I can’t remember how I found out about Ribs Against the Machine, I just remember that I wanted to eat there once I saw the pictures, as I’m quite the fan of barbecue type foods. Well, I had a break in my schedule the other day, which gave me the opportunity to finally go.
What I ordered:
- The “Ribs Sandwich (beef)” combo, with two sides.
What I liked:
- I have big hands, so the sandwich looks compact, but it was still a stuffed sandwich full of flavor.
- Speaking of flavor, there are a few different ones within the sandwich. There was the BBQ beef and sauce, but there was also (obviously) the bun, the pickles and the slaw (You can also get it with cheese, but I declined). Instead of tasting only one overpowering ingredient, I was able to taste each one individually and still cohesively. I can’t recall the last time I have eaten something so balanced.
- I have tried many barbecue sauces over my 41 years, and after a while, honestly they can all start tasting the same, especially the ones you can find at supermarkets. Having said that, the sauce here was something new. It didn’t feel like there was too much of any particular ingredient. A lot of sauces can be too acidic because of the amount of vinegar used, or they can be thin and watery, or even too thick and overwhelming. I really don’t know how the folks at Ribs Against the Machine did it, but they have created a sauce as balanced as the sandwich they pair it with.
- As I mentioned earlier, the sandwich looks compact, but each bite was still full of food. I didn’t feel like I needed extra bites to add volume to what I was already chewing.
- The slaw was light, and had a hint of….ginger? I couldn’t really tell, but there was a familiar taste to it that I enjoyed. I think slaw (for the most part) is generally a bunch of cabbage swimming in mayonnaise, but this slaw felt new and refreshing.
- Comes with another side, and I chose mini cornbread muffins, which provided a perfect neutral counter-balance to the different flavors I had just eaten.
- The staff was great: friendly and talkative. They even asked if I would like some extra sauce, which was surprising, but awesome, and I happily accepted.
- Their location is in Glendale, and they were less than ten minutes from my house in typical early-evening traffic.
What I Didn’t Like:
- That I had to walk through the Glendale Tap (a local Glendale bar) to place my order, then walk back out to the street to receive it. Maybe people just normally wait inside the bar and drink a beer with it, but I don’t drink (I don’t have problems with socially hanging out in bars with friends, but I was alone, in sandals and shorts and wasn’t feeling very bar appropriate). By the way, this is nothing against the Glendale Tap, I just didn’t feel very bar-ready.
- That it’s cash only (Although, I was allowed to Venmo the owner, which is fine, though it is a little awkward). I’m surprised when any businesses that embrace social media (which proves they live in a modern age) don’t use modern smart phone credit/debit card readers. I’m sure there’s a reason for it, but from an outsider’s perspective, it seems like they would be missing out on more customers, as some purposefully never carry cash and dislike having to go to an ATM.
- The price. Even though their menu/prices is/are available on their Instagram page, I wasn’t mentally ready to spend that much. HOWEVER, I understand operation costs vs profit, and businesses cannot survive without making money. That just facts. Plus, barbecue is generally on the more expensive side.
- The food was delicious, the staff was great and I love that it was close to home. I will definitely eat there again (and again), as well as try the different items on the menu.