39 James St, Fortitude Valley
Funnily enough it was actually my orthodontist who first told me about Ribs and Burgers. He always seems to be checking into nice restaurants on Facebook so I trusted his judgement. His feedback at the time was that the food was good but they found it difficult to get a table.
Marc and I got there on a Thursday night and it was blessedly quiet. The set-up is you order and pay at the counter first and receive a number and basket of condiments and cutlery for your table. I took up one of the inside booth seats.
The menu at Ribs and Burgers comprises of... ribs and burgers. Surprise surprise. There are lamb, beef and pork ribs on offer as well as a variety of burgers, chips and salads. It's licensed so you can also pick up a beer, wine or cider to wash your meal down with.
Marc went for the wagyu burger and I chose 'best of both', which includes a portion of rib of choice (I went for pork) and two mini burger sliders. It came with a side so in an effort to be slightly healthy, I chose the cabbage salad. Discounting any desire to be healthy, we also ordered a medium serve of chips.
All our food arrived at once, which added to a feeling of festivity. I know I don't sound good admitting this but I just love seeing a lot of food laid out at once.
Hot chips with cabbage salad in background
I tried the chips first because I've been craving hot chips so much this week I actually Googled "what to do when you're craving hot chips". I know that "eat chips" is the obvious answer but I swear, as much as this post points to the contrary, I AM trying to diet. It just so happens that Thursday was our cheat meal day.
These chips were so worth the wait. They were freshly cooked and piping hot. I was burning my mouth in my haste to eat them but I didn't care because they were so perfect. There's nothing more depressing than soggy chips but these were crunchy and golden and lovely. I ate them with one of the sauces ('pink sauce'?) we were given in our basket.
Best of both - pork ribs with chicken and beef mini burgers
I was quite happy to go for the 'best of both' option because as a food blogger, I just want to try as many different things on the menu as possible, without breaking the bank or my stomach. The little burgers that came with this set were so adorable. The beef one was juicy and flavoursome. The chicken slider had a special herb flavour that I couldn't put my finger on but thought was delicious. It wasn't dry at all. I made a special note of the bread because I liked the fact that it had the sweet tang of Asian milk bread and the softness of fast food burger buns, but was also floury and rustic.
We shared the ribs that came on my plate. They weren't the most tender ribs I've ever tasted but they were pretty good and the marinade was rich, sticky and sweet with a good depth of flavour. I compare it with some other ribs I've tried at restaurants that are disappointing because the sauce tastes very clearly bottled. These pork ribs weren't like that at all, which was great. As a girl with braces, ribs are probably the worst thing for me to eat (besides corn cobs) but I persevered because it was so tasty.
Wagyu burger - premium wagyu beef mince, baby cos, spanish onion, tomato, dill pickles, crispy onion rings, topped with pink and BBQ sauce
Marc's wagyu burger looked like a double-sized version of my sliders. I was too busy eating my own food on the day to get his immediate reaction but I asked him just then what he thought of his wagyu burger and his reply was "yum". It came filled with a juicy mince patty, duo of sauces, fresh AND crispy onion rings. I'm tempted to order this one the next time we go.
I'll skim over to the minor downer of our feast. I feel sad mentioning this because it was such a delicious meal that I don't want to taint the memory but we really did not enjoy the cabbage salad. I felt like there was a complete lack of dressing so all I could taste was bitter cabbage leaves. Sure, that might be incredibly healthy but when the rest of the food is as vibrant as burgers, ribs and chips, there was nothing in the salad that made us want to go back. All it did was wash out the nice flavours from the other food. We left most of it alone.
We had one of the most enjoyable meals in a long time at Ribs and Burgers. This is just non-pretentious, wholesome, delicious food. The servings are big and the prices are very reasonable. Based on the food we tasted that night, the burgers and chips left a stronger impression on me. Just thinking about it now is making me drool!