Jun 30, 2011|
G/F, Siam Paragon, 991 Rama 1 Rd., 02-610-9311. Open daily 11am-11pm
The place: The lone Bangkok branch of the American barbecue chain, Tony Roma’s has a classic family vibe, thanks to its tucked away location at Paragon, its glassfront street entrance, and bits of Midwestern Americana (the music, the exposed brick, the booths).
The selection: As far as ribs go, the options here are broad. The original platter of babyback ribs (which are a great deal leaner than the St. Louis style they also offer) come with their original barbecue glaze (B395-695), taste homemade, not too sweet and are nicely carmelized in places. With the St. Louis style ribs, you have a choice of three sauces: honey, hot sauce and rosemary and garlic. Can’t decide? Get the Star-Studded Sampler (B755) which can easily be shared by two people.
What else: The Americana theme continues with the platters of barbecued options, a spot of seafood and lots of deep-fried goodness like chicken tenderloins (B185) and mozzarella sticks (B215) as appetizers. They also do lamb chops and steaks (B755-985) as well as burgers (B345-395).
The verdict: Tony Roma’s claims they don’t boil their meat, which would dull the flavor, but bake it. Then how do they get it to be so moist, fall-off-the-bone, finger-licking good? The slightly caramelized sauce on the surface is mixed with slightly charred bits and even the honey orange variant manages to steer clear of excessive sweetness. Yummy!
29/4-6 Sukhumvit Soi 22, off Washington Square, 02-259-4318. Open daily 7-1am
The place: A long-standing institution in our fair city, Bourbon Street, named after the famous street in New Orleans’ French Quarter, has a place in the hearts of nostalgic Americans because it offers regional delights like hushpuppies, gumbo and cornmeal-crusted catfish along with some Cajun-style barbecued goodies.
The selection: There’s just one platter of pork ribs here (B330), and they’re pretty lean, so we hope you can live without all that marbling you’ve been spoiled with. The ribs fall off the bone appropriately, though the glaze is nothing to write home about. And the sides of zucchini and red beans are a little bit depressing.
What else: New Orleans specialties like catfish fillet with hushpuppies (B350) and andouille sausage (B220). They also do stuff like filet mignon steak (B495) and chicken and beef fajitas (B350-390).
The verdict: Meh. Despite the popularity of this place, their performance can be a bit hit or miss. While we’re happy that there’s such a resoundingly regional American place in Bangkok, our last visit was disappointing.
32 Sukhumvit Soi 36, 02-661-3801. Open daily 11am-11pm
The place: Bricks, red and black checkered tablecloths, benches and communal tables—Great American Rib ticks all the boxes. But we particularly like how the outdoor tables and small garden offer a real barbecue vibe.
The selection: Their “Great American BBQ Ribs” (B375 half-rack, B595 full) come with two sides (barbecue beans, baked potato, coleslaw, potato salad, Idaho curly fries, or corn on the cob) and either Texas jalapeno corn bread or garlic toast. Order them either wet (St. Louis style) or dry (Texas style).
What else: They do beef ribs (B395/795) and they have a B495 all you-can-eat buffet every Wednesday (6-9pm) with ribs, skewers and burgers. This Fourth of July, they’re offering the deal along with free-flow Singha beer. Yeehaw!
The verdict: Their natural hickory wood smoking for up to six hours is pretty discreet. Overall, these are generous, firm, full BBQ’ed ribs—and the smoking does dry them out a bit. Pros say that’s how ribs should be but we’re suckers for the melt-in-your-mouth, fall-off-the-bone kind.
5/F, Emporium Shopping Complex. 622 Sukhumvit Rd., 087-002-9214. Open daily 10am-10pm
The place: Located in a mall, sandwiched between two other restaurants, this place doesn’t score any points for atmosphere.
The selection: Half-rack (B275) and full rack (B475).
What else: We love their pepperoni pepperoni pizza (B245) which is just what you’d get in any no-name pizza joint in the US—no thin crust here!
The verdict: Duke’s says they rub their ribs in brown sugar. We’re guessing they also dump a ton of the stuff in their “Sweet and Tangy” BBQ sauce because sugar is all we can taste when eating these otherwise tender and competently oven-baked ribs.
942 Rama IV Rd. (between Silom and Surawong), 02-236-8010. Open daily 10:30-1am
The place: Three stories of bricks, solid wood furniture and 50s American posters. There’s a live band on the ground floor, a quieter dining space on two and a mini games area on the top floor which offers foosball, video golf and a Brunswick Championship pool table.
The selection: BBQ baby back ribs full rack (B645), half rack (B450), BBQ chicken & ribs (B575). Roadhouse doesn’t smoke its ribs anymore, as they reckon that would make the ribs too dry for local tastes.
What else: Hickory-smoked BBQ chicken (B395) and hickory-smoked beef short rib (B650) and a full menu of American favorites. We’re addicted to their chicken wings (B195 for 10), which are buy-10-get-10-free on Monday nights. The lunch set (Mon-Sat) is B275 for 2 courses and B345 for 3.
The verdict: Despite the “no smoking” it’s still a slightly dry meat, with a beautiful slightly crusty exterior from the dry rub and caramelized barbeque sauce. A bit denser and manlier than Tony Roma’s, which you could eat with a spoon, these are ribs for the pros. They’re also served with our favorite BBQ sauce in town—fresh, not too sweet, natural tasting and quite tangy.