, this sauce combines the
sweetness of real molasses with a sharp, spicy aftertaste.
Three of us pool our rib choices so we get to sample some of each. The Blue Ridge Smokies are sweet and smokey and the Red Hots have a little bit of afterkick too. The Baby Backs are tender, but no more so than the St Louis-style in our opinion.
Grilled Prawns and Rib Combo $28.95
A skewer of grilled prawns accented with capsicum and
red onions and served with a choice of any great ribs.
The grilled prawn partaker is happy too. The choice of two sides with each main are mere kitchen afterthoughts though, it seems. After all that meat I'm in need of some fresh vitamins but the coleslaw drowns in dressing, and the corn is soaked in butter. Other side options are chips, mashed potato or beans. We initially ask for salad but all our waitress can offer us is coleslaw.
Overall it's a little pricey but in an otherwise ribless downtown Sydney, meat-on-the-bone afficianados will not complain.
121 – 123 Sussex Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9299 8500
Open 7 days: 11.30am - midnight
(last orders 10.30pm)
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3/31/2006 07:03:00 p.m.