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Quick: Best Baby Back Ribs

Its my son's birthday and he wants baby back ribs. He'd prefer Houston's but I refuse to pay them $26 for a slab of ribs. I say Rib King, but he's balking, any suggestions? Hurry it's almost dinner time.

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  1. Houston's are good. If he's partial to the "grilled" ribs like Houston's as oppposed to smoked/BBQ, I'd suggest Chili's or Bennigan's. (I'm expecting snarky remarks from the anti-chain police.) Otherwise, Rudy's aren't bad, believe it or not.

    1 Reply
    1. re: exlnghrn

      If Chili's was good, it'd go to a chain. I ordered some a month ago there on a whim (no idea why) and they were extremely dry. People need to learn that fall off the bone IS NOT well cooked BBQ. Overcook and dry out any piece of meat and it'll fall of the bone. Chili's obviously hasn't learned this.

    2. I'd recommend Artz Rib House on South Lamar. Not the greatest ambiance, but tasty ribs.
      Several people have discussed the baby backs at Jaspers in the Domain. Mixed reviews and I believe it may be more expensive than Houstons.

      1. I think Houston's can make a fairly decent slab of ribs. If your son enjoys Houston's-style baby back ribs, then he probably enjoys the moist, "fall-off-the-bone" type - a type that you just won't get at places like Rudy's or Artz.

        A place like Rudy's or Artz will satisfy most "dry rub" fans. It's just a very different style.

        Personally, I am also a fan of the soft "fall-off-the-bone" type of baby back ribs.

        "People need to learn that fall off the bone IS NOT well cooked BBQ. Overcook and dry out any piece of meat and it'll fall of the bone."

        I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. I have been to three places in Austin that offer "fall off the bone" style babyback ribs, and the ribs at all 3 were EXTREMELY moist and certainly not "dry".

        In fact, the only places I've been where they've totally dried out the meat are the non-fall off the bone places like Artz (sometimes) or this one place called Mesa Grill. The ribs at Mesa Grill - now THAT was totally dry - the flavor was totally dominiated by a "smokey mesquite" flavour, which I felt was just horrendous. When I have a slab of baby back ribs, I want to have the opportunity to taste and enjoy the actual meat. I couldn't believe that Mesa Grill could screw a plate of ribs up so badly.

        Anyways, if your son enjoys "fall off the bone" style moist baby back ribs, then I highly suggest trying Jasper's and Houston's AT LEAST once.

        My only problem with Jasper's, however, is the fact that 95% of what they serve is grossly overpriced and not worth the money for what they serve, in my opinion.

        The ribs are the most expensive ($26 as is for a full rack; $13 for half rack; Add $3 for side substitution) but can be quite satisfying to the "fall off the bone" rib lover.

        1. I like Artz and County Line for Baby Backs. The only one's I like better are at my house where I cook them the way my Daddy taught me... about three hours and fall off the bone tender and moist!

          1. Houston's ribs while finished over a wood burning grill are "steamed" for several hours before they are finished for service.

            The ribs are sealed in a pan with water and liquid smoke and cooked at a low temperature overnight.

            Although not baby backs, the last time I was a Kreuz's, the ribs were fall off the bone tender.

            1. We ended up at Artz, and I thought it was a huge mistake. The place is useless if you have someone who doesn't like smoke in a restaurant, it was loaded with overpowering smoke so we sat outside, bad mistake. The mosquitos had a field day. As for the food, I had the brisket and country rib plate. The ribs were very dry, but tasty, not great, but edible. The brisket was about a 6 on a 10 scale. The baby backs that my son ordered were good, not great, but good and pleantiful! Daughter had the beef ribs that disappointed, she only ate a few bites of one and picked around at the rest (as an aside, my bassett hound loved them). Wife had the chicken and didn't like it, but did like the cole slaw, infact she ate mine and my son's also. I liked the potato salad and managed to eat mine, my son's and wife's. I think next time I'm going to opt for the relative comfort of Chili's when the kids ask for ribs. Thanks for the help!

              1 Reply
              1. re: gntlmn6464

                Altough most of the Chuy's related restaurants are panned here, I like the ribs at the Hula Hut and it might be a more fun choice than the Chili's. The ribs are also available on the HuliHuli Luau pupu platter.

              2. I recommend Texas Roadhouse for soft fall-off the bone ribs. I prefer them to Chili's, but then I prefer pretty much anything over Chili's. The ribs are soft inside, but have a nice crispy exterior.

                1. I actually eat at Chili's a lot; however I would not recommend their ribs. I have eaten Chili's baby back ribs several times, until I knew how easy it was to make amazing ribs on my own. Plus, there wasn't really any other place to get ribs in Cedar Park where I was. Now that I've been exposed to REALLY good ribs, I know that Chilis' suck. Rudy's baby back ribs are pretty good, but I'm not a big fan of the barbeque sauce as it is too peppery for my taste... prefectly edible though for those who aren't too picky with barbeque sauce. I've heard that County Line has really good ribs as well. Other than that, I'm actually partial to my own ribs since I've learned how to make them. If you're willing to cook, I would recommend buying a rack of baby backs from Whole Foods Market, which offers high-quality organic, grassfed meats. Then just take your favorite barbeque sauce, slather it all over the ribs, wrap in tinfoil and marinate in the fridge overnight. The next afternoon, open up the foil, slather with more sauce, close foil tightly, and bake at 275 degrees F for around three hours. Then open up the foil, baste with more sauce, and broil for about 5 minutes to give everything nice color. You can finish them off on the grill instead of broiling, both ways are delicious.

                  1. We love Artz's Rib house, and think it is very South Austin. It's too bad many other places don't just cater to people but to their bottom line... We are here for food... I feel that Art has done a great job with his baby back ribs, and often order them with the lunch, Turkey, as a combo plate, for dinner, never turned down... double side of potato salad, since I don't care for slaw anywhere... LOVE their food!