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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Billy Joe's Ribworks on the Newburgh Waterfront

Celebrating an achievement in this family is one of many reasons to go out to dinner.  In this case, our older son has graduated from college earning his Bachelor's Degree.  Our son.  Bachelor's Degree. Those are the important words for us as parents.  When our sons were quite young we always told them we would support whatever choice they made as a profession as adults, as long as they had a college degree when they were doing it.  This son once said he wanted to have a hot dog truck when he was older.  Fun.

When asked where he would like to go for his celebration, he selected Billy Joe's Ribworks on the Newburgh Waterfront or 26 Front Street specifically.

Please keep in mind, it is New York, it is January and it is certainly cold.  While the parking lot is not really a far walk from the establishment, every biting degree of wind chill can be felt as I quicken my step to almost skipping to get inside.

We are greeted by two young and friendly hostesses and are seated almost immediately.  The restaurant is already filling up and it is barely 6 p.m. 

We are seated in an area that is open during the warm summer months that allows diners the opportunity to enjoy and unobstructed view of the magnificent Hudson which must be especially lovely at sunset.  For winter, the area is closed in with clear temporary walls and heated with mega/turbo convection units suspended from the ceiling.

I did preview the online menu (Click here for Billy Joe's website) so I not only knew what I was going to order for dinner, but my drink as well. I had the Loaded Palmer and I was so nervous I would ask for the wrong thing, it would be obscene and my sons would laugh at me for the rest of my life, but it was fine.  So was the beverage, a classic tea/lemon combo with vodka.  Our younger son has been getting some use out of showing off his newly legal ID and had first a drink then a beer.  

We talk about appetizers.  I like the idea of trying new things in an appetizer so it is low risk.  Sharing something among 5 people, the odds are fair that someone will like it and equally high that someone will not care for it at all.  

We decided on the fried green tomatoes:

which were quite firm and sprinkled with a bit of pecorino romano which I think we all let fall off like crumbs.  I wanted to squeeze some lemon juice on them then toss on some salt, but I loved the idea of them very much.

The other order was the fried pickles:

I only took half of a spear for tasting purposes.  Again, I loved the idea, I was surprised how quickly they arrived from the kitchen and they were screaming hot as though just prepared, but I am a salt addict and even beyond the salt of the pickle, I wanted more.

Dinners.  For the honoree, the rack of brontosaurus.  Ok, they were ribs, but really, look at the size of them and the bones then look at the fork for scale.  They were huge.  He generously offered everyone a taste and I had a small forkful.  Very tender. Nice balance of sauce and I was not overwhelmed by smoke. Nice.

Brisket.  Brisket.  Brisket.  We have two orders with very different sides.  For the Mr. it is mac and cheese with baked beans.

For our younger son, it is accompanied by fries 2 ways - sweet and traditional.

For the young lady (our older son's girlfriend), a classic burger and fries.

For me, the smothered steak with cheesy grits and mashed potatoes.

My meal had good news and bad news.  I will give you the good first.  The steak was "slammin."  It was tender, perfectly cooked to medium-rare and truly smothered in peppers and onions.  We all also agreed the cornbread was amazing.

Visually, doesn't my plate remind you of a cafeteria or the military?  Ok, maybe the divided look is cute or goes with the theme, but to add insult the ice cream scoop servings just make me a little sad.  Do you eat your mashed potatoes dry?  Maybe I am the weird one or too harsh, but this certainly could have been presented differently at best.  Agree?

Dessert.  I have to admit, I am quite full and in fact was not able to finish my meal, but I always want to try dessert.  Pecan pie. Yum!  The pie was heated and so hot the molten juices could burn your taste buds off your tongue and the ice cream was hard frozen but without ice crystals. Very nice.

So, what will our son be now that he is grown up and educated? The answer remains to be seen but for now we are a close family that spends time together, especially meal time, and we are Fed Well.

Billy Joe's Ribworks on Urbanspoon

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