Thursday, July 03, 2008
Wow. It's been over a full week since my last post and I haven't even been on vacation. I've got a million excuses, none of which seem to fit the bill individually, but when taken on the aggregate, I've been pretty darn busy. I just finished a small project working with Philadelphia Weekly, I'm swamped with map-making at MPIP, and the class I'm teaching in the second summer session starts in less than a week, so I've been preparing for that, too. And, of course, I've been eating. Not cooking so much due to the high temperatures in my house, but as the following post will illustrate, take out can be just as fun, if not just a little less delicious than homemade.
In my quest for the most delicious BBQ in Philadelphia, I've been trying all the little BBQ joints I can find. Phoebe's BBQ is a simple pick-up location with a decent selection but a relatively grumpy staff. When I picked up this bundle of food I certainly felt as if I were bothering the men behind the counter. I was glad to get my food and run home to eat with friends.
The whole roasted chicken was served with Phoebe's sweet sauce on the side. The skin was deliciously charred and easily peeled off if desired. The meat was tender and moist, but lacked any real flavor. Nothing a dip in the sauce couldn't fix.
By far the best thing available at Phoebe's is the pork ribs. For those who prefer beef ribs, they have those available too, but I'm less into Texas style beef BBQ than I am into more traditional southern pork BBQ. These pork ribs were massive, tender enough that the meat fell off the bone and served with some of Phoebe's hot BBQ sauce on the side.
Pulled pork smelled great, but tasted less so. It was dry. I like to consider myself a pulled pork connoisseur, making a homemade version myself that would blow this pulled pork out of the water. It just shouldn't be dry and stringy like this.
Unfortunately, I wasn't a big fan of their macaroni and cheese either. Even a nuke in the microwave and an additional splash of milk didn't transform this pile of overcooked noodles and tasteless cheese into something anyone could enjoy.
The slaw was pretty good. Not too wet or too sweet, the cabbage was cut thinly enough that it wilted a bit in combination with the dressing, but not so thinly that it became soggy.
Stay away from the cornbread. Even if they gave it to me for free I wouldn't eat it. It lacks any flavor or moisture. Though it might make a good base for cornbread dressing, I'd rather make my own.
The greens were tasty, but unfortunately not vegetarian. I understand tradition enough to know that real collard greens are made with the inclusion of ham hocks or other pork parts to impart flavor, but it's really unnecessary and keeps those who enjoy BBQ side dishes, but not meat, from enjoying them.
The BBQ beans were also worth a spoonful or two. Not sneaky spicy as advertised on the menu, but yummy all the same, the beans were a great consistency, not too thick or too thin, with a variety of spices and tang. Also, not vegetarian.
Finally, my favorite side of this BBQ adventure was the potato salad. Made with white potatoes, celery and carrots, this salad was simple and not overdressed with mayonnaise. Perhaps stirred one too many times it was a bit on the mashed up side but had a nice vinegary tang and only needed a dusting of black pepper before it reached flavor perfection.
Go to Phoebe's for the ribs or the chicken, but pass on the macaroni and cheese. If you're living on the veg, be careful what you eat here.
2214 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146