A little backstory, been to Dee Jays once before. It’s been 14
years. We talked about it on a pretty regular basis throughout those
14 years. It all started in culinary school. As many of the
only-for-the-party students had disappeared and we reduced into
clusters of more serious folk I met a strange mix of genetic
expression. Closer to seven feet tall than six, he was big in
everyway. You had to watch your pans closely cause the cook tops
would shake while he was walking around the kitchen. Think T-Rex
from Jurassic Park. At the top of the mountain, plop a huge head
with the face of twelve year old and you have the whole package.
One day he starts telling me about this rib place. Didn’t think I could trust him, just met him. Plus, Shrek hadn’t come out in theaters yet and I didn’t know you could trust an ogre. I thought maybe he was trying to lure me to a secluded spot where other tree people would end up dining on MY ribs. Then one of my pastry chef instructors joined the conversation. “You talkin’ about Dee Jays? He’s right you have to go.”
After a ridiculous hiatus we are back, with Shrek himself again. The old building has long been replaced with a much more sound, clean and ever expanding space to serve ribs. They have a lot on the menu…(onion ring loaf, fried zucchini, mussels, wings, spinach and artichoke dip, jalapeño poppers, fried cheese, tater skins, sausage stuffed banana peppers and fried pickles, soups, salads, lunch specials, sandwiches, burgers, seafood, steaks) We had none of that. I don’t know anyone who has.
Steph went with the single but everything else was the same. Ribs,
salad, skins with everything, cause that’s what you do. They have
clearly stepped up their bread and salad game along with the
building. The salad actually has things in it and is awash in a
pretty serious ranch dressing. The bread has some texture and
flavor, they even have crackers.
This Is Gourmet Compared To Our First Visit
Bread Is Also Seriously Upgraded
Then there’s the business. Baby back ribs. I’ve had a few over the
years and these are really well done. They start off with bones that
pack a lot of meat, particularly for a baby back cut and trim them
perfectly. I’ve never had a morsel of nasty show up in a bite.
Exceptionally smoked over hickory, there is a balance to the smoke,
which works so well with the pork but you don’t even really notice
it until you’re burping it up three hours later. The ribs would be
considered a little over by KCBS but they maintain great texture and
there’s no hint of mushiness. Their sauce is an acidic tomato based
version with just a flash of kick. Not my fav by far, but a mop over
the hot super meaty ribs isn’t a problem at all. Make a wall of
those on one side of the plate and load the rest with thin tater
skins filled with an earnestly salty cheese sauce, good and
plentiful bits o bacon and a cup of sour cream and you have the
super rack of happiness. Even better, the super rack means midnight
ribs so you can wake up at 4 o’clock still burping up smoky awesome.
Excuse me…but that’s living. Good to see ya, Big Country.