New 'Q place in far South Baltimore (or North Linthicum)
For those on the wrong side of the city from Big Bad Wolf or Andy Nelson's, there is a new place (Butler's, I think it's called) on Annapolis Road (AKA Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd, AKA 648), on the west side of the street a block south of Patapsco Blvd.
Smoker outside in actual use? Check!
Smoke ring visible on the rib meat? Check!
Decent selection of sides? Check!
Nice sauce? Check! (I had the "hot" version, dunno about the "mild")
Selection of other forms of 'Q, and "lake trout" too? Check!
My first try was a rack of ribs and a side of collards, with a nice piece of corn bread (the sweet kind, bordering on corn "cake"). I definitely put this one in the "worth going back and checking out more things on the menu" column.
Are they gonna knock Andy's off the top of my list? For ribs, no, (we'll see how they do on other items) but they may end up getting some repeat business from me due to their having a good product, and a location that's about 40 minutes closer to my humble hovel than dear old Andy Nelson's.
Check it out, B'more 'Q-hounds! Post your verdict, and let's see if you think we can add another worthy establishment to our all-too-short list of decent BBQ places in the area.
Just as a head's up, if I recall correctly, Adam's Ribs serves baby backs. This place serves the St. Louis style ribs, which are bigger, and have the chunk of meat and connective cartilage on the end of the ribs left on, while that chunk is cut off for baby backs. Also, the St. Louis style are traditionally served cut into individual ribs, where a rack of baby backs is sometimes served whole, with the separation of the ribs left to the eater.
I think that Andy Nelson's and Sleepy Hollow (never had the ribs at BBW) use what's called "three and downs", which means that the whole rack of ribs is under three pounds. This place may use either ribs on the heavier end of that spectrum, or racks that are over three pounds - they were big ribs. That size ribs come from an older hog, and require a different cooking time and temperature to get good results. Not better or worse, just different.
The other thing that I noticed that was a little bit different is that it appears that the meat is smoked with no sauce, rub, or "mop" - just the meat itself. The sauce is a little bit thinner and more transparent than many BBQ sauces, and so one gets a good view of the underlying meat, and as I said, I didn't notice any indications that anything had been put on the meat during smoking. As I mentioned before, that's not good or bad, just different, and to my tastes, the final product had good texture and flavor.
I mention all this because eating the St. Louis style rib is a bit more of a "full contact" sport than eating baby backs. Which form one prefers is just that - a matter of preference. Still, I thought I should mention it, given that you mentioned Adam's Ribs, which clicked in my mind for baby backs. I figured that if you disliked the St. Louis style, or simply were expecting baby backs, I might as well let you know and save you a trip.
To summarize, I think these folks have a good product. I just wanted to be clear about what people can expect, at least from the ribs. I'll post follow-ups when I try the minced BBQ, the lake trout, or any of the other stuff on the menu.
Have you been to Mr Chelsea's in Reisterstown? If so, how does Butler's compare? I liked Mr Chelsea's pulled pork and brisket, but haven't yet had the ribs. Good beans too. Almost as good as Andy Nelson's, but much. much closer to Randallstown.
I haven't been there yet, but I look forward to doing a comparison.
Personally, I'd love to see Chowhounds help build a following for anybody doing real BBQ in this area, whether it's Andy Nelson's, Mr, Chelsea's, Big Bad Wolf, Dotson's in Glen Burnie, Butler's, Sleepy Hollow, Rub (not tried them yet), Corner Stable (another that I've not tried yet). Variety and competition for the title of the best BBQ in the Baltimore area is a good thing, and I think there's plenty of business for all.