Roadside BBQ – Southern vs Soul Food
3751 Geary Blvd
(between 2nd Ave & Arguello Blvd)
My poor friend ABM up and moved out of the Mission into the far reaches of the Richmond, all to cohabitate with his fiancee. This means that easy access to Popeye’s and other fixings that remind him of his hometown of New Orleans are few and far between (until Hard Knox Cafe opened up a branch, recently.)
It was during one of those weeknights, pre-Hard Knox (HK) where, feeling sorry for his predicament, I relented and we hit Roadside BBQ. Based on Yelp reviews, we figured it’d be worth a shot. Looking at the menu hanging in the window, I was reluctant to invest in an adventure that garnered only average results on Yelp, but ABM’s natural salesperson nature (read: pushiness) broke me down since I had no suitable backup to suggest.
We ordered a full rack of baby back ribs, a side of the mac ‘n cheese, potato salad, sweet tea, and sauteed veggies.
I’ll sum up the experience for you:
– Friendly service
– Clean environment
– Fresh ingredients
– Fairly quick serving of food
– Lots of wholesome looking customers
– ABM was the only brothah (not brothER) in the house. This is like me going to a Chinese restaurant and being the only Asian there. And you know what sign that gives…
– The spicy sauce was not spicy
– We split a full rack and were still hungry after (this is even after I cleaned off my corn muffin, and the larger half of the mac ‘n cheese, potato salad, and sauteed veggies.
– The meat on our baby back ribs was not literally fall-off-the-bone
As I was picking through the itty bitty remainders of food (having done my best to suck as much meat off the ribs), I swore to never trust his instincts again. He’d made better ribs (pork or beef) with a trip to Safeway and his own kitchen, as I bitterly reminded him.
So what, to me, is the difference between Southern food and Soul food? Two key factors: quantity (no more of this itty bitty nibbly stuff), and spice level. I supposed a third would be the wholesomeness rating of the clientele…this was the most safe I’d felt in a BBQ joint in a long time.
Any other suggestions? Do you agree with my definition? Got one of your own? Let us know!
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