Tuesday, June 29, 2010
After a pleasant drive through old Lebanon, past Memorial Park, Parky's gave a very good first impression. From the outside, it looked like a chain. Very polished. We aren't sure if the building was originally a different chain, but it had the look down...great signage, designated carry-out parking, and a contained playfulness.
Inside was more of the same. Great layout and excellent marketing. From the cute pig with shades t-shirts to the signature sauces available for purchase, these people obviously had a lot of pride in their product.
So, for the reason we came...the eats! We had reviewed the menu beforehand and already knew what we wanted. To drink, Fred went with a tall New Belgian Fat Tire ale. For a small selection of brews, they really had a good mix. The Kentuckarita, their signature margarita made with Jim Beam and frozen smooth, was a must for Libby! Libby never knew that her two favorite spirits, bourbon and tequila could go so well together! These came out quickly and were accompanied by a bread basket. Fred was very happy with the Fat tire and Libby was on cloud nine -- Only disappointed that she had decided on the 12 oz instead of the 27 oz.!
Where do we begin?
First off, the kids were very happy!
Now, for the meat! What a bountiful feast it was! We had to agree that everything was good. There was no failure here, but there were a couple of stand outs. The ribs were crazy tender and fell apart as they should. Even the fat was all gooey...no chewiness or underdone bits, just melt in your mouth goodness. The brisket had great flavor and texture. The turkey was a surprise and perfect for trying out all the sauces! Much more flavor than we expected. The bourbon chicken was moist and the sauce was nice and easy.
Oh, the sauces...can't forget those! We had the pleasure of trying sweet, spicy, mustard, molasses, bourbon bbq, and apple. Again, hard to know where to start! The molasses really stood out as it had a very unique flavor that gave the impression of rich prunes..it was amazing! Went very nicely on the brisket. The apple was like putting apple pie filling on the meat and that was a treat on the turkey and chicken. The mustard felt very honey mustard-y and was a good contrast to the wide array of sweetness. The spicy was mild as was the bourbon flavor of the bourbon bbq.
The sides were good. The most outstanding being the barbecue beans...a fun twist with black beans and huge hunks of the pulled pork...oh, baby! The cole slaw was very mild in flavor and didn't really stand up to anything else, but it would have been good with a lighter dish...needed more zing. As mentioned above, the mac & cheese and sweet potato fries were hits with the kids. Simple preparations that kept the meat the guest of honor.
FLOE had planned to try dessert, but there was just no way. Full to the brim, we rolled out in a carb coma, fighting the urge to nap on the way home. The torrential downpour didn't help, but all in all, this was well worth the trip. Next time, dessert, but for now, we will rest easy with dreams of molasses over brisket, tender babybacks, and Kentuckarita's by the pitcher...
A word of warning...this place is not for the weak of stomach. Bring an appetite and extra insulin if you got it! ;)
Price-$-$$$, Actually, very well priced for barbecue. Our meal included, one large and one small beer, two 12 oz Kentuckarita's, the biggest appetizer, a kid's meal, the largest meat sampler, a combo platter, and everything came with two sides. Our total was right at $80 and was well worth it. If one doesn't order basically everything but the kitchen sink, it is quite reasonable.
Atmosphere-****, You would think this place is a chain! It is so polished and professional, yet has so much personality. Julie and Gary are doing things right!
Service-****, Again, very impressive. Our waiter seemed pretty new, but it was obvious his goal was to give us a fun, inviting experience. By the way, the menu is HUGE, so there is literally something for everyone!
Fred -A-, Wonderful find with surprising off the beaten path items. Couldn't get enough of the salsa or the kentuckarita...only complaint....have to ask for any of their amazing sauces rather than have them at the table.
Libby - A+, I absolutely LOVE this place! Not only is it a great mix of clean and contemporary, but it has a feel of downhome hospitality that is hard to find north of the Ohio. The food was so comforting and it was not just a meal, but an experience!
Ozzy- A+, Comments like "This is great!" "I'm so full," and "Don't forget the leftovers!" really speaks volumes from our finicky fella.
Estelle- A+, As Stella's first opportunity to enjoy the meal with the rest of us, she was one happy 9 month old! It was nice to put the baby food up entirely for one meal!