We can all see that Southern American style food has been HUGE throughout 2014. One would imagine that after the influx of that type of venue (Mighty Mighty, Southside Diner, Ribs and Burgers and Bread and Meat Co... just to name a few) that the novelty of yet another Southern style restaurant would barely stir any interest. In my eyes, there's simply no such thing as too much ribs, burgers or pulled meats. I was still just as enthusiastic as ever to first hear about, and then try the delicious offerings at Blue Raven.
I went there for a catchup dinner + drinks with my friend Pizza, who hasn't been mentioned on this blog much since I moved out of Toowoomba however long ago. I didn't make a booking because I assumed Wednesday night wouldn't be too busy. I was WRONG. This place is hot, hot, hot. We were given an estimated 30 minute wait and I left my mobile number. Conveniently for us, Deer Duck Bistro was just around the corner and whilst I've had dinner there before, I didn't realize there was such a cute bar area downstairs! We had some delicious cocktails and in a case of perfect timing, Blue Raven rang us just as we were finishing our last sips.
The restaurant is fairly small, which I'm sure is what partially contributed to the hot demand for seating. That and the fact that it's a spanking new joint, owned by ex-manager of Beccofino, one of Brisbane's iconic Italian restaurants. There was a lot of hype when Blue Raven opened up and I'm pleased to have been amongst it.
Because we were happily quenched with cocktails, we dived straight into our food orders. Pizza and I had looked at the menu already during our wait for a table so we knew exactly what we were getting. I ordered the pork ribs with chips and Pizza went for the beef brisket with baked potato.
Our food didn't take too long to arrive, which was good because we were quite hungry by this point. At first glance, the ribs looked to be a much bigger serve than the brisket but I think that's because of the bony component. In any case we were both suitable full by the end of our meals.
Chickory smoked pork ribs with BBQ sauce, served with chips
The ribs were deeeelish. I'm quite picky with ribs in that many boxes HAVE to be ticked, but if they are done well I'm in heaven. They must be smokey, charred and tender with a complexity of flavour in the basting sauce that in no way tastes supermarket bottled. Blue Raven manages all the above and the result is irresistible. In a plot twist, I actually ordered the ribs because it came with a side of chips and what I was really in the mood for that night was a big bowl of chips. Luckily, the chips were at least as good as the main fare. They were very natural cut with skin still attached (which is great, because crispy potato skin is amazing) and a perfect coating of salt to season.
Beef brisket basted in homemade BBQ sauce, served with baked potato
I tried a bit of Pizza's brisket and was amazed by how tender it was. It was topped with a dollop of Blue Raven's house barbeque sauce, which was tasty and complimented the meat well but simply wasn't enough in terms of quantity. Pizza tried desperately to portion her sauce and in the end I offered my rib sauce for her to down the brisket with.
Blue Raven is an exciting new establishment that offers tasty and moreish Southern American cuisine. Although we tried to squeeze ourselves in without a booking, management accommodated us well and service was friendly without. I highly recommend the pork ribs with chips!