Sunday, July 27, 2014
Rippy's (Nashville, TN)
Downtown Nashville is an awesome place for live music, but surprisingly there aren't just too many barbecue joints to pick from. Jack's has a prominent place on Broadway (Nashville's main drag), and although their 'que is delicious, the line usually stretches halfway to the Cumberland River. I found Rippy's across the street and hoped it would be good, too. As expensive as property must be in this area of town, I'm sure they have to sell tons of meat to stay in business. Fingers crossed.
Not to be outdone, Rippy's had live music going tonight. The old 90s country was actually really good. Nashville is the kind of city where it's not at all unusual to see folks two-stepping in the middle of a restaurant. Rippy's is big enough that there are actually multiple sections with separate live bands. The walls must be pretty well insulated, because I couldn't even hear the other band from my side of the restaurant.
I was dining alone and they seemed pretty busy, so I just grabbed a seat at the bar. It was right next to the open doors in front, which put me in a prime position to feel the amazing cool breeze blowing through. The bartender was friendly and really attentive. All in all, this place had a really pleasant atmosphere.
Although it's clearly the norm for this region, pulled pork isn't really my thing. I also had no interest in barbecue chicken. By process of elimination, that left me with pork loin or ribs. I rolled the dice and ordered a Half Portion Dinner (6 bones) of Rippy's Signature Ribs. The ribs come with two sides, so I picked potato salad and onion rings. The menu didn't specify whether the ribs were wet or dry, but I hoped for the latter.
The potato salad was nice and creamy. It had a great flavor, and I thoroughly enjoyed the crunch from the pickles, etc. I also liked that the mustard base wasn't overpowering. The onion rings looked fresh rather than frozen. They had a great batter and were fried nice and golden. This was an excellent pick for a side dish.
Much to my delight, the ribs came with a dry rub. I was able to cut them apart with minimal effort, suggesting that they were slightly overdone. It seemed like the ribs were more suited for a fork and knife, so I acquiesced. They had a great smoke level, which matched perfectly with the evident smoke ring. My main issue with the ribs was the inconsistency. The first bite was fairly spicy, coupled with just a touch of sweetness. It was also decently tender. Other bites were more bland and weren't spicy at all, and the meat nearest the center was a bit dry. I was surprised to find so many differences in only seven inches of meat.
Rippy's wasn't the best barbecue I've ever had, but it was certainly passable. I'd go back for the drinks and music, although I'd likely order a burger instead.
Nashville, TN 37203