Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Good Food from a Strip Mall in the Sprawl - Reggi's


[NOTE: This restaurant has since closed and a new BBQ place called Pure Glaze is occupying the space now.]

Reggi’s Bar-B-Q is the type of place I never would have tried before I began this mission. It is located way out in the suburbs in a generic strip mall on Houston Levee near Macon Road in front of the Woodland Hills Country Club where, if you are a local of a certain age, you probably went to prom.

The area around Reggi’s is the epitome of soulless suburban sprawl with strip malls, a Starbucks, mega-churches and a McDonald’s surrounded by cookie-cutter subdivisions that all have main entrances leading into networks of cul-de-sacs like capillaries branching from a vein. But inside the restaurant there were walls covered with photographs of celebrities, food and barbecue rigs. When I ordered a rib plate I was told that I had a choice between mild, medium and hot, so I went for hot.

Hot had the kind of seasoning I want in spicy food. There was still plenty of flavor and the heat wasn’t overwhelming but it built steadily until I finished my plate with my mouth burning and my nose running but still licking my fingers and wanting more. Apparently the restaurant I was at was a spin-off from the original Reggi’s that has been in Jackson, TN, for decades. The ribs were cooked just right -- tender but with plenty of meaty texture.

I normally prefer to get my ribs “dry” and add a little sauce myself. As much as I enjoyed the hot barbecue sauce at Reggi’s I still ended up wiping some of it off with the side of my fork. With good sauce a little should go a long way and the meat should still be the dominate taste. The beans at Reggi’s also had a good kick to them and the potato salad had plenty of mustard which is always a plus.

Reggi’s does have a dry rub and you can buy it in the restaurant along with bottles of the various flavors of wet sauces. The next time I visit I’ll have to see if they’ll let me order the ribs dry.

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