Disclaimer: After we leave a restaurant we do our reviews independent of each other and do not read the others until they are going to be posted.
Walking into Baker’s you are immediately hit with the smell of barbeque, the way a good barbeque joint should smell not something you usually get at a strip mall. Like a lot of barbeque places you order at the counter, receive you food and seat yourself. Baker’s has an old bath tub filled with ice and bottled sodas of many different varieties next to the register. A couple of the brands you don’t see here in Minnesota so it’s kind of cool to be able to try these other sodas. Every time I go to a place that serves glass bottles I check to see if they have any IBC Cherry Limeade( yes I know they don’t make it anymore, don’t patronize me, someone in a fallout shelter still has some somewhere and I will find it and it will be mine, ALL MINE….) but alas my search continues in vain.
I ordered the 1/2 slab plate that comes with 2 sides and Texas toast, I got beans and potato salad for sides. The ribs come dry with sauce on the side, they only have one sauce and they give you a bottle to use with a dine in order. The sauce was sweet while not being overpowering and didn’t have any stand out flavor to it. The sauce seems to be there more as complimentary to the meat rather than over power it with any aggressive flavors of its own. This is not to say it’s a bad sauce but if you’re looking for some amazing game changing sauce this isn’t it. The ribs were cooked perfectly, tender while not mush, and had a very flavorful smoke ring while not being over powering. They didn’t seem to have much of a rub on them but still tasted very good. The potato salad had nice size pieces of potatoes and tasted very good but I prefer a much creamier potato salad. Unlike my friend I received my beans from a fresh new pan. The beans were excellent; they had a great depth of flavor as the sauce was tangy and a hint of spice to it. When I buys beans at the grocery store I dream they taste this good but they never do. They may be some of my favorite beans ever or at least top 5. The toast was… well it was toast, I’m trying to be more descriptive but its toast with a little garlic flavor and that’s about it, yep toast.
This really has nothing to do with the review but I couldn’t help but write about it; I happen to notice a guy next to us was eating what I believe to be a Caesar salad, it wasn’t a side either it was a large salad, that’s all he had was the salad. Now we have been to many barbeque restaurants all over and I have never seen anyone eating just a salad. He was by himself also so it wasn’t a thing where he got dragged here by a friend and just didn’t want barbeque. Not sure if that means they make a great Caesar salad or if this guy is just nuts. Just saying, end rant.
I did try some of the brisket as well and it tasted like it was out of a crock pot. It didn’t contain any smoke flavor or could you taste any sort of rub and seemed more like a roast than smoke brisket. I was very disappointed that a place that claims to be a Texas barbeque restaurant would have such terrible brisket.
Baker’s is a place I will probably not go out of my way for again, it’s an option on par with other chain barbeque restaurants. But if I ever happen to end up there again I wouldn’t stray from the ribs and beans.
Bakers Ribs wasn’t the best and it wasn’t the worst. Let’s start with the good. When you walk into the place, it smelled like a true barbecue joint, which is good. I don’t know a single person that doesn’t like the smell of barbecue. Then again sometimes people like the smell of farts, not to compare barbecue to farts but….well you get my point… anyways I happen to like the smell of barbecue (and sometimes farts but that’s another topic…don’t judge me). So we walked in the Baker’s ribs to the wonderful smoky aroma of Texas barbecue. I decided to have the brisket plate with two sides. The sides that I chose were coleslaw and baked beans. I was pleased with the portion sizes that they were giving me, but displeased with the fact that the woman who served my sides decided it was a good idea to scrape the bottom of a stainless steel pan and give me a sugary beanless paste that were to pass as my serving of baked beans. The gentleman in the back who was slicing my brisket noticed the fact that I was given the short end of the bean stick. When I saw him come from around the counter to serve me up some fresh beans I was excited. I thought finally someone with some sense. He realized that they were serving me paste, but nonetheless what he decided to do was to pour a few fresher beans on top of my paste. Part of me thinks that they forgot that I was watching what they were doing. *Napoleon Dynamite Voice…”Idiots”
After paying for my food and sitting down feeling shortchanged with my serving of beans I was excited to dig because I was starving. Not Ethiopian baby-starving, more like middleclass chubby guy who didn’t eat breakfast because he wasn’t in the mood for pop tarts-starving. Surprisingly the beans were pretty good. They were really sweet but I contribute that to the fact that I was eating what was left in the bottom of the pan which I assume was a mixture of brown sugar and molasses. There were still large chunks of onion, which when mixed with the sweetness were very good. The next item I ate was the coleslaw. Now I don’t know exactly what coleslaw is supposed to taste like traditionally, but I know what “I” like it to taste like. If you’re anything like me…KFC coleslaw wears the slaw-crown. Although the coleslaw wasn’t gross, it comes nowhere near the sweetness of KFC. Okay here we go… here’s the bad stuff… The brisket… Man oh man oh man. I was extremely disappointed with the brisket. The aroma of the building was so smoky and the flavor of my brisket was anything but. Side Note: I wonder if you could put liquid smoke in a humidifier and have the world’s best smelling restaurant? Hmmmm. My theory is the fact that they keep their brisket wrapped in plastic wrap does something to the smoke flavor but then again they keep their ribs wrapped in plastic wrap, which is what my friend Bradley ordered, and the ribs turned out just fine. I believe my cut of brisket came from the point, so it was a bit fattier than I would have liked. It ultimately tasted like a fatty crock-pot roast rather than slow smoked brisket; I had to lather it with their barbecue sauce just to remind myself that I was eating in a Texas barbecue joint.
Overall, I don’t see myself going out of my way to eat there again, but if I happen to be in the area with an itch for BBQ, I will be sure to order the Ribs with a side of beans. I suggest you do the same…until next time… Throw your hands in the air, like you just don’t care….