I have just one thing to say. Rib Tips.
What the heck is a rib tip? Yes, I had to look this up, so don’t be ashamed if you do too, that’s what the link is for.
Last week, Mr Foodie, some friends, and I decided to try a BBQ joint that had a name I couldn’t resist: Rib It Up. And their self-proclaimed specialty-rib tips. That meaty little gem between the rib and the sternum which is used in St Louis style BBQ is their most popular dish.
First, I should mention that Rib It Up sits on 1st avenue N just on the other side of the I65 underpass from downtown. This place is no rib shack-the surprisingly large building includes a drive thru as well:
And boasts an absolutely adorable sign:
We walked in and were welcomed by a very friendly cashier and a gentleman who was the ?owner-both of whom guided us through the extensive menu. Look at the prices-what a bargain!
As I mentioned, they explained that the rib tips are where it’s at. Never having tasted a rib tip, the gentleman insisted I try one. Just one tip was so meaty that Mr Foodie and I both got a large bite. The meat was juicy and tender, just perfect. And the sauce. It’s on the sweeter side-tastes of ?molasses rather than vinegar – and quite smoky. I’m sure I’ll get some flak for saying this but-to me, this is the best BBQ sauce I’ve had yet in the Ham. But don’t take my word for it-try it yourself.
After that we had to get the rib tips. Together, the four of us ordered 3 rib tip dinners and one chicken dinner with a large assortment of sides.
You order and pay at the counter, then sit and wait for your order. The place is huge-a large dining room and even a full bar. Reminds me of the homey mom and pop family restaurants I are at as a kid. We picked a 1980s style booth and scootched in.
Everything we ordered was great. The sides were a perfect compliment to that meaty focus, and per the owner all made in house. Here we go…..
Rib tips with creamy Mac and Cheese (real cheese! Nice and mild, not too overwhelming) and collards:
Let’s take a closer look at that rib tip.
And no one had ever told me you are supposed to put this magic sauce on your collards. Fantastic:
We all ordered the cornbread, which was just a little sweet and mostly savory, not too greasy, and basically exactly what you want to eat with BBQ.
Then, the chicken. Smothered in BBQ sauce, juicy and delicious. Served with creamy cole slaw (tastes like KFC-sounds like a knock but is actually a huge compliment-that is the creamy cole slaw against which all others are judged in my book) and fried green tomatoes:
A word about fried green tomatoes. I have never liked them. They are either too sour, too soggy, or too bland. These were none of those and were spectacular. The breading was really flavorful and crunchy as well. Let’s get a close up of those beauties:
Even though we were there just before closing, the staff checked on us a few times and offered us refills of our teas and sodas, which were served in these adorable cups with that dancing pig again (how can he dance without his rib tips?):
So in sum, Rib It Up delivers across the board. I’d have to say that the rib tips, sauce, cornbread, and fried green tomatoes steal the show, along with the friendly and welcoming staff.
On the way out, I chatted with the owner for a few minutes-this place has been in business since 1993 and is still going strong. Clearly they are doing something-many things-right.