Baker's Ribs ~ Grapevine, Texas
Food: Solid selection of barbecue meats (brisket, chicken, turkey, ham, sausage, ribs) along with a decent mix of sides. On our first visit, Mrs. RJG reminded me that the St. Louis ribs were tough, but the sausage and brisket were delicious, which all rang true with me. So on this trip, in sticking with my chicken-first theme, I tried the baked half chicken special (no sides). And Mrs. RJG went for a Smoked Turkey sandwich plate with mac n' cheese and fried okra. And of course, we went about splitting the order. The results? The turkey was a big hit, absolutely delicious, moist (how many times have we sampled dry turkey!) and wonderfully smoked and seasoned. Mrs. RJG also stated the bread to be excellent, and while not toasted, it held together perfectly and didn't become mushy. The chicken was also excellent. Baker's Ribs variety is baked, not smoked, and has a slightly sweet glaze that penetrated throughout. Again, it was perfectly tender. It's a small half chicken, but at $5.99 on the special, it was still a great value. The m and c was very cheesy, though still appetizing and creamy enough to appreciate deep into the cup. Mrs. RJG also stated that the fried okra was nicely breaded, crunchy, and fresh inside. In short, excellent (I didn't partake).
Drinks: Baker's Ribs features a bar area. Their beer taps aren't overly imaginative, but they do have Grapevine Craft's Lakefire, which is always a good choice. We passed on alcohol this visit, to try the soda fountain which features exclusively the Real Sugar Soda Company from Oak Cliff Beverage Works. I never heard of them, so that was really cool! Unfortunately, Mrs. RJG won't let me drink a sugar soda, but they do have one diet cola option and it's quite good actually! But one of these days I want to try their other offerings...
Location: A new standalone location at the NE corner of Hwy 26 and Bass Pro Dr, predictably right behind the massive Bass Pro Shop. Order up at the counter, and they'll bark out your name when your order is ready. Head to the soda fountain or to the bar to grab your beer. And then sit wherever you like. On our visit during the lunch hour, the place was quite crowded, and we did have about a 10-15 minute wait in line to order. But our meal was ready in less than 5 from there.
Notes: Baker's Ribs started in Dallas in 1988, and has grown to a chain of 10 locations, mostly in the environs of DFW. Though there is one franchised location in the Minneapolis area!
Rating: 4.0. It's only two visits in, but I have a feeling we could over and over and find uniformly excellent results. If not, we'll change it. Ah, the beauty of real time data! :-)
Hours: 11a-10p everyday