ribits-bbq

Ribit’s BBQ

I recently moved to Hyde Park. Hyde Park! It’s hip. It’s cool. It’s like nice Tampa. Nice. And it’s filled with many small, fun, locally owned places to eat. Perfect! It’s perfect. Except for one thing…

Picture ©kkphotography

DOUCHEBAGS! DOUCHEBAGS EVERYWHERE! Yes, this is the curse of Hyde Park – scads of douchebags, drinking, dancing, and making out all over the place. Howard in particular, what with its MacDinton’s and World of Beers, is overrun by these yuppie thirty-something bastards, and each and every one of them is just as guilty as the next of making the world a terrible place.

So, let that be the backdrop to this evening’s particular food stop, for right across from the World of Beer on Howard sits this:

ribit's bbq

This is Ribit’s BBQ. A barbecue place, in the middle of Hyde Park, open until 3 am. Wow! I was not expecting this! Of course I got excited. I love barbecue! I love late night! And most of all, I love blatant copyright infringement! Wait-

Okay. So their mascot is a clearly ripped off Michigan J. Frog with a cowboy hat. Hm. Alright well that’s okay. It’s just theft. But look at their place! It’s so fun. It’s like, what… some sort of converted lube shop? Neat. And what’s that noise? No, not the douchebag playing acoustic covers across the street, it’s something coming from the barbecue place! It’s… oh god no they’re blasting country music.

So maybe there are some problems. But that’s okay! No place is perfect. Let’s get in there. Let’s do this.

inside ribit's

So they have a window where you order, and a little counter where you pay and they bring the food out to you. Seating is outside, and in a small area to the side. The menu features pork ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, chicken breast, and sausage. They have a bunch of sides, both hot and cold, and have a few combos – Piggy (one meat, two sides for $10.99), Porky (two sides, two meats, $17.99), and Oinkie (four meats, no sides. $39.99). Wow! A small side by itself is $3.99. Well alright. Corn dog – $4.99. So prices. Eh. I went ahead and got the porky platter.

the porky platter

I went with the ribs and pulled pork for the meats, feeling that they best represented standard barbecue fare. As for the sides, I foolishly asked for a recommendation from the lady taking my order, so instead of the collard greens and baked beans I had been planning to get, I ended up with potato salad and cheddar macaroni salad. Two salads. Yaaay.

…did I mention the country music? There was really loud country music!

So let’s get down to it – the meat. The true test of a barbecue place. All that matters; the beginning and the end. The meat. How was the meat?

The meat sucked.

Arg. ARG. The meat was pretty crappy. Now, to be fair, the meat itself was probably decent. Not bad cuts of meat, big ribs. But what they did to it! It was… it was nuked. Scorched. Burnt to a crisp. The ribs were all char. It was not a smokey flavor. It was like eating cigarette butts. The meat underneath the char would have been decent, but you just couldn’t get past that char. It was overwhelming. My hands smelled like it. And the pulled pork was dry. Both were tough. My theory is that rather than cooking it slowly at a lower heat, they cooked it quickly by way of flamethrower. Or napalm.

sauces

They offered up four different types of sauces. From left to right above, it is spicy, tangy, vinegar, and sweet. All served out of giant coolers with spigots. The spicy was good!! It reminded me of a barbecue place I used to go to a long time ago in Wesley Chapel, which is now a medical clinic or something (RIP Peacocks Smokehouse). A bit spicy, with a well balanced, full flavor. The sweet was second best, made better by combining it with the spicy. The tangy was a sort of mustard based sauce, with a bit of sweet up front and a bite at the end. It was alright, but easy to get sick of. The vinegar-based sauce was just bland and boring, tasting like… well, vinegar.

potato salad

The surprise winner of the night was the potato salad, voted “most tolerable” by me! It was actually pretty good, made with those little red potato dudes, skins still in there. A perfect blend of ingredients. The cheddar macaroni salad was bland and boring.

Oh, and there was country music playing! My girlfriend halfheartedly offered to do the electric slide, but then pussied out. So many disappointments.

Really, all that can be said about this place is that they served bottles of Mexican Coke (they did not even make their own sweet tea!!!! Outrage!!). My bill totaled 25 bucks. That was for one person. The whole thing was utterly disappointing. I knew late night barbecue was too good to be true.

The evening came to a close as the douchebags from across the street rebelled against their own, slaughtering the acoustic cover band and burning the World of Beer to the ground. The barbecue place responded by turning the country music up louder. My girlfriend’s sister puked. I had a panic attack. My girlfriend did not do the electric slide. Ribit’s mascot did this:

…and a good time was had by all. Fuck you, Ribit’s.

15 comments

  1. Bahahahaha! Best. Review. Ever. Seriously no sweet tea. That’s audacity. And for $25 dollars that should be the most amazing BBQ you’ve ever had. That rib picture looks like tree bark. AWESOME review.

  2. Ray

    When I was at UT last year, I remember drinking at Macdintons, walking out ready to hurl, passing by Ribits (which I’ve had before but I don’t know BBQ well enough to judge it) and hurling because of the smell of the BBQ. Right on that Stop sign btw!

    I’d say give it another try, you might like it! Oh yeah, Howard is full of UT kids.

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  6. Fuck Off

    You guys are fucking crazy. Ribits is amazing. I’ve been going there for 2 years now and have never been disappointed maybe your the real douche bag Tampa Bay Food Monster.

    • alright “fuck off”… well, to start with, there are a lot of grammatical and spelling errors in both of your comments (i can see that your IP address is the same in both comments, despite your clever attempt to fool me by the two creative names and the twenty minute space between them). then/than, your/you’re… these are important lessons to learn. and if you were to read more than just the one entry pertaining to your most favorite barbecue place, you would realize that i don’t just “bash businesses on the internet”, but fairly review them based on my visits.

      also, i happen to have the distinct pleasure/sad misfortune of living in the hyde park area! i just don’t happen to be one of the hundreds of douche yuppies who spend their evenings lining up outside macdinton’s or the world of beer attempting to get laid and/or drown their sorrows in booze. i judge people on their actions and behavior, not the area they live in. if you had read the first sentence of this review, you might have noticed that.

      but yes. maybe i am the real douche bag. touché.

  7. jessica

    right i agree with the comment above. TB food monster you clearly dont have anything better to do with your life other tHEN spend your days bashing businesses on the internet. GET A LIFE LOSER . Ahh right, if thats your job… u are a restaurant reviewer… that doesnt give you the right to insult a given group of people because they live in a certain area.

    • alright… well, to start with, there are a lot of grammatical and spelling errors in both of your comments (i can see that your IP address is the same in both comments, despite your clever attempt to fool me by the two creative names and the twenty minute space between them). then/than, your/you’re… these are important lessons to learn. and if you were to read more than just the one entry pertaining to your most favorite barbecue place, you would realize that i don’t just “bash businesses on the internet”, but fairly review them based on my visits.

      also, i happen to have the distinct pleasure/sad misfortune of living in the hyde park area! i just don’t happen to be one of the hundreds of douche yuppies who spend their evenings lining up outside macdinton’s or the world of beer attempting to get laid and/or drown their sorrows in booze. i judge people on their actions and behavior, not the area they live in. if you had read the first sentence of this review, you might have noticed that.

      but yes. maybe i am the real douche bag. touché.

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