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The Rib House: Let Them Eat Steak

My fellow Americans: You, better than anyone, are familiar with that bastard step parent of kitsch, irony’s red-headed, inbred cousin, the baroque bastion of tacky authenticity known as Americana. We urbane Easterners, denizens of university towns, blue state Bobos, we enjoy our Chilean Sea Bass, our Brecht, and our pinot noir. But we are still citizens of that sweeping city on a hill, children of fishing villages, mining towns and farmland. We’re unrefined and too fat for a Mies Van Der Rohe chair.

We may have, once upon a time, dyed our hair, written angst-y poetry, gotten the fuck out to New York or some left wing college as far north as the Green Mountains or as south as Jefferson’s old haunts, slept with someone of our own sex, read Nietzsche, gotten into punk, gone to grad school, joined a food co-op, moved to the suburbs, subscribed to The New Yorker, and acquired a mid-size dog/SUV/Cambodian toddler.

…And then during a killer road trip to Maryland for crab cakes, or while visiting the in-laws in The Catskills or Wakulla County finally have the distance to admit a fondness for the wood paneling, mounted bass, t.v. tables, big hair, fast food, linoleum, lazy-boy, ole boy culture of the country. Did Uncle Walt ever sing of front yards corroding with good Detroit steel? Could Lewis and Clarke have chartered the Mall of America? Would Gatsby ever dare admit his suppressed desire for a double quarter pounder with cheese and a Slurpee?

All this brings me to East Haven, or St’aven, as it is affectionately known, and to The Rib House, where I was a not-so-willing patron last evening. I am not here to disparage The Rib House. To rub the Rib House the wrong way with my snarky prose. To patronize The Rib House, praising its grub while deriding its ambience and clientele. I’m here to encourage you to take a little trip along that semi-pleasant byway of the Connecticut shoreline known as Route 1 and dip your company pen into The Rib House ink, which isn’t ink at all but sauce – tom cat orange, tangy sloppy barbeque sauce. It’s sauce that sticks to the ribs and your fingers, so that you stick to the napkin. You won’t emerge from the low pine fortress glistening like the day you were born, but you’ll prolly wanna swab yourself with a wet nap just the same.

I, wishing to maintain amateur status, ordered the scrod, which I only recently learned isn’t a fish at all but a made up term for any mild white fish like cod or haddock that happens to be on hand. But I’m getting ahead of myself. For starters, a Milwaukie brew, served in a frosty mug for Malc. ‘nuff said. And then there’s the matter of an onion loaf. This dense mass of medusa-oblongata requires a small knife and some dexterity. The only condiment here is ketchup.

Make way – and you must – for the eponymous dish in our little dinner play. The amazing dream coat of barbeque sauce clothes more than one plucked, planked, and plated animal at The Rib House. You could elect to go mono-e-mono or mix it up with meats of land and sea. The Bounty Hunter doppelgangers both hungered for ribs, but diverged in their orders of St. Louis and classic styles, respectively. Served up with wet and wiggly cole slaw, hanging listlessly over the plate, clinging to tooth and nail for many postprandial hours, this is a meal for America. It sings.

In conclusion, let me quote a great American, Ron Burgundy, “I had ribs for lunch. That’s why I’m doing this”. Amen.

There Are 5 Responses So Far. »

  1. Bravo!

  2. You are the only person in the world who would go to a full-blown ribhouse and order the SCROD.

  3. “The Bounty Hunter doppelgangers” is my new favorite phrase. Ever.

  4. I get to be Beth.

  5. Nice use of “bobos”

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