Posted by foodvixen
Recently I was down in Townsville and with the trusty Entertainment Book in my clutches I was looking for somewhere for a good feed – and a big feed. Consulting my brother and his GF, who attends uni down in Townsville I was directed to Ribs and Rumps on Palmer Street. It just so happened that I was craving big piles of meat on the bone and… my sister and I were staying right on Palmer St. It seemed like it was meant to be. I called up Ribs and Rumps and made a booking for 10+ on a Sunday night. When I called up I asked if we could split the bill and the lady on the phone told me that splitting the bill was not an option as it was too time consuming so we would have to bring cash and pool it towards the total bill at the end or someone could always put it on their credit card. Yeah no. I asked her if she would reconsider and I was again told no. In the end I just hoped for the best and if all else failed I would just play dumb… “I’m so sorry but no one told me that we couldn’t split the bill. What ever will we do Mr Waiter?”
Anyway, on the drive down to Townsville the day before I received a call confirming my booking for the following night and was asked if we wanted to sit inside or outside. I consulted the other two people that were with me that were also attending the dinner and confirmed that we would like to sit inside. Sunday arrived and after a long day of various activities that included stuffing my face with lollies and Subway cookies after a long period of strict dieting I was hanging for Ribs and Rumps. We arrived at the restaurant only to find our table set up outside on the footpath right next to a young female busker, who may or may not have been affiliated with the restaurant itself. I’m not quite sure what happened to the INSIDE table that I booked but taking one look inside it looked like there was certainly no room inside as the restaurant was packed full of diners. And let me just add that the booking I made was over two weeks before. Enough about the booking let’s move on.
Although I had never heard of it prior to my brother and his GF mentioning it, Ribs and Rumps appears to be a chain restaurant with locations all over Australia as well as in Dubai – a steakhouse famous for it’s legendary ribs, aged-to-perfection steaks and mammoth sized portions. Legendary ribs? Yeah we shall see about that. Being the avid googler that I am I had already stalked the Ribs and Rumps menu online and to save time and to give me something to look forward to in my lengthy time of strict dieting I knew exactly what I was getting. The menu is pretty much as you would expect it… Burgers, the token Caesar Salad, Ribs, Steaks and combos of Ribs and Steaks. For an entree I chose the Cheesy Garlic Baguette for AU$6.95 because I hadn’t had cheese or bread for quite some time and the two combined, well, I needed them in my life. Next up was the main and after weighing up if the excessive price was really worth it knowing full well that I wouldn’t be able to eat much of it I ordered the Ribs, Ribs and Ribs – a mouth-watering combo of tender pork, meaty beef and juicy lamb ribs for AU$49.95. In the end I couldn’t choose between which type of ribs I wanted so if I had to pay the exorbitant amount of nearly 50 bucks for all three then I figured I might as well.
While we waited for our dishes to arrive I stopped the waitress and ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc to wash it all down. My glass of wine never turned up so I just stuck to jugs of water. Meanwhile, our entire table, and probably every single diner seated outside, cringed as the young busker nearby broke into the chorus of Nicki Minaj’s song Superbass. A song that was never ever, ever meant to be sung along to with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a microphone on a sidewalk in Townsville. I even considering paying the girl $5 to shut the hell up so we could eat our dinner in peace. I’m sorry, I know that sounds terrible but so did this busker.
Soon up out came my Cheesy Garlic Baguette. This Cheesy Garlic Baguette could have very well been the best thing I have ever eaten, or again it could have been the fact that I hadn’t had cheese or bread for quite some time. But seriously, it was pretty good. There was lashings of garlic butter and the cheese was stringy and melted and wow. Just wow. In hindsight I would have been content with eating about three cheesy garlic breads for the night and then called it quits but not long after that my Ribs, Ribs and Ribs main meal came out. It was placed down in front of me and I have to admit that I was disappointed with the size. After paying AU$50 for this meal I was expecting something significantly bigger. It just looked to me like a big ass white plate with a handful of chips on it and a couple of racks of ribs. I mean at Waterbar the ribs are expensive but there is at least twice as much on the plate. I figured that if the ribs were good then I would let the price and the portion size slide so I dug in.
As some of my readers may remember I judge all ribs by the most amazing ribs that I have ever eaten – in a small bar in Nashville, Tennessee called Rippy’s. These ribs were the ribs of all ribs and I bought the t-shirt to always remember the place. Sadly, no ribs that I have eaten since then have ever come close to the ribs that I had on that fateful day and the ribs at Ribs and Rumps were no different. After so much hype and build up from people telling me how good the ribs at Ribs and Rumps were I was severely disappointed. Someone said they were fall off the bone tender and the sauce that they are basted with was the best part. What sauce? All I could taste was the grill. I’m no stranger to BBQ’d grilled meats but the sauce is where it’s at and I couldn’t taste any. You want that sh*t running down your face, onto your fingers and onto your awaiting bib. Not at Ribs and Rumps. The ribs certainly didn’t fall off the bone especially the beef ribs which were tough as an old boot. As stated in the menu the lamb ribs were really fatty but again weren’t very tasty. I ended up filling up on the handful of chips on my plate and gave the majority of the ribs away to the hungry men at my table.
Myself, my sister and the majority of the others at the table found the meal disappointing. I thought the food was ordinary but I was disappointed mostly because I had let myself get caught up in the hype of what other people had said and let’s face it who isn’t going to think that a restaurant called ‘Ribs and Rumps’ isn’t going to be anything short of amazing? I really do think that the rib part of the menu was overpriced. The majority of people that dine at Ribs and Rumps are going there to order the ribs. You don’t go somewhere with that kind of name and order a Garden Salad which for arguments sake is a lot more reasonably priced. At Ribs and Rumps they are definitely capitalising on the ribs and by the look of it it’s working because as I said before the restaurant was absolutely packed out with well over 150 diners on a Sunday night. The owner must be making a killing! However, Cairns-ites rest assured, you’re not missing out on anything. Waterbar is waaaaaay better than Ribs and Rumps and they never forget your glass of wine or stuff up your booking. Sorry Townsville you haven’t won me over with your promise of delicious meaty ribs, instead all your rocks and dryness just make me feel miserable. I still think the only thing that you have going for you is the drive out of your town and yeah ok, you have Betty Blue and the Lemon Tart. I’ll give you that.
Ribs and Rumps
2 Dibbs St (entrance to Palmer St), Townsville QLD 4810
Ph: (07) 4721 6088
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 12pm – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm, Sat & Sun 12pm – 10pm
Posted by foodvixen
A friend of mine recommended Betty Blue and The Lemon Tart for breakfast while in Townsville over the weekend and I have to say ‘holy crap what an awesome place!’ The table surfaces were blackboards and each table had a selection of coloured chalk to keep you amused while you waited for your breakfast.
The menu was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! I really wanted to order the Waffles with Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce and Lollies but I restrained myself and had the Corn, Cheddar and Spring Onion Fritters with Soy Soaked Bacon, Avocado, Capsicum Jam and Sour Cream for AU$21. The prices are a little steep (maybe that’s normal for Townsville) but it was totally worth it. I wish we had somewhere like this in Cairns – now I just have to justify the 350 odd km drive back to Townsville for those bloody waffles!
Betty Blue and The Lemon Tart
Unit 8 No.95 Denham St, Townsville Qld 4810
Ph: (07) 4724 2554