I’ve told you before that my boyfriend is a meat-eater. So for his last birthday, his friends invited him to try a new barbecue joint in town, which is said to grill up the best meat east of the Mississippi river (take that, New York!). So after much planning and schedule-coordination, we finally booked a table at Barbie, close to Vesterport station. Behind that girly name hides the most manly restaurant since the invention of steak houses.
Located in the basement of Retour Steak, you enter through the steak house upstairs and climb down a winding staircase in the back, which creates the impression of a “secret back room” – kinda fun! The second you step down in the basement, you’re met with a super cozy atmosphere – long wooden tables and benches, low ceilings, candles, and a delicious, soft smell of barbecue. I got there a bit early and waited at the bar with a pre-dinner cocktail to wait for the rest of the group to arrive. Casually sipping my Old Fashioned, I watched trays of meat being transported from the kitchen to hungry guests – needless to say, I was ready for some serious barbecue action!
At Barbie, you can choose between “The Tray”, with 4 meats and 3 sides, and “The Whole Shebang”, which basically covers everything they have. Unfortunately, they don’t let you choose which meats/ sides you get for the Tray, so I decided to mix-and-match on my own, because I’m not the biggest meat eater in the world, and I tend to be picky as well. Also, I really wanted the pulled pork sliders (that sadly aren’t part of the Tray). So I went for the sliders, pork ribs, mac and cheese, and coleslaw. The rest of the group went for the Tray. Service was really quick – a benefit of having a limited menu! – and soon served up ginormous trays full of steaming hot barbecue, and we were ready to dig into all of the meaty goodness!
What’s called pulled pork burger on the menu is really two small sliders, but that was more than fine by me. I tend to over-order (my mom says my eyes are bigger than my stomach), so anything that comes in small portions is perfect for me. The deliciously smokey pulled pork is topped with shredded red cabbage and pickles, all stuffed into cute little home-baked buns. Very good, especially alongside the coleslaw!
The pork ribs were insane. The meat is so tender that it just falls off the bone, and they are marinated in an amazing sauce. They also have all sorts of killer homemade sauces on the tables. I especially liked the barbecue sauce, which is decidedly more smokey and less sweet than some of the typical BBQ sauces you get other places. The Chipotle sauce added a nice tang, without being overly spicy.
But I have to say, my personal highlight was the mac and cheese! That was comfort food at its best – creamy, cheesy perfection, served in a tiny cast iron skillet. Yum, yum, triple yum!
I mean, just look at it and all of its gooey, cheesy glory! I basically want to eat this every day!
They do have desserts, but for some reason, the rest of the table was “too full” (what? how does that even happen?) – so we just ordered an espresso to finish up dinner. We were all super satisfied with the food, the guys were in absolute meat heaven and I started my beautiful love story with that little skillet of mac and cheese. I specifically also wanted to try out the place as someone who does not usually eat tons of meat – and I was pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong – this is obviously not the place for vegetarians! But if you like ribs, pulled pork, or maybe some brisket and some sides, you’ll be right at home here.