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H.I. Ribsters, Annandale - Rubbed Out.


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#1 NotQuickDraw

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 07:22 PM

When we go for ribs, we usually go to Ribsters (in Annandale, on Little River Turnpike) - I like their ribs, and also the onion loaf.
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#2 Sthitch

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 09:49 PM

When we go for ribs, we usually go to Ribsters (in Annandale, on Little River Turnpike) - I like their ribs, and also the onion loaf.

I'm sorry, but those have to be the worst ribs in the area. The ribs are obviously boiled prior to spending a few minutes on the grill, and bathed in a cloyingly sweet sauce. I think that prison ribs would be better than Ribsters.

#3 gks_eats_dc

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 10:01 PM

I'm sorry, but those have to be the worst ribs in the area. The ribs are obviously boiled prior to spending a few minutes on the grill, and bathed in a cloyingly sweet sauce. I think that prison ribs would be better than Ribsters.

Interesting! And here I am just loving them.
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#4 Sthitch

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 10:22 PM

Interesting! And here I am just loving them.

Well, there is no accounting for taste so what is it that you love about them?

#5 agm

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 06:41 AM

NQD and I both fully admit that the ribs at Ribsters are not great. Probably not even good. They're certainly not authentic. Anyone from Memphis or North Carolina or anywhere that prides themselves on their ribs would turn their nose up at them. Fair enough. But as has been noted on this board several times, there just aren't any really good ribs in the DC area.

Sure, we could go to some of the places that at least attempt to make ribs the "right" way (whichever regional definition of the "right" way that might happen to be). But they'd just fall short of what they should be, and we'd just be disappointed - again.

So we go to Ribsters. No, it's not a question of bad over mediocre. It's a question of familiarity and comfort. NQD and I both grew up in New England, a place where people know as much about making ribs as people in Memphis know about lobster rolls. Boiled, finished on the grill, and smothered in a thick, overly sweet sauce? Well, yeah, that's how folks make ribs up there. That's what we both grew up thinking ribs were supposed to be. And we loved them. OK, so we know better now. But in the absence of the good stuff, we go for the taste of our respective childhoods. You may say they're the worst ribs in the area, and you're probably close (although I've had worse). But for us, that's pure comfort food.

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#6 demandalicious

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 08:09 AM

prison ribs.

The last time that I was in prison, all that they gave me was a bologna sandwich with a juicebox. wtf?! :unsure:

#7 alan7147

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 08:26 AM

I'm sorry, but those have to be the worst ribs in the area. The ribs are obviously boiled prior to spending a few minutes on the grill, and bathed in a cloyingly sweet sauce. I think that prison ribs would be better than Ribsters.

Einstein, are you sure they serve ribs in prison?

If your enemy is superior, evade him. If angry, irritate him. If equally matched, fight, and if not split and reevaluate." - Sun Tzu


#8 Sthitch

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 09:38 AM

Einstein, are you sure they serve ribs in prison?

The prison ribs comment was a joke, but since you seem to be incapable of realizing this let me also explain this:
1) Yes in some prisons in the south they do serve ribs. This is generally only on prison farms where they raise hogs, like Mississippi State Penitentiary (formally known as Parchman), Angola in Louisiana, and Darrington in Texas.
2) This is reserved for special occasions, and for special prisoners, generally those who have not been in any trouble in the past year.
3) Since they do not have access to smokers, they boil the hell out of the ribs and use the cheapest sauce possible to cover them. Kind of like Ribsters.

I have not had ribs in prison, and the one meal I had during a class sponsored trip in college was vile, but I spent the better part of that semester studying food in prison. And the BBQ sauce at Darrington is supposed to be pretty good, but they have the grandson of a Dallas area pit master doing time there and working as a cook, his name is Benny Wade Clewis.

Is there anything else you would like to know?

#9 NotQuickDraw

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 09:43 AM

Mmmm...boiled meat.
I did some time at University of Exeter (in UK). British dining hall food - I can tell you some things about boiled meat!
Colleen

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#10 eruby

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 10:07 AM

The prison ribs comment was a joke, but since you seem to be incapable of realizing this let me also explain this:
1) Yes in some prisons in the south they do serve ribs. This is generally only on prison farms where they raise hogs, like Mississippi State Penitentiary (formally known as Parchman), Angola in Louisiana, and Darrington in Texas.
2) This is reserved for special occasions, and for special prisoners, generally those who have not been in any trouble in the past year.
3) Since they do not have access to smokers, they boil the hell out of the ribs and use the cheapest sauce possible to cover them. Kind of like Ribsters.

I have not had ribs in prison, and the one meal I had during a class sponsored trip in college was vile, but I spent the better part of that semester studying food in prison. And the BBQ sauce at Darrington is supposed to be pretty good, but they have the grandson of a Dallas area pit master doing time there and working as a cook, his name is Benny Wade Clewis.

Is there anything else you would like to know?

The only thing I'd like to know is do they slaughter the pigs traditionally, or simply lead them into the shower to get shanked? :unsure:

And I agree Ribsters has horrible ribs.

Eric

#11 Jlock

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 10:17 AM

Is there a DR.com-sponsored "Shawshank Redemption BBQ Rib Field Trip" in our futures??? :unsure:
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#12 alan7147

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 10:27 AM

I have not had ribs in prison, and the one meal I had during a class sponsored trip in college was vile, but I spent the better part of that semester studying food in prison. And the BBQ sauce at Darrington is supposed to be pretty good, but they have the grandson of a Dallas area pit master doing time there and working as a cook, his name is Benny Wade Clewis.

Is there anything else you would like to know?

WOW, we have our very own culinary penologist

If your enemy is superior, evade him. If angry, irritate him. If equally matched, fight, and if not split and reevaluate." - Sun Tzu


#13 KOK

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 10:42 AM

WOW, we have our very own culinary penologist

Why the vitriol? (unless this is humor, which it seems not to be)

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#14 Sthitch

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 12:40 PM

The problem with boiling ribs is that it shows a disrespect for the meat. Most people who are passionate about cooking ribs can argue for days about everything but the basic cooking method. The one point where they agree is that ribs should be cooked low, slow, and dry. This cooking method allows the fat to melt away while basting the meat, producing a more intense and complex pork flavor and gelatinous texture. Boiling produces ribs that remain fatty, and have a washed out flavor, slow roasting them after boiling will not get rid of the fattiness.
I understand that good BBQ is making inroads into the Boston area, and I have heard and read good things about Jake’s Boss BBQ. Also, as for tradition, every show about food in Memphis goes to the Rendezvous, and highlight ribs that also disrespect the meat. They cook theirs over a hot charcoal fire that produces tough flavorless ribs.

#15 bilrus

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 01:45 PM

Couldn't a rib be fashioned into some sort of shank? Imagine the possible carnage from just one rack.
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#16 Sthitch

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 01:57 PM

Couldn't a rib be fashioned into some sort of shank? Imagine the possible carnage from just one rack.

There is a German dish that calls for simmering spare ribs in a very flavorful broth (I think it is called something Schweinsrippchen). If done correctly, it can be quite good, but it tastes nothing like what most people know as ribs, but when done at too high a temperature they are horrible. Like a shank, ribs (pork or beef) demand slow and low to make them gelatinous.
This is a different cooking style for ribs than what I have accused Ribsters of doing. A braising liquid is usually used as part of the meal, and reintroduces intensified pork flavor back to the dish, just boiling or poaching them washes away too much flavor.

Edited to note the name of the dish is "Gewurzte Schweinsrippchen" or Briased Spicy Spare Ribs

#17 Escoffier

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 02:07 PM

Like a shank, ribs (pork or beef) demand slow and low to make them gelatinous.

I think the type of shank he's talking about doesn't have much to do with food. :unsure:

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#18 Sthitch

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 02:17 PM

I think the type of shank he's talking about doesn't have much to do with food. :unsure:

Yeah, I am a bit thick at times. Sure they can be made into a weapon, but so can chicken bones, or something like a tooth brush. I once read a story of a prisoner (I believe it was at Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary) who made a shiv out of paper, so they will always find a way to turn something into a weapon.

#19 bilrus

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 02:50 PM

I think the type of shank he's talking about doesn't have much to do with food. ;)

I've just watched too much OZ and Prison Break for my own good :unsure: . And eaten too many ribs for that matter.
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#20 JPW

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 02:54 PM

The last time that I was in prison, all that they gave me was a bologna sandwich with a juicebox. wtf?! :unsure:

The drunk tank in Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard used to give you cereal, a donut, OJ, and/or coffee before they sent you on your way.

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#21 DonRocks

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 07:24 AM

The "Prison Ribs" have been swallowed up by Koreatown: H. I. Ribsters has closed its doors and shuttered its windows. Government signs posted on the door, issued to "Han River Restaurant," indicate a complete interior demolition is to occur.

Maybe they'll have galbi!

Cheers,
Rocks.

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#22 Dmnkly

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 08:16 AM

"H.I. Ribsters"?

Seriously?

That isn't from a Simpsons episode?

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#23 Soup

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 11:15 AM

The "Prison Ribs" have been swallowed up by Koreatown: H. I. Ribsters has closed its doors and shuttered its windows. Government signs posted on the door, issued to "Han River Restaurant," indicate a complete interior demolition is to occur.

Maybe they'll have galbi!

Cheers,
Rocks.

I hate to see another Annandale institution go. We had become fans of this place not because they served world class ribs (ribs were good) but because it was a neighborhood place. Nice waitstaff and no pretension. It will be missed.

I just hope the korean place that goes in is good. I hope it is not another generic korean BBQ place with 20 page menu.

#24 DonRocks

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 02:17 PM

The "Prison Ribs" have been swallowed up by Koreatown: H. I. Ribsters has closed its doors and shuttered its windows. Government signs posted on the door, issued to "Han River Restaurant," indicate a complete interior demolition is to occur.

Maybe they'll have galbi!

Cheers,
Rocks.

Han Gang is having its Grand Opening - there are a ton of flowers out in front of the (heavily reworked) restaurant.

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