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Talk About Tulsa => Restaurant Reviews => Topic started by: Conan71 on June 14, 2011, 12:36:03 pm



Title: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Conan71 on June 14, 2011, 12:36:03 pm
Location(s) Being Reviewed: Between 1st & 2nd on Elgin in Downtown
Date/Time of Visit: 6/14/11; 11:40am
Quality of Food (1-5): 3.5
Menu/Food Options (1-5): 4
Quality of Service (1-5): 5
Atmosphere (1-5): 5
Overall Rating (1-5): 4
Price ($-$$$$$): $$$$
What makes this restaurant unique: One of the cooler adaptive re-uses I've seen in Downtown.  I've also never seen a couple of intermodal shipping containers re-purposed in a restaurant.  

Tell us about your experience:

I usually will give a place a few weeks to sort out the wrinkles before visiting or at least will refrain from passing too harsh of judgement.  The first thing you notice when you walk in is the back of an intermodal shipping container.  It's slightly dis-arming you don't see dining activity or kitchen activity up front, that's slightly unusual.  You are led down a narrow hallway that's approximately 60' long (I'm guessing since there's a 20' and 40' container back to back).  On the opposite side of that partitioning is the kitchen and bar area.  I'm more used to the kitchen and bar being at the back of the establishment.  However, if the owners are thinking the alley entrance will be the primary entrance, then the kitchen and bar are at the back of the restaurant  ;)  At any rate, the atmosphere is tre' cool.

I wanted to get there before the lunch rush so I could jump on a table.  At 11:40 there was still plenty of open seats.  My drink order was taken promptly as well as my food order, so it's obvious they are in tune with the idea that most downtown diners have an hour or less to leave, eat, and return to their desk.  I kind of got lost in time while I walked around observing the inside and outside of the building, the manager approached and acted concerned I'd not received my food yet.  He asked what I'd gotten, I told him and he re-appeared with my food in a minute.  No big deal, I'm used to waiting from two to ten minutes on 'que.  He was apologetic, and I assured him there was no problem.  Again, there's that sensitivity to the diner's time-line.  That's great attention to service, IMO.

I ordered a four meat combo to get an idea of the pit master's skills.  Ribs, brisket, pulled pork, pulled beer can chicken.  That's the first time I've ever seen beer can chicken on a menu...awesome idea!  For sides, I selected slaw and beans, really basic, but again I like original made-on-site sides.

The first thing I noticed is that was a huge amount of food.  I can pack it away, but it's seriously three lunches worth for me.  I'm used to the idea when you get a four meat combo, you wind up with about 2-3 oz of each meat.  In this case, it was four or five ribs and 3-4 oz or more of each meat as well as healthy helpings of the sides.

The meat is served dry as it should be with a couple of cups of their unique sauce.  Definitely vinegar based and I still cannot decipher what the main spice flavor was I was getting out of it, at any rate delicious.  All of the meat was very tender, the brisket was just slightly to the dry side, but it really worked well with the rub and seemed to pick up those spices quite well.  Pulled pork was also a little dry but dip it in the sauce and it dissolves in your mouth.  Note, I realize when you do pulled pork or chopped beef it can dry out quick on the plate.  The chicken stayed moist & tender.  The ribs were tender, the rub doesn't seem to impart a whole lot of flavor which is fine by me.  I don't like covering up the pork, a rub should enhance the flavor, not smother it.

I like the rub as it's not too salty and does not rely heavily on any tricks like cinnamon or cayenne (not that there's anything wrong with either one or both when done in moderation).  It actually reminds me a lot of my own.  The slaw is pretty much how FMC makes ours which is my favorite way, not a mayo-based slaw.  The beans are really tasty but a bit sweet for my palate.  There's no way I can eat a whole cup in one sitting.

The only thing missing to me is I don't pick up much smoke in the taste or aroma of the que. There was a smoke ring on the ribs, but other visual or sensory clues to much use of smoke are not there.  I do tend to like a good smoky flavor and aroma.  I didn't notice much of a smoke aroma in the restaurant nor in the vicinity of it which I thought was unusual for a BBQ place.

Of course my preference may be different than other people's.  There's one camp which believes too much smoke makes it bitter, another camp thinks you can't get enough smoke on it.  I'm somewhere in the middle.  If anything, I think the brisket seemed to pick up the smokiness the best, I didn't detect any in the chicken (not sure if it's supposed to be a smoked beer can chicken, I just do my BC chicken over hot coals in my Weber) or pork.  I poked my head around to see if I could tell what sort of smoker they are using and didn't see where it was unless it's behind the large stainless wall in the kitchen.  I guess I'm sort of used to "Memphis style" as having a big old greasy, well-seasoned wood-fired smoker somewhere in the kitchen or out back.

As an admitted BBQ fanatic, I will say I like a subtle presence in the rub.   I love to get the smokiness in the meat, it should be smoky enough that my fingers will smell like pecan or hickory after I'm done with the ribs but shouldn't be sooted up either.  Along those lines, I hope they will smoke it up just a little more.  The rub and sauce are spot on to me.  I do find it odd they don't put sauce on the table, you have to ask for additional sauce or a less spicy sauce.  I asked the manager if there were other sauce choices, he said the other was more or less Head Country, not sure if that meant it was Head Country or their clone of it.  I stuck to the spicy in-house sauce.

As far as other sides and appetizers, they obviously did some research on Memphis 'Que: fried green tomatoes and fried pickle slices as well as the desserts.

Altogether, a four meat combo (pictured below) which would easily feed FMC and I and make sure Butch got some scraps was $18.72 including a bottomless soft drink with tax.  Adding a tip of $4.00 I felt I got my money's worth at $22.72.  I couldn't afford to eat like that every day, but again, I'll get 2-3 meals out of it.  Looking around at folks having sandwich plates, they were also getting their money's worth as well.

I'll be back.  The atmosphere is really cool, the food quality was good though I'd love for them to tweak the smoke a bit.

(http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q55/71conan/TN/IMG_2019.jpg)


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: CharlieSheen on June 14, 2011, 01:24:53 pm
The entrance is supposed to be in the alley so you did go in the back way.  I think depending on where you are coming from the alley or the elgin entrance is the closest.  It will be interesting to see as people go which they pick   Next time do you think you will go in at the alley entrance?.  The wood smoker is in the very back corner towards the Elgin entrance.  When you walk in that direction do do smell the smoke.  But I think the air system works really well and the smoke smell doesn't make it all the way to the alley side of the place.  I wonder if the AC running 24/7 in the heat has anything to do with it?  


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: rdj on June 14, 2011, 02:17:34 pm
I was told they'll be putting a deliveries only sign on the Elgin door.

I think once the patio and rooftop are done more people will recognize the alley as "front".


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Conan71 on June 14, 2011, 02:21:04 pm
The entrance is supposed to be in the alley so you did go in the back way.  I think depending on where you are coming from the alley or the elgin entrance is the closest.  It will be interesting to see as people go which they pick   Next time do you think you will go in at the alley entrance?.  The wood smoker is in the very back corner towards the Elgin entrance.  When you walk in that direction do do smell the smoke.  But I think the air system works really well and the smoke smell doesn't make it all the way to the alley side of the place.  I wonder if the AC running 24/7 in the heat has anything to do with it?  

Most likely I'll come in through the Elgin entrance due to parking.  Either I'll park on the street or on the big lot east of Elgin or visit Arnie's first and use their lot.  the only parking options which go logically with BA's back, er front entrance are the pay lot just outside its south wall or the truncated lot off Detroit.  I also think security-wise, most patrons will prefer the Elgin entrance, especially after dark.  JMO.  I never would have picked that spot for a BBQ joint, I commend Blake on his vision, it works quite well.  I also think the shipping containers are really clever.  Any idea if the plywood floor is re-used from something else?

They may not have been smoking anything when I was there which would explain the lack of smoke aroma around the area.  You might want to tell them Conan said to throw another log on the fire ;)


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: rdj on June 14, 2011, 02:34:20 pm
If the vision is fully realized patrons will feel more than comfortable.  The alley will hopefully be shut to vehicular traffic and receive new, consistent brick paving as well as lighting, a solution for the dumpsters and overall appearance upgrades.   In addition, the back of the building where Lyon's is now would make a great companion to Back Alley.  If Sager (or a successor buyer) ever finishes the loft project it will create more pedestrian traffic in that alley because the tenant parking is the lot just east of that building.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: BKDotCom on June 14, 2011, 07:57:25 pm
If Sager (or a successor buyer) ever finishes the loft project it will create more pedestrian traffic in that alley because the tenant parking is the lot just east of that building.
Gotta start something to finish it.   :)


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: CharlieSheen on October 27, 2011, 08:34:42 am
Back Alley has $25 for $12 on living social for the next 19 hours.

Living Social $25 GC for $12 (http://livingsocial.com/deals/153369?ref=personalized-link-box-33324401&rpi=33324401)


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Conan71 on October 27, 2011, 08:45:13 am
Have they tweaked the smoke and rub any more in the last couple of months?  It was still a little on the bland side last time I was there.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: jacobi on October 27, 2011, 09:34:37 am
If the area ehind lyons was converted this would be fantastic.  I also would love to see sager turn that parking low between lyons and Dwelling spaces into another multistory residential building with comercial space that fronts the alley.  That would be awesome sauce.  I'm off to dream about having enough money to do these kinds of things...


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: CharlieSheen on October 27, 2011, 09:50:14 am
If the area ehind lyons was converted this would be fantastic.  I also would love to see sager turn that parking low between lyons and Dwelling spaces into another multistory residential building with comercial space that fronts the alley.  That would be awesome sauce.  I'm off to dream about having enough money to do these kinds of things...

Why don't we just hope Sager finishes the building he already got money from the city to finish.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Townsend on October 27, 2011, 09:51:23 am
Why don't we just hope Sager finishes the building he already got money from the city to finish.


You sure that's still the plan?


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: CharlieSheen on October 27, 2011, 10:02:25 am

You sure that's still the plan?

Replace seger with Anybody


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on October 27, 2011, 10:16:30 am
Back Alley was ok.  Not great, though.

Albert G's is still better.



Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: CharlieSheen on October 27, 2011, 12:27:59 pm
Back Alley was ok.  Not great, though.

Albert G's is still better.



When I want to hang out in a gas station on a  Friday or Saturday night that is where I go.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Gaspar on October 27, 2011, 01:08:19 pm
Back Alley was ok.  Not great, though.

Albert G's is still better.



Albert G's is very good.  Not super consistent, but very good.

He's planning on dumping some real cash on his downtown location.  I'm interested to see how that works out.  He's a micro-manager, so it may be a challenge running two locations unless he chooses to fold up the Harvard spot, or has a trusted protégé.  Of course RibCrib is going to bring their "commercial flavor" there too.

There's another group also looking at a location for Q downtown, but I don't know much about them, except they have gotten quotes on two very large Ole Hickory smokers.   

I'm glad we are developing a strong BBQ culture downtown.  I love urban areas where the smell of good food floats through the streets, especially if that smell includes pecan wood! 
 


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: jacobi on October 27, 2011, 01:33:37 pm
Quote
I love urban areas where the smell of good food floats through the streets, especially if that smell includes pecan wood!

Gaspar, I don't often agree with you, but you have fine taste in woods for smoking meat with.  And yes, the emerging BBQ culture is awesome.

Does anyone know when rib crib going to actually start moving on renoing their space?


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Red Arrow on October 27, 2011, 01:44:50 pm
I love urban areas where the smell of good food floats through the streets, especially if that smell includes pecan wood! 

I use pecan to smoke Jalapenos to make Chipotles.  Smells great.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Conan71 on October 27, 2011, 01:46:31 pm
I use pecan to smoke Jalapenos to make Chipotles.  Smells great.

And that's my understanding is the traditional way to do it.  I love the versatility of pecan, though you can't beat fruit woods with pork or fowl.  I think my favorite I've smoked with is plum, it's like crack to me.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Teatownclown on October 27, 2011, 01:50:47 pm
And that's my understanding is the traditional way to do it.  I love the versatility of pecan, though you can't beat fruit woods with pork or fowl.  I think my favorite I've smoked with is plum, it's like crack to me.

I don't know about crack, but what's good with veggies. Herbs?



Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on October 27, 2011, 01:52:20 pm
I can hardly wait for Oklahoma Joe's to open.  Much closer to my traffic pattern (south and east) then Albert G's.  But then, I have been spending a lot of time downtown, too...


Remind me again, why Rib Crib is still in business after the way they have been for several years??



Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Gaspar on October 27, 2011, 02:05:03 pm
I don't know about crack, but what's good with veggies. Herbs?



Alder wood is!  Pecan is also good.

Veggies pick up delicate smoke very well, so you can actually do some interesting things to get unique flavors.  Broccoli and asparagus are excellent with pecan or corn cob sprinkled with a handful of dry sage leaves. You can smoke seafood, squash and root vegtables using alder or pecan with dried rosemary stems as a smoke.

For me, I like the heavy meats!  Roll a beef short rib in Smokin' Spice, then smoke with pecan wood adding a few stems of cinnamon and some coffee beans to the smoker.  That's how you punish a vegetarian!


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Conan71 on October 27, 2011, 02:06:27 pm
I don't know about crack, but what's good with veggies. Herbs?



Alderwood might be good.  That's the proper one for salmon anyhow.  Play your Fender Strat until it's worn out then smoke fish with the body, just remember to remove the pick guard and pick ups first ;)

Seriously, pecan is about the most versatile, though whole lump oak charcoal leaves a nice flavor on squash and sweet potatoes.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Conan71 on October 27, 2011, 02:14:55 pm
I can hardly wait for Oklahoma Joe's to open.  Much closer to my traffic pattern (south and east) then Albert G's.  But then, I have been spending a lot of time downtown, too...


Remind me again, why Rib Crib is still in business after the way they have been for several years??



I thought the Oklahoma Joe's deal was dead.  Didn't someone mention that here a month or so back?

Rib Crib exists because a large majority of people's tastes simply aren't that discriminating when it comes to Q.  That and it's consistently mediocre and they have sides which have been focus-group tested.  In other words, they are becoming the Fridays, Chili's, or McDonalds of BBQ.  You know what you will get every time you go into a Rib Crib.  I would even take customers there as it was convenient, but I won't eat there now after Gaspar spilled the beans on the dirty little secret a lot of the chains don't want you to know: nitrites and nitrates in place of getting proper flavor and tenderness out of their meat.  I can see the corporate side of it as there's a lot of risk if you have a bad day on the smoker.  Cheat and use chemicals so that you end up with something that's agreeable (taste, texture, flavor, moisture level) every time a customer comes in.

Real BBQ is an art and it's hard to come up with repeatability day after day if you are doing it old school.  Your meat can be different, you might not keep the pit stoked to quite the same temp, etc. and you can have some odd swings from day-to-day.  That's where inconsistency comes in.  Then there are some which are simply dreadful every day like Billy Ray's.  I tried to give them a chance again recently and can't see how that place is still in business.

My buddy I had lunch with today was going on and on about Burn Brothers in the old Ella's Deli location.  I went there when they first open and keep forgetting about them.  They really do some great stuff.  My understanding is they only do x amount of meat a day and when they are out, they are done.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Gaspar on October 27, 2011, 02:21:35 pm

Seriously, pecan is about the most versatile, though whole lump oak charcoal leaves a nice flavor on squash and sweet potatoes.

Here's one for you Conan.  Take a small tight head of romaine lettuce, cut in half and fully coat with good olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.  Grill over lump charcoal (Hasty Bake or Royal Oak) for just about a minute on each side until you get grill marks.  Drizzle with FINI balsamic vinegar and a little more olive oil and shave some Parmesan over the top.  Hit with black pepper and serve!

You can also cut it in smaller portions after grilling if you like or grill in quarters.

 


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Conan71 on October 27, 2011, 02:36:26 pm
Here's one for you Conan.  Take a small tight head of romaine lettuce, cut in half and fully coat with good olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.  Grill over lump charcoal (Hasty Bake or Royal Oak) for just about a minute on each side until you get grill marks.  Drizzle with FINI balsamic vinegar and a little more olive oil and shave some Parmesan over the top.  Hit with black pepper and serve!

You can also cut it in smaller portions after grilling if you like or grill in quarters.

 

That's right up our alley.  I'll have to spring that one on FMC.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Gaspar on October 27, 2011, 02:46:19 pm
That's right up our alley.  I'll have to spring that one on FMC.

You can also do it with Belgian Endive if you want to spend the extra scratch.  Has a really delightful bitterness.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Teatownclown on October 27, 2011, 02:47:46 pm
I thought the Oklahoma Joe's deal was dead.  Didn't someone mention that here a month or so back?

Rib Crib exists because a large majority of people's tastes simply aren't that discriminating when it comes to Q.  That and it's consistently mediocre and they have sides which have been focus-group tested.  In other words, they are becoming the Fridays, Chili's, or McDonalds of BBQ.  You know what you will get every time you go into a Rib Crib.  I would even take customers there as it was convenient, but I won't eat there now after Gaspar spilled the beans on the dirty little secret a lot of the chains don't want you to know: nitrites and nitrates in place of getting proper flavor and tenderness out of their meat.  I can see the corporate side of it as there's a lot of risk if you have a bad day on the smoker.  Cheat and use chemicals so that you end up with something that's agreeable (taste, texture, flavor, moisture level) every time a customer comes in.

Real BBQ is an art and it's hard to come up with repeatability day after day if you are doing it old school.  Your meat can be different, you might not keep the pit stoked to quite the same temp, etc. and you can have some odd swings from day-to-day.  That's where inconsistency comes in.  Then there are some which are simply dreadful every day like Billy Ray's.  I tried to give them a chance again recently and can't see how that place is still in business.

My buddy I had lunch with today was going on and on about Burn Brothers in the old Ella's Deli location.  I went there when they first open and keep forgetting about them.  They really do some great stuff.  My understanding is they only do x amount of meat a day and when they are out, they are done.

I must say Burn Brothers (just love the name) is quite good. No bs....line out the door, order, wax paper on tray, chew, toss....just hogs eating and minding their own binness! Great Q....


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Gaspar on October 27, 2011, 02:58:40 pm
I must say Burn Brothers (just love the name) is quite good. No bs....line out the door, order, wax paper on tray, chew, toss....just hogs eating and minding their own binness! Great Q....

You have good taste-buds!

Adam knows his Q.  He sold Hasty-Bakes for years before risking everything to pursue his passion.  Boy knows how to cook, and understands that the best ingredients and technique yield the best BBQ.

Lump charcoal, real wood, and a Hasty or two=Quality, high flavor BBQ that people in suits will line up for and eat out of a paper bag with a plastic fork!


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: joiei on October 27, 2011, 03:46:45 pm
I must say Burn Brothers (just love the name) is quite good. No bs....line out the door, order, wax paper on tray, chew, toss....just hogs eating and minding their own binness! Great Q....

Actually it is Burn Co (no Brothers) and yes the food is great.  If you want ribs, go early, like be there before 11:30 if not earlier.   


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: custosnox on October 27, 2011, 04:34:51 pm
Then there are some which are simply dreadful every day like Billy Ray's.  I tried to give them a chance again recently and can't see how that place is still in business.

Go into any place in this state that has a fair number of people in it and yell out "Boomer!" and you will get the answer to how they stay in business.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: BKDotCom on October 27, 2011, 05:41:36 pm
Go into any place in this state that has a fair number of people in it and yell out "Boomer!" and you will get the answer to how they stay in business.

That might help explain Billy Sim's, but Conan was referring to Billy Rays.
And I'm about as far from a Sooners fan that one be.. but I think Billy Sim's is quite tasty.   It's been nearly 20 years since I've been to Billy Ray's


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on October 27, 2011, 06:40:09 pm
I thought the Oklahoma Joe's deal was dead.  Didn't someone mention that here a month or so back?



I didn't hear that.  Disappointment.

Well, I guess I will have to try Burn Co. this week.  Sounds good.  And since the best place in the world is gone now, I need barbeque sustenance!  More Albert G's and hopefully Burn Co.



Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: custosnox on October 27, 2011, 09:45:13 pm
That might help explain Billy Sim's, but Conan was referring to Billy Rays.
And I'm about as far from a Sooners fan that one be.. but I think Billy Sim's is quite tasty.   It's been nearly 20 years since I've been to Billy Ray's
Haha, I need to sleep more, or read better.  I just got the Billy part in my head, I completely forgot that there is a Billy Ray's


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: CharlieSheen on October 28, 2011, 08:56:16 am
Go into any place in this state that has a fair number of people in it and yell out "Boomer!" and you will get the answer to how they stay in business.

The good 'ole idiot test


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: DolfanBob on October 28, 2011, 09:59:01 am
Oklahoma Joe's is putting the finishing touches on their smoke shack and it looks like a few more weeks before they open. I cant wait to try them. Once I see when it opens I will post it. I drive by it everyday going to work.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on October 28, 2011, 10:26:10 am
Oklahoma Joe's is putting the finishing touches on their smoke shack and it looks like a few more weeks before they open. I cant wait to try them. Once I see when it opens I will post it. I drive by it everyday going to work.

That sounds good.  Would appreciate the heads up.  I only get by there about once a week or so.



Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Conan71 on October 28, 2011, 10:28:02 am
Oklahoma Joe's is putting the finishing touches on their smoke shack and it looks like a few more weeks before they open. I cant wait to try them. Once I see when it opens I will post it. I drive by it everyday going to work.

Well that just blew my rumor.  Glad to hear it!


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Gaspar on October 28, 2011, 11:21:05 am
The good 'ole idiot test

Are you saying all Oklahomans are idiots or just the ones that went to OU?


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Gaspar on October 28, 2011, 11:28:34 am
Oklahoma Joe's is putting the finishing touches on their smoke shack and it looks like a few more weeks before they open. I cant wait to try them. Once I see when it opens I will post it. I drive by it everyday going to work.

Joe does good ribs, and he's got great sauce too!.  Back in the early 90s when he was getting his start, he had a few guys working with him to develop and promote his brand.  He sponsored their competition team along with the folks at Hasty Bake. Those guys really knew their stuff!

I wonder what happened to those 3 Guys?


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Townsend on October 28, 2011, 11:52:56 am
Are you saying all Oklahomans are idiots or just the ones that went to OU?

He may mean the folks who are "kick your donkey" fanatics and never went to OU.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on October 28, 2011, 12:21:01 pm
Joe does good ribs, and he's got great sauce too!.  Back in the early 90s when he was getting his start, he had a few guys working with him to develop and promote his brand.  He sponsored their competition team along with the folks at Hasty Bake. Those guys really knew their stuff!

I wonder what happened to those 3 Guys?

Let me guess....

Do they make a Razz-berry sauce?



Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: joiei on October 28, 2011, 01:08:21 pm
I didn't hear that.  Disappointment.

Well, I guess I will have to try Burn Co. this week.  Sounds good.  And since the best place in the world is gone now, I need barbeque sustenance!  More Albert G's and hopefully Burn Co.


Be aware they are only open for lunch  Tuesday thru Saturday


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on October 28, 2011, 01:58:23 pm
Be aware they are only open for lunch  Tuesday thru Saturday

Saturday is perfect!!



Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Gaspar on October 28, 2011, 02:07:54 pm
Saturday is perfect!!



It's even worth the drive for Southies like me!

I think we'll have to hit that tomorrow as well.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: jacobi on October 30, 2011, 10:09:35 am
I has been my experience as an OSU student that OSU fans are far more likely to have a substantive relationship with the school (they work there; they studied there; their great aunt matilda went there).  Most OU fans that I have engaged in conversation on the subject are:
a)almost unable to cohesively string a sentence together,
b)unwilling to give OSU any credit or support in sports, even when they are ahead in the BCS rankings, even though OSU fans are likely to throw some love OU's way when they do well. For example, a gentleman this week told me that OSU's #3 ranking wouldn't last and that they would have trouble getting past Baylor.
c)unlikely to have any really connection to the school (see above for examples).  They are OU fans for no other reason than "BOOMER SOONER, M***ER F***ER!!!"

OU is a fine academic institution that invests itself in areas that I wish OSU would at an equal level (classics, philosophy, etc.).  Their fans, however, need to be reined in a bit.  For example, I was filling up my red Yaris at the Sand springs QT off of 412 on my way out of town.  I have a couple of OSU stickers on the back of my car (cause, hey, I go there and I'm proud of my school).  As I'm filling up my car, I hear the sound coming from behind me and suddenly realize that it is a rat-tailed 10 year old standing half-way behind the door of his parent’s van chanting "OU, OU, OU...",  louder every time.  By the time I pulled away he was screaming it at me.  That may just simply be par for the course in Sand Springs, it certainly has set the bar for me on fans of OU.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: SXSW on October 30, 2011, 11:02:35 am
Typical OSU fan who brings up the same tired arguments: all OU fans are trailer trash who didn't go to school there and OSU fans are all alums which makes them morally superior. 


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Conan71 on October 30, 2011, 04:21:39 pm
I has been my experience as an OSU student that OSU fans are far more likely to have a substantive relationship with the school (they work there; they studied there; their great aunt matilda went there).  Most OU fans that I have engaged in conversation on the subject are:
a)almost unable to cohesively string a sentence together,
b)unwilling to give OSU any credit or support in sports, even when they are ahead in the BCS rankings, even though OSU fans are likely to throw some love OU's way when they do well. For example, a gentleman this week told me that OSU's #3 ranking wouldn't last and that they would have trouble getting past Baylor.
c)unlikely to have any really connection to the school (see above for examples).  They are OU fans for no other reason than "BOOMER SOONER, M***ER F***ER!!!"

OU is a fine academic institution that invests itself in areas that I wish OSU would at an equal level (classics, philosophy, etc.).  Their fans, however, need to be reined in a bit.  For example, I was filling up my red Yaris at the Sand springs QT off of 412 on my way out of town.  I have a couple of OSU stickers on the back of my car (cause, hey, I go there and I'm proud of my school).  As I'm filling up my car, I hear the sound coming from behind me and suddenly realize that it is a rat-tailed 10 year old standing half-way behind the door of his parent’s van chanting "OU, OU, OU...",  louder every time.  By the time I pulled away he was screaming it at me.  That may just simply be par for the course in Sand Springs, it certainly has set the bar for me on fans of OU.


There's an old saying: "Cowboy fans went to Stillwater.  Gooner fans went to Wal-Mart."


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on October 30, 2011, 07:22:03 pm
all OU fans are trailer trash who didn't go to school there and OSU fans are all alums which makes them morally superior.  

Ok.  And your point is..?????

Must be an OU fan - there is a level of reality comprehension.  Good to hear that!


How do you get the OU graduate off your front porch?     Pay him for the pizza....


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: jacobi on October 30, 2011, 07:34:08 pm
I wasn't saying that ALL OU fans are that way.  I would hope that OU grads and those connected to the university support their school.  I think that OU ends up with alot more the the unaffiliated fans because they have been so successful for so many years.  If the two schools flipped flopped in the BCS rankings permanently starting this year, I think there would be a slow exodus to OSU.  The other way to test this theory is if Oklahoma ever got a pro football team.  Those who were just suporting Oklahoma (the state) and not really the UNIVERSITY of Oklahoma would probs switch over.

I don't know why I brought this up.  Serious thread drift.  I don't even like football (baseball and hockey are my sports) and I like NCAA football even less.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on October 30, 2011, 08:12:16 pm
I wasn't saying that ALL OU fans are that way.  I would hope that OU grads and those connected to the university support their school.  I think that OU ends up with alot more the the unaffiliated fans because they have been so successful for so many years.  If the two schools flipped flopped in the BCS rankings permanently starting this year, I think there would be a slow exodus to OSU.  The other way to test this theory is if Oklahoma ever got a pro football team.  Those who were just suporting Oklahoma (the state) and not really the UNIVERSITY of Oklahoma would probs switch over.

I don't know why I brought this up.  Serious thread drift.  I don't even like football (baseball and hockey are my sports) and I like NCAA football even less.

Rugby!!!  A REAL man's sport!!




Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: jacobi on October 30, 2011, 08:17:30 pm
Quote
Rugby!!!  A REAL man's sport!!

Rugby is good fun.  My little brother played for tulsa mens for a year or so.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on October 30, 2011, 08:30:43 pm
Rugby is good fun.  My little brother played for tulsa mens for a year or so.


I just love a good blood sport!!



Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: rdj on October 31, 2011, 11:03:21 am
Oklahoma Joe's is putting the finishing touches on their smoke shack and it looks like a few more weeks before they open. I cant wait to try them. Once I see when it opens I will post it. I drive by it everyday going to work.

This is in the old Runts near Bass Pro in BA, correct?  The downtown deal did fall through.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: DolfanBob on October 31, 2011, 11:06:57 am
This is in the old Runts near Bass Pro in BA, correct?  The downtown deal did fall through.

That is correct. I cant wait.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on October 31, 2011, 11:56:17 am
This is in the old Runts near Bass Pro in BA, correct?  The downtown deal did fall through.

Yes.  Drove by over the weekend and saw people working at the back of the building.

Soon, I hope.



Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: ARGUS on November 01, 2011, 10:25:49 am
Back AlleyBlues BBQ
10/31/2011
4 of us sat at bar at 845pm....not very busy at all so we opted for the bar seating...bartender was messing with some ratty speakers with pawn shop price tags on bar for several minutes before he greeted us...if he was really the bartender...couldnt tell at this point. We tried to order...
They were out of ribs....(bummer). We asked if they were out of anything else "nope, just the ribs; and I ate them all" he said without apology for being out.
We ordered other things than ribs; which we enjoyed. But the service was HORRIBLE from this bartender/server! He couldnt even get silverware in front of us. Time for desert.... bartender was doing his third shot with friends at end of bar...Buttermilk pie???...."Nope were out"....refill a water glass? Impossible.
Will not happen again.
Last time I was in also sat at bar for OU/Florida State game....they had doubled booked bands...so we got to see and hear all the lack of management crap from both bands and bartender argueing over what had happened. Nice....not.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Conan71 on November 01, 2011, 10:44:05 am
How does a BBQ joint run out of ribs?  That's kind of a staple menu item.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Townsend on November 01, 2011, 10:48:53 am
How does a BBQ joint run out of ribs?  That's kind of a staple menu item.

I'm afraid I've had the "out of everything but sausage".  It happens.

We changed to Asian food that evening and came back for BBQ another eve.

The bartender thing is another story.  Never had bad service like that there.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on November 01, 2011, 10:56:04 am
The couple of times I have been to Back Alley, the service was ok - not great, but ok.  Never got the out of ribs thing, though.  That is bizarre.


Only place I ever consistently experienced "out of ribs" was at Wildhorse Mountain in Sallisaw.  Cantankerous old fart (my favorite kind of people) made a certain amount every day and when they ran out, they were out.  Check back tomorrow.  And make sure you get there a little earlier.  Great barbeque!!



Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: ARGUS on November 01, 2011, 11:16:44 am
Totally understand how a bbq joint runs out of ribs and I/we were ok w/ that. But service like we got sucked! We were a joking casual group who go out OFTEN (although the other 3 in my group had not been to BackAlley)...we even asked if there were other surprizes to be had and this dolt of an "employee" reassured us that they were good on all other menu items. But he did not know thing one about serving patrons. Wouldnt let this guy serve anything other than a mop to the floor if I owned this place. $$$$&my time for food drink and SERVICE!!! apparently not possible at this place.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Conan71 on November 01, 2011, 11:35:54 am
Blake is known to read this site, perhaps he will see this and have a little re-training session with this less-than-enthusiastic bartender.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Gaspar on November 01, 2011, 12:22:25 pm
Service is always a tough thing to manage. 

I have eaten at Back Alley and made it a point to make my concerns known to the ownership.  They have hurdles, but they also have an awesome advantage being the first on the scene downtown.  Blake is experienced at the restaurant game.  The BBQ game take a bit longer.





Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Ibanez on November 12, 2011, 01:49:51 pm
Had dinner there for the first time last night. Was not impressed. Our server was excellent, wish I could remember her name, but the food was mediocre at best.

I had a two meat combo, ribs and hot links. The hot links has very little spice to them and no smoke flavor that I could taste. The ribs were a bit better and had a touch of smoke, but still not what I was expecting and were also a bit dry. I had their slaw and baked beans as sides. The beans were passable, though to me they were a bit too sweet. The slaw was nothing special at all. I like vinegar based slaw and of the ones I have had Back Alley's version were near the bottom. On a scale of 1 to 5 I would give the ribs a 2.5, the hot links a 1, the beans a 3 and the slaw a 2.

My wife had the Back Alley Beatdown and was disappointed as well. The brisket that was part of the sandwich was more like pot roast than a smoked brisket. In fact there was no smoke taste at all. The pulled pork was slightly better, but still nothing to write home about. As with my hot links the ones on her sandwich had no spice and no smoke flavor. Her homemade chips were just this side of granite and after the 3rd one she gave up trying to eat them. She rated the sandwich an F.

The best part of our meal? The candied bacon. I wouldn't want to eat it every day, but it was good.

As I said before, our service was excellent. The food however was very poor and we will not be returning. I had high hopes for Back Alley since we love Joe Mama's. Different style of food I know, but I was hoping the excellence in food would cross restaurants since they have the same ownership.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: Townsend on November 14, 2011, 03:31:53 pm
Back AlleyBlues BBQ
10/31/2011
4 of us sat at bar at 845pm....not very busy at all so we opted for the bar seating...bartender was messing with some ratty speakers with pawn shop price tags on bar for several minutes before he greeted us...if he was really the bartender...couldnt tell at this point. We tried to order...
They were out of ribs....(bummer). We asked if they were out of anything else "nope, just the ribs; and I ate them all" he said without apology for being out.
We ordered other things than ribs; which we enjoyed. But the service was HORRIBLE from this bartender/server! He couldnt even get silverware in front of us. Time for desert.... bartender was doing his third shot with friends at end of bar...Buttermilk pie???...."Nope were out"....refill a water glass? Impossible.
Will not happen again.
Last time I was in also sat at bar for OU/Florida State game....they had doubled booked bands...so we got to see and hear all the lack of management crap from both bands and bartender argueing over what had happened. Nice....not.


This popped up on my feed.

Quote
Now hiring experienced bartenders and servers. If interested, please apply in person at 116 S. Elgin Avenue.

Maybe you could go back in a while and give it another shot.


Title: Re: Back Alley Blues & BBQ
Post by: jacobi on April 24, 2012, 07:45:52 pm
My wife and I finally checked out BBB this weekend.  I had the pick two hot link and ribs.  The hotlink was plenty spicy.  It could have been hotter for me, but for the regular crowd, I liked it.  The ribs were really good, melty tender.  I was really impressed.

The sauce, oh the sauce.  I've heard widespread complaints about the sauce that they offer as having "some weird spice in it" et al.  It was rosemary and maybe another italian seasoning or two that make it different.  The wise discision to put both kinds of sauce on the table had already been made, so I just went for the okie sauce instead.

The candied bacon, while very good, was not the novelty for me that it is for most.  I have done more things with bacon in heaven and on earth than are contained in your philosophy, horatio.  I just wanted it sprinkled on top of a sundae.

The service wasn't great, but wasn't terrible.  The waitress forgot my second beer.  by the time it got to me it was half warm.  That said, I am not one to leave a soldier behind enemy lines.

My wife had the chicken sandwich which she (and our daughter) seemed to deeply enjoy.

All in all, an 8/10.

P.S. this place would be perfect to go to after getting liqoured up elsewhere.  I would demolish a rack of ribs in that case.