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Michelbobs ribs--Are they that good????

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Help....Heard about michelbob ribs in Naples-same owner as Hickory House in Aspen...Are they TRULY EXCEPTIONAL????? I want to bring them up North as a gift but only if their outrageously good. Is it worth the surprize and the effort????

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  1. It might depend on where "up north" is and if they have good ribs there.

    The Hickory House website mentions 43 major national barbecue awards and lists the cities.

    I only recognized one city that actually has a sanctioned bbq contest.

    Just a thought.


    1. We didn't think so. They are good, but not exceptional. They do a big business! We were at the one near the Mercedes dealer? I believe they have more than one..If not, I stand corrected.

      1. What a fraud!!!!! Anyone who's eaten at a REAL BBQ restuarant or just eaten GOOD COOKED BBQ would LAUGH at the allegeded AWARDS they claim. With all of those AWARDS, you'd figure they would have been shown on the Food Network. Trust me their food is VERY Mediocre at best. I live in Naples and have eaten their several times over the course of 8 years and each time I was unimpressed. Furthermore, I've had no problems with the staff and service, but the awards are CLEARLY UNWARRANTED its just NOT WORLD CLASS BBQ despite who's giving them their awards.

        1. No, they really aren't that good. They definately are not the best ribs in the world as they claim. Don't waste your money on a Michelbobs gift.

          1. i think they're pretty good. my 3 boys think they're pretty good but i'm from dc and can't claim that i'm from a place that knows their bbq.
            if they weren't any good they would have closed after 15 yrs--you see most of the people here are from the "north".

            5 Replies
            1. re: Zeits

              If you know competitive level BBQ from Memphis, the Carolina's, Georgia, etc.; BBQ in SW Florida is NOT in that league.

              Michelbob's BBQ is good not great, as are Rib City, Sonny's and several other spots around. Michelbob's has blanketed the area with advertising for years, so they are a tourist draw.
              They are no better than the chains , and certainly not worth a 10 mile trip, let alone a "trek." They have not entered any "real" competitions in 10 years. If they entered and placed in a Kansas City real BBQ competition, now that would be worth bragging about. Sure they have won "some" competitions many years ago-so what? Fuddruckers won a burger competition every year, till they admitted they ran the event!!

              For unique "Q", try Naples Brown Bag BBQ, a funky hole in the wall. I like their superb tender chicken better than their ribs. Black Eyed Pig also is worth a visit.
              I like Lee Roy Selmon's BBQ, which is in Fort Myers and other cities.
              The best BBQ in SW Florida is by Emett Todd, who gives a terrific 3 hours $65 course on proper BBQ, and his ribs and chicken are tasted at the end of the class, or sold separately. Worth a trip! His class is at: www.backyardbbqschool.com

              1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                Being a competition BBQ team and competing for many years, I can tell you that just because a team does great completion Q, don't mean you can do the same quality in volume and offer it at a reasonable price. It is like saying that the Ford Mustang you just purchased at your local dealer will perform like the one that just won a Gold Cup race; two different cars and the later cost more too.

                The amount of labor that goes into preparing meat for a BBQ competition is tremendous. We will smoke 4 racks of robs that were carefully selected and hand trimmed to insure 6 perfect ribs to turn in. We will two to four butts to make sure we have the best to choice from. In Brisket we use C.A.B. or better (read expensive) such as Kobe beef for our turn in. It would surprise you how much money we spend on meat in order to turn in a potential winning product. Have I mentioned the number of hours we hover over the meat like a doting parent?

                I have thought of opening a BBQ restaurant, as most competitive teams do, but I know what it will take NOT to serve up the bland tasteless BBQ drenched in some "secret signature" sauce to cover it up, as most chain restaurants do. I have this confirmed by everyone who eats my BBQ at our parties, its spoils them and becomes their new Gold Standard in which they judge all BBQ. Not that my BBQ is so great, (it is damn good), but it's prepared and smoked the same way I do it for a competition. What my quests don't know is that these barbecues are my "test kitchen" and they are my "lab mice" lol. But they don't seem to mind as long as they get BBQ to take home too.

                So just because they have trophies does not mean the BBQ is great. I ask to see their pit, ifs it a real wood fired pit or smoker, and NO gas is involved, the chance of getting goo Q is high. If they use gas which adds "Mercaptans" into your food, (mercaptan is a sulfur-containing organic compound so you can see a gas leak, it stinks for that reason), and it ruins the taste even more.
                I hope this helps in your quest for great BBQ.

                1. re: Eco Ming

                  Eco Ming,

                  Welcome to Chowhound, and thank you for the heads up.

                  Yes, it'd be good to see their bbq pit. It'd be just as good to see and taste their "Q" before it's covered up with the sweet sauce!

                  1. re: Eco Ming

                    From Eco Ming's comments, there appear to be two kinds of barbeque: real world barbeque and the kind that you can't really get anywhere, unless you happen to know a home-cooking barbeque fanatic. (By the way, welcome, Eco Ming. I do not intend to be disagreeable, here!)

                    I don't know much about barbeque, generally eating it three or four times a year. However, of the barbeque I have had, Michelbob's is one of the best of the generally available, commercial, non-hoity-toity variety. They certainly do advertise a lot and I have no idea whether the competitions which they enter should be given respect or not, but the barbequed pork ribs seem good to me (as barbeque goes, in general--see below).

                    One of the things that I don't understand about barbeque purists' comments is that they talk about the excruciatingly slowly cooking, the special woods used to infuse flavor, the top-secret spice rubs, and then they cook the meat until it is "fall off the bone tender" and then slather it with a highly spiced (and often highly sugared) sauce, but all you can taste is the sauce. Everything that went beforehand seems to be lost under the sauce.

                    Perhaps this is not true of the barbeque competition meats, but it certainly is true of the general commercial barbeque that you find in restaurants at which you can actually eat, as opposed to available-for-one-weekend-only competition places. I guess that I am a real Philistine, because I just don't get what all the fuss is about.

                    Anyway, as commercial barbeque goes, I think that Michelbob's is one of the best I've had.

                    1. re: gfr1111

                      gfr, I happen to be one of those bbq purists. I use a Weber smokey mountain smoker, hardwood charcoal, a chimney starter, and various flavored wood chunks as opposed to chips(mesquite, hickory, etc.). I've had ribs in most of the bbq capitals including Memphis, KC, and Texas. Most of those ribs have some fight to them-they aren't falling off the bone tender, which a friend of mine has labeled meat jello. That comes from boiling the ribs first, or wrapping them in aluminum foil during the cooking process. Most restaurants serve this style-it's quicker than cooking low and slow(which by the way is the name of a bbq cookbook written by my friend).

                      I haven't been to Michelbob's. I've sampled other ribs in the area and they are all meat jello. Unfortunately, unless you want to smoke your own, you have no options, and I believe you are missing out on true hog heaven.