On Friday evening Luis and I originally planned to eat at Sala One-Nine. To make a long story short though, we ended up leaving because the place was too packed and the service was extremely slow.
This led us to R.U.B. on 23rd between 7th and 8th. I had always passed this place on my way to Pratt and had heard good things about it. The menu had all the standard bbq fare like brisket, pulled pork, ribs, sausage, etc.
Luis got a "two meat" platter of pulled pork and sausage. His two sides were french fries and vinegar-based coleslaw. I got the "one meat" platter of brisket with potato salad and collard greens. The food was surprisingly very good! I'm not an expert on bbq by any means, but I thought the brisket was very nice and tender and the pulled pork was moist and sufficiently "porky". The thing I really loved about this place is that the meat was not drenched in bbq sauce. I don't usually crave bbq because I think it can be a little too sweet, overall. But this place cooks all their meat dry (sans heavy sauce) and you add the sauce to your own liking at your table. The sauce was mightly tasty too.
Compared to the other meats, the sausage was not my favorite. The texture was a little dry and the seasonings reminded me of chorizo but not as good. The best side we had was the potato salad althought the fries (covered in spices) were also good. Collard greens were a little salty and the coleslaw was too heavy on the celery salt.
I saw quite a few tables ordering chili cheese fries which looked delicious and also the fried onion rings (mounds of skinny fried strings). So next time, I will definitely try those.
It was interesting though because on the back of the RUB menu there's a list of frequently asked questions. One of the questions was: "why isn't my food hot?" The answer went on to explain that true bbq is smoked at a low temperature for a long time so the meat is never meant to be "hot." And I have to say, you can definitely tell that everything is lukewarm. I guess I just wasn't used to it. I like my meats piping hot.
So in terms of service, I think R.U.B. does a really good job. All the employees were energetic, pleasant and attentive. I think the place has a very lovely, casual feel to it. And is a great restaurant to drop in on for some good meat and beer. Actually, I'd love to go back soon so let me know if you'd like to join! :)