Admitting that he hasn't tried any of the dishes, Josh Ozersky ripped into Metromix’s slideshow of comfort food yesterday, positing that “the comfort food renaissance doesn’t seem to have quite taken off the way it was supposed to” and citing as an example “mushy Dr. Pepper ribs that have been braised (!) to within an inch of porridge.” This rankled a Feedbag commenter who wrote in: “Your implication that Joaquin ‘Quino’ Baca doesn’t respect his food is nothing short of directly insulting.” Which caused Irving Mill's pork priest Ryan Skeen (or a commenter claiming to be him, anyway) to write in: “No offense Mr. Herman, But is Josh a food critic, or chef? Do any of these restaurants highlight La Frieda meats? Does Joaquin disrespect his food? Any person with basic food knowledge in NYC knows the answer to these questions, is no, and shouldnt expect anything more from this site.” Ouch. In a follow-up post, Ozersky stands by his assertion that pork ribs should never be braised, much less in soda. Like Josh, we have yet to try the ribs in question, so we’ll turn to some outside opinions to see how they’ve gone over.
Metromix: “A crackled and caramelized smoky-sweet bite that will leave you licking your cola-stained fingers and singing the praises of the Lone Star state.”
The Food Doc: “The Dr. Pepper ribs were tender and vinegary; I detected only a hint of the soda in the barbecue sauce.”
Free Williamsburg: “Though they fall off they bone, the sweeter-than-average sauce is more novelty than signature dish.”
A Diner’s Journal commenter: “The Dr. Pepper ribs were moist and falling off the bone; the marinade was not too sweet and a bit tart.”
You might recall the Lee Brothers gave the ribs a shot in their New York Diet — we’ve contacted them for comment, since they’re good enough authorities on the matter. Meantime, anyone else care to weigh in?