Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Black Eyed Sally's

Went to the Hartford Wolf Pack vs. Worcester Sharks AHL hockey game tonight with my friend Fred. We bartend together at the New Haven Country Club, and he's a great dude and a BBQ fan.

Fred and Ted

We decided to go to Black Eyed Sally's, which is located about a block from the Hartford Civic Center (now called the XL Center). For those who have not been to Hartford in a while, the civic center is no longer located in a mall as it used to be. They knocked the mall down and built a slick luxury apartment tower. But I digress. I'm stalling because I am about to hammer the food we had at Black Eyed Sallys.

I had eaten at Black Eyed Sally's once before, and had a very dry pulled pork sandwich. I work in Hartford, and have heard people around town say their BBQ was pretty good, so I went in with an open mind. It's a cool joint to visit for drinks, and I have been many times for happy hour with co-workers, but had never ordered dinner before.

I was excited to see "our famous, fall off the bone Memphis style ribs" on the menu. I have not had ribs in Memphis yet, but I can't imagine they are like this.

I ordered the pork ribs, beef burnt ends and chicken, $16.95. Fred had the ribs and crispy catfish combo, also $16.95. The ribs were from the short end of a rack of spares, maybe three bones, definitely not "fall off the bone" tenderness. The only smoke flavor was from the liquid smoke in the sauce. What meat there was tasted old and dry. There was no smoke ring. Fred agreed that these ribs were subpar.

The chicken part of my dish was a small drumstick and part of a thigh. It tasted more boiled than smoked. Very little meat. It was pretty moist though, but utterly flavorless.

The burnt ends were very hard chunks of beef, four of them. Average.

I was extremely disappointed to find the only place that sells BBQ in downtown Hartford represented so poorly. I would be stunned to find a smoker anywhere in the kitchen. Their sign on the door touts "BBQ and Blues." I hope the blues are better than the BBQ.

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