A few days ago, my roommate and I decided to give into temptation and follow the smell to partake in a barbecue feast for our backyard-less selves. Upon entering the restaurant, we were surprised at how classy yet comfy such an informal dining space could be. Stacks of firewood decorate the dining area, along with caricature portraits of both Gabriel and Wheeler, giving the feeling that you're at an extended family BBQ of your own.
We both decided to get the quarter- rack of baby back ribs accompanied by two sides of green beans and mac n' cheese (19.95) . The sides were underwhelming, as the green beans tasted a bit like they originated in a can and the mac n' cheese was quite dry and not cheesy enough. From a restaurant specializing in soul food, expectations were high for these Southern staples!
But then it was time for the main event: the babyback ribs. With competition-winning BBQ pit-master John Wheeler at the helm, we were certainly not disappointed. The amount of BBQ glaze was just right; enough to savor the perfectly measured ratio of tangy to sweet but not drowning the smoky essence of the meat. The meat itself was so tender that it was practically falling off the bone before biting it. We didn't try the desserts (because of being exponentially sated) but I had my eye on the red velvet cake, delivered by a local Harlem bakery. (7.00)
If you don't live on the UWS, it's worth the trek to Rack & Soul for the best ribs you will eat this summer (unless your travel plans bring you to the South). Although I'm looking forward to crossing the street again to try their acclaimed fried chicken and po' boys, I'm not sure I can commit such betrayal to my love affair with the Rack & Soul rib experience.
Rack & Soul
258 W 109th St
New York, NY 10025