The 4th of July weather in sunny Florida wasn't so we headed West in search of some authentic American fare. Bored of burgers and unexcited by hot dogs we decided barbecue & ribs were the order of the day. This said, ribs are not really my thing. Growing up in England, ribs generally came from the Chinese takeaway and then were dry and somewhat meatless. My first experience of real barbecue ribs was in California back in '78 at a joint called 'Loves'. My brother and I were staggered that the waitress offered 'beans, fries or coleslaw'? A CHOICE?!!! What a great country, its enough to make you celebrate the 4th of July! Anyhow, some 30 years later I happen to be married an expert on the subject. He is a self confessed rib snob and having conducted extensive research he has declared that Smokey Bones are the best around.
We immediately ordered the skillet cornbread $4.99 at Dr. Dave's request. There are not many things I don't like or won't try. I can only think of three: cornbread, sweetcorn & beetroot, however, this was good. It was cakelike and sweet smeared with the pecan butter but I don't really get the idea of noshing a hunk of cake before the meat arrives so I left it at a bite. Progress indeed.
Dr. Dave satisfied his patriotic craving with a full rack of baby back ribs at $20.49 and declared them forkin tender. At least that's what I think he said. He kindly left me one and I can confirm that they really are the tastiest softest meat, gently smoked and basted until they just fall away from the bone. I went with the 'special combo'. A very cute idea to mix and match meats and sides. I like a little taste of alot of things so it suited me perfectly. I opted for the barbecue chicken breast & smoked brisket $9.99. The chicken was good, nicely griddled and simply presented but the brisket was a little disappointing. Smoked brisket sounds great but it was served sloshing in an oversweet barbecue sauce which drowned out much of the subtle smokey flavor. It was also on the fatty side which I'd be too if I'd eaten more than two mouthfuls of it! Kids are well taken care of, Mia enjoyed a grilled chicken breast & fries $4.49 *great deal*.
Smokey Bones has a great ambience, a warm log cabin vibe with a few big screens thrown in (they were showing the Nathan's hot dog eating contest - did they think that would stimulate diners appetites? - oooh yum, look at him shovelling 65 hot dogs in a single sitting - thats making me peckish...), the service is friendly and professional but the ribs alone are reason enough to head West to Wellington.