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Scott Ja-mamas

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Never been and thought we would give it a try. First, the people were very very nice. Salt of the earth. That's why it makes it so difficult for me to accurately portray my experience. Here goes. The place is a hole in the wall which wouldn't bother me if they had delivered on the Q. We did not call ahead and as best as I can tell, they just reheated some ribs. These ribs were not smoked. No smoke ring. Not even a scent of smoke in the place. They seemed have been baked and then reheated. Without the smoke component these ribs just tasted blah. Because they had been reheated, they got tough and too chewey. Probably the most unsatisfying rib experience I have ever had. It is amazing to me what passes for good ribs in this town. I did like the sauce.

I guess I will stick with the Q fanatic and famous dave ( I like the memphis rub).

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  1. I can't speak to Scott Ja-Mamas from personal experience as I never ventured in there. But I've asked a lot of people and heard either love or hate for the place. It almost seems as if you need to go in there on the right day; akin to spinning the wheel of fish (bad UHF reference).

    As for the smoke ring deal, if they don't smoke their ribs then it won't have a smoke ring. Not picking on you Latinpig, but there are many ways to cook ribs and smoking them is only one of them - albeit popularized by tv shows. Lots of great places like Rendezvous in Memphis don't smoke....in fact they high speed cook them high above an open flame. So whether there is a smoke ring or not shouldn't directly relate to whether ribs will taste good. It's only a show of how far the smoke penetrated into the meat IF SMOKED. Just my two cents on the smoke ring deal. I've smoked, grilled, and baked ribs in the oven and can make them taste good any of those ways, with or without smoke rings!

    I appreciate getting another review of a local bbq joint.

    9 Replies
    1. re: GutGrease

      Try the rib place down nicollet a few blocks. 47th or so if you are looking in the area.

      I never had a good experience at Scotts. I had one good experience at this other joint on 47th- cant remember the dang name.

      I am a rib snob, i spent half of two summers trying to perfect my recipe for sauce, rub and process. I got it down to a science! However, when discussions come up about ribs, there is usually bloodshed (especially if someone asks if I use pork or beef, im liable to blow a gasket). Vinegar, mustard, tomato, dry rub, smoked, baked- Different regions, different people, they all make them different. But they should never be 'tough and chewy'. IMHO. After going to famous daves, and the like, nothing beats my ribs, im actually taking them to competitions- we will see if other people agree.

      1. re: ashii

        I'd be interested to know about which place you are referring to that's further down Nicollet than Scott's. I was not aware of such a place. Let us know the name if you can remember it.

        1. re: GutGrease

          ashii could be referring to C&G's Smoking Barbeque, at 4743 Nicollet Avenue South.

          It's pretty good, but not mind blowing. It's worth a visit if you're in the neighborhood, but in my opinion, not as good as Bayport BBQ, which is my current favorite.

      2. re: GutGrease

        Scott's used to be more known for their pulled pork sandwiches than their ribs. Don't know if that is still the case or not. If you want ribs, maybe look to places like Ted Cook's right off of 38th & Hiawatha, or places like Big Daddy's BBQ in St. Paul.

        Just be forewarned that while we have a handful of DECENT BBQ joints, I have yet to hear of one that is truly GREAT. And if you think finding good ribs is tough, finding killer brisket in the metro is damn near impossible. I actually got frustrated enough that I stopped going to BBQ restaurants and now smoke my pork & beef at home, and the results are usually in a different league than anything at the local commercial BBQ joints.

        1. re: GutGrease

          I disagree with your assessment. Smoke, low heat and real flames/charcoal make barbeque. But I'm a purist who is slightly annoyed when people call grilling barbeque. Cooking meat low and slow without smoke is braising or roasting.

          Also Rendezvous advertises on their website that they use smoke.

          1. re: babaoriley7

            baba - I agree that barbeque and grilling are not the same, but I don't agree that smoke needs to be present.

            But GutGrease is right that there are many ways to cook ribs, and one way is smoked. It's not necessarily the best way, but it's one way. Latinpig's post implies (though I don't think LP necessarily meant to imply this) that ribs that aren't smoked aren't worth eating. That without smoke, ribs are just blah. I've had fantastic pork ribs that had zero smoke, but they weren't presented as BBQ. I don't see how anyone would say that ribs need to be smoked in order to taste good, given that smoking is mostly an American habit, and the French and Italians do some pretty tasty things with pork ribs, not to mention many Asian cuisines.

            1. re: babaoriley7

              Barbequing is an ancient way of cooking meat out in the open, by multiple methods including smoking, cooking over open flame, and roasting. Purist just means that you latched onto an American concept of BBQ that has nothing to do with origin of the concept.

              If Scott JaMama uses a heat gun to make his ribs and they taste awesome, I'll go there. I don't think that we should discourage people from trying foods because of the method uses. BBQ is a very broad term and includes grilling, no matter what the Kansas City BBQ folks like to think.

              1. re: GutGrease

                Gut Grease, I realize not all BBQ involves smoke. I just did not know this place wasn't a smoke house in advance. I agree that taste is all that matters and I can honestly say that this did not taste good.

                1. re: GutGrease

                  Isn't a place that serves ribs with bbq sauce, baked beans, chicken, and slaw also latching onto this "American concept of BBQ" you speak of? If you want to imply that I've latched onto a specific category of BBQ, then you can't say that Scott Jamama's hasn't done the same, they just aren't creating a good version of that concept. Until you add smoke it isn't going to cut it for this "American concept of BBQ."

            2. We split a post about making your own ribs over to our Home Cooking board at: http://www.chow.com/topics/847280

              1. I'm not surprised. Scott is nice, but his food, like Capp's or Roosters in St. Paul (also nice people) is not worthy of the monkier BBQ.

                The only places I've had good Q lately (not great, but good) in the Twin Cities are: Big Daddy's on University at Dale in St. Paul and Ted Cook's 19th Hole on 38th in Minneapolis.

                I've heard good things about Bayport, but mostly about their brisket, not pork ribs or pulled pork. I haven't made it out there yet, but Bayport BBQ is on my list for this summer.

                My wife is from Birmingham AL and that's a place where it's easy to find pretty damn fine BBQ. We just don't stack up.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                  Bayport is worth a visit. I agree that their brisket was the highlight of what we ate. The pulled pork was good, but it was slightly more mild in flavor than I prefer. It was good, but I just like a more robust pulled pork flavor. Their brisket, though, was fantastic, easily the best I've had in the area.

                  1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                    Chicken in white sauce....mmmmmmm.