As I age, I realize I can't hang like I used to. Last night we had taco night at our friend Billiam's, and three margaritas put me right on my ass. I woke up belly-aching like a kid who'd gotten full access to the cookie jar and overdid it. In my fragile state, I decided that we were breaking our very limited dining out rule and I wanted large quantities of smoked meats. I was hoping to try something I hadn't had before, but a lot of BBQ places are closed on Sundays. Since we were going to be in the Beavercreek area anyway (quick trip to Best Buy to replace the DVD player that had recently started impersonating a toaster oven), I figured we'd go into City Barbecue. I'd had their food at catered events before, but never actually eaten there.
The menu is slightly limited, in that there aren't many combo plate options meant for one person. The meals are basically either rib dinners, or something served in sandwich form (though the menu notes any sandwich can be served without bread). I like a little bit of everything, and the Deluxe City Sampler seemed like the perfect thing for us to split. It comes with half a slab of ribs, 1/2 pound of chicken (your choice which part of the bird-we chose breast and wing), servings of pulled pork & brisket, two cornbread mini-loaves, two slices of Texas toast, and two sides. I asked if they made their own slaw, and the nice fella at the counter replied they did, but it was vinegar based - and offered me a sample. I wanted to like it, but turns out I'm a mayo girl at heart and it just wasn't for me. He then pointed out their seasonal sides and offered to let me try the gumbo when I asked about it. This guy has the patience of a saint, because I didn't like the gumbo either and he showed no signs of being the slightest bit irritated. I finally decided on the corn pudding and insisted I didn't need to try it, because corn pudding is kind of like pizza in the sense that even when it's not the best, it's still pretty good. Mr. FvF picked the hand-cut fries, proving his dedication to Fry Club (don't ask). They don't have table service at City Barbecue, but the counter staff is friendly and accommodating enough that they still garner a big, fat A+.
Normally we both frown on sharing a dish because we're such big eaters. The only other place we'll venture this risk is at Ticket's Pub on the Greek hot plate, and the serving for one is enough, though they do have a hot plate for two on the menu as well. We had barely gotten our drinks (big ups for having Diet Mt. Dew, or anything other s/f option besides Diet Pepsi) and our food was already up, and it filled up an entire tray. I was so carried away with digging in that we'd dismembered a good portion of it before I remembered to snap a photo. So, what you see above is a partially eaten Deluxe Sampler.
Everything was totally aces, and only the ribs and chicken had been very lightly sauced. They have a great variety of sauces on the table, and I sampled a little bit of the Brush Fire, the Original and the mustard-based sauces. More importantly, the sauces were merely a second fiddle to the meat - it didn't NEED sauce, which is the sign of good barbecue. The meat was tender and the smoke flavor was ever-present, but not overwhelming. the brisket was more shredded than sliced, which isn't my preference, but it was still the chippity-chomp, so no complaints here. The sides were excellent (4 out of 5 on the hand-cut fries and 5 out of 5 for the individually baked corn pudding), and the breads were pretty fresh - considering they make them en masse.
We devoured the whole she-bang, but the mister had to finish my cornbread, because if I kept eating, he would have had to write Goodyear on me in Sharpie and roll my fat ass out of there. He was eager to check out Graeter's Ice Cream next door, but we were both so full we couldn't possibly hold any more. Always with the big ideas, I decided to get take-home from Graeter's and we'll dig into that later tonight when the feelings of shame from dinner fade away.
For $20, this was a hell of a deal, and we couldn't have been happier with the food and service.
5 out of 5 sporks!