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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Review: Walt's BBQ, by guest blogger Kasmira

Kasmira wanted to guest blog! Now I have to come up with an outfit cool enough for HER blog....

I’m not a fan of BBQ, but when my husband dragged me to Walt’s BBQ on Colerain a few weeks ago, I liked the sides enough to suggest we go back. Link

We showed up for dinner at a little past 7 p.m. on a Thursday night. The parking lot was packed. We actually had to wait for a space. Happily, there were plenty of open seats inside and the hostess was able to grant my request for an “out of the way” spot. (I didn’t want to be totally obvious with the picture taking.)

The best non-food thing about Walt’s is the trivia cards on each table. Several editions of Trivial Pursuit gave their lives to provide the tables with a thick stack of cards. While the wait for food isn’t long, it seems even shorter while sucking down a beer and quizzing your dining companion on trivia.

(I always find it amusing when food writers refer to the person eating with them as their “companion.” It sounds kind of naughty and clandestine. Like maybe the NY Times food critic takes a call girl out for dinner on the paper’s dime.)

We both ordered entrees with our choice of two sides.

Sides

My companion (okay, it was just my husband) ordered his meal with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans. When I asked why, he told me “potatoes are my favorite vegetable.” (He refused to listen when I explained that they were more in the “bread” than “vegetable” group.) I think he ordered the green beans just because they required little chewing, and thus little tasting, to get down. I sampled the potatoes and they were adequate, although bland. I was surprised to find they had actual chunks of potato. It was nice to see evidence that they didn’t just come from a box. I have no comment on the green beans. I didn’t try them and I don’t think Mike did more than swallow them like big vitamin pills.

I put more thought into my sides. I ordered the sweet potato casserole. It is amazing. I’d say the primary ingredients are mashed sweet potatoes, butter, brown sugar, and chopped pecans. If potatoes count as vegetables, than sweet potatoes are my favorite. Honestly, though, the casserole is so decadent that I’m tempted to classify sweet potatoes as a dessert instead. I’m a cole slaw fiend, so I ordered that as my second side. It was disappointing: too much mayonnaise and too much vineger. The cabbage had marinated for so long that it had lost its firmness. I took only a few bites. (For the record, the best slaw in town is the veggie slaw at Gabby’s in Wyoming.)

Mike’s meal also came with a corn muffin. I love corn muffins and Walt’s are no exception. The muffins are heavy, moist, and sweet. They don’t even need the butter that comes alongside. These muffins are so good that I’ve had Mike drive to Walt’s and bring them home for me.

Last time we visited Walt’s, I also tried the macaroni and cheese and fried okra. Both were good.

Entrée

Mike had the pulled pork and beef brisket. I couldn’t get more than an “Mmmmmmmm” out of him, so I tasted his meal myself. I hate pork, so, predictably, I hated the pulled pork. The beef, though, was great. It was juicy and flavorful and I would have been tempted to eat more if I didn’t have a huge plate of fish in front of me. Walt’s offers two bottles of BBQ sauce at the table (your guess is as good as mine as to which of the three sauces, original, sweet, or spicy, is in them). Mike slathered his meat with the bottle we assumed to be hot sauce (red lid), but I didn’t find it spicy at all. It tasted like you’d expect BBQ sauce to taste: sweet, smokey, and tart.

I ordered the tilapia based on the recommendation of a fellow Walt’s lover. I was served two very large pieces of deep fried fish. One of the ends was a bit over-crispy and the fillets wouldn’t have satisfied Chef Ramsey, but it was still satisfying and tasty. I appreciated that the fillets came with both a slice of lemon and tartar sauce. The portions of fish were so generous that, even with Mike’s help, I ate only one fillet. (Maybe I had too much sweet potato casserole?)

Last time we ate at Walt’s, I ordered the sausage and sauerkraut. It was dreadful. The kraut was overly tart and the sausage had been boiled so long that, once the casing was broken, it had the consistency of oatmeal. I’m no carnivore, but even a sometimes vegetarian like myself wants a little firmness when she eats flesh.

Appetizers

I’m mentioning appetizers last because I only dimly remember eating the fried pickles on my first visit. I shoved them down my throat so quickly that I hardly remember eating them at all. They were that good. Can you screw up fried pickles? I haven’t had any bad ones yet.

Walt’s is a budget and family friendly place for a casual dinner. You get loads of meat for a low price and there is a play area in one corner for the kiddies. (It's right next to the servers’ drink station, to their delight, I’m sure.) Adults will appreciate the beer and trivia. Walt’s BBQ is located on Colerain road, a little north of West North Bend Road. Try it this weekend. After all, Mikey likes it.

13 comments:

Cin Twin1 said...

Great review! Being new to Cincinnati if a restaurant didn't just open or is located downtown, I probably have not heard of it! I am from the South, and we call fried pickles "frickles". It is just fun to say. Glad to know there is more BBQ in Cincinnati than Montogmery Inn. Even though it is a chain, I don't think City BBQ is that bad.

I have to confess, I worked at a Sonny's BBQ one time. We got a free meal for everyshift we worked. I thought it was decent.

Julie said...

CinTwin, where are you from? Terry, too, hails from the South, and though he swears you can't get really GOOD barbecue up here, he does like both City Barbecue and Montgomery Inn for a "fix" to hold him until he can get some Golden Rule.

Cin Twin1 said...

I am from a little town in SC called Bennetsville. It is about 1.5 hour from Myrtle Beach and 45 minutes from Florence.

I went to Clemson University and met my hubby there. He is originally from Toronto but moved to the Cincinnati when he was in Middle School. After Clemson, he went to law school at UC and works for a firm downtown, so that is how I ended up here.

BTW, I have a twin who I also relocated here!

The Phantom said...

I lived for two years near Kansas City and I agree that you can't get really good BBQ here. Nothing beats Arthur Byant's. The thing I miss most are burnt ends. Anyone know if you can get those in the tri-state area?

Julie said...

I'm pretty sure you can ask for them, Phantom. That's Terry's favorite part, too, and he asks for them. I just don't remember how he phrases it...

Julie said...

CinTwin (I gathered you had a twin!), does your twin also like food? :)

Kelly said...

My boyfriend hails from NC and is a total BBQ snob. The closest he's found to "acceptable" BBQ here is Pit-to-Plate.

Cin Twin1 said...

My sister likes to eat food, not so much on preparing it. Then again, she is single and lives by herself and finds it hard to be motivated to cook for one. Her philosophy is it can't take longer to make dinner than it does to eat it. She microwaves a lot!

liberal foodie said...

I agree with the other commenter, Pit to Plate has good barbeque.
http://liberalfoodie.blogspot.com/2008/02/plating-food-cooked-in-smoky-pit.html

After reading this post, I am not sure if I want to try Walt's. Except for the meats and fish, some of their offerings don't sound tempting. Regardless, I am sure we'll stop in there sometime, since we enjoy barbeque.

Julie said...

Haven't tried Pit to Plate. Terry and I went to BBQ Revue, and found their pulled pork to be crock pot barbecue-- and if I want crock pot barbecue, I can make it myself.

I'm sort of glad I didn't try this restaurant (thank you, guinea pig Kasmira!) because for me, sides are just as important. Though the sweet potatoes sound good, nothing else does, and that's disappointing!

Chris S said...

Just a note, BBQ Revue isn't really famous for their pulled pork (its 'meh' at best), but for Ribs, they do darn fine smoked ribs (something you WILL NOT find at say montgomery inn, which is quite obviously when you try it "cheater" ribs - par boild)

I'm a big fan of the Revue Ribs. I like Pit to Plate for their chicken. Unfortunately, I don't think there is one BBQ place I can say does everything really well.

Julie said...

I'll try their ribs next time. I like Montgomery Inn's ribs, but I don't pretend they're barbecue, but they are tasty. I LOVE Goodie's ribs. Mmmm.

liz said...

oh my god, i <3 walt's! best bbq by far in my opinion. the key is the ribs... my favorite are ribs which are delicious and need no sauce. montgomery inn ribs are terrible in my opinion. i love walt's ribs and also their greens. yum!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Review: Walt's BBQ, by guest blogger Kasmira

Kasmira wanted to guest blog! Now I have to come up with an outfit cool enough for HER blog....

I’m not a fan of BBQ, but when my husband dragged me to Walt’s BBQ on Colerain a few weeks ago, I liked the sides enough to suggest we go back. Link

We showed up for dinner at a little past 7 p.m. on a Thursday night. The parking lot was packed. We actually had to wait for a space. Happily, there were plenty of open seats inside and the hostess was able to grant my request for an “out of the way” spot. (I didn’t want to be totally obvious with the picture taking.)

The best non-food thing about Walt’s is the trivia cards on each table. Several editions of Trivial Pursuit gave their lives to provide the tables with a thick stack of cards. While the wait for food isn’t long, it seems even shorter while sucking down a beer and quizzing your dining companion on trivia.

(I always find it amusing when food writers refer to the person eating with them as their “companion.” It sounds kind of naughty and clandestine. Like maybe the NY Times food critic takes a call girl out for dinner on the paper’s dime.)

We both ordered entrees with our choice of two sides.

Sides

My companion (okay, it was just my husband) ordered his meal with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans. When I asked why, he told me “potatoes are my favorite vegetable.” (He refused to listen when I explained that they were more in the “bread” than “vegetable” group.) I think he ordered the green beans just because they required little chewing, and thus little tasting, to get down. I sampled the potatoes and they were adequate, although bland. I was surprised to find they had actual chunks of potato. It was nice to see evidence that they didn’t just come from a box. I have no comment on the green beans. I didn’t try them and I don’t think Mike did more than swallow them like big vitamin pills.

I put more thought into my sides. I ordered the sweet potato casserole. It is amazing. I’d say the primary ingredients are mashed sweet potatoes, butter, brown sugar, and chopped pecans. If potatoes count as vegetables, than sweet potatoes are my favorite. Honestly, though, the casserole is so decadent that I’m tempted to classify sweet potatoes as a dessert instead. I’m a cole slaw fiend, so I ordered that as my second side. It was disappointing: too much mayonnaise and too much vineger. The cabbage had marinated for so long that it had lost its firmness. I took only a few bites. (For the record, the best slaw in town is the veggie slaw at Gabby’s in Wyoming.)

Mike’s meal also came with a corn muffin. I love corn muffins and Walt’s are no exception. The muffins are heavy, moist, and sweet. They don’t even need the butter that comes alongside. These muffins are so good that I’ve had Mike drive to Walt’s and bring them home for me.

Last time we visited Walt’s, I also tried the macaroni and cheese and fried okra. Both were good.

Entrée

Mike had the pulled pork and beef brisket. I couldn’t get more than an “Mmmmmmmm” out of him, so I tasted his meal myself. I hate pork, so, predictably, I hated the pulled pork. The beef, though, was great. It was juicy and flavorful and I would have been tempted to eat more if I didn’t have a huge plate of fish in front of me. Walt’s offers two bottles of BBQ sauce at the table (your guess is as good as mine as to which of the three sauces, original, sweet, or spicy, is in them). Mike slathered his meat with the bottle we assumed to be hot sauce (red lid), but I didn’t find it spicy at all. It tasted like you’d expect BBQ sauce to taste: sweet, smokey, and tart.

I ordered the tilapia based on the recommendation of a fellow Walt’s lover. I was served two very large pieces of deep fried fish. One of the ends was a bit over-crispy and the fillets wouldn’t have satisfied Chef Ramsey, but it was still satisfying and tasty. I appreciated that the fillets came with both a slice of lemon and tartar sauce. The portions of fish were so generous that, even with Mike’s help, I ate only one fillet. (Maybe I had too much sweet potato casserole?)

Last time we ate at Walt’s, I ordered the sausage and sauerkraut. It was dreadful. The kraut was overly tart and the sausage had been boiled so long that, once the casing was broken, it had the consistency of oatmeal. I’m no carnivore, but even a sometimes vegetarian like myself wants a little firmness when she eats flesh.

Appetizers

I’m mentioning appetizers last because I only dimly remember eating the fried pickles on my first visit. I shoved them down my throat so quickly that I hardly remember eating them at all. They were that good. Can you screw up fried pickles? I haven’t had any bad ones yet.

Walt’s is a budget and family friendly place for a casual dinner. You get loads of meat for a low price and there is a play area in one corner for the kiddies. (It's right next to the servers’ drink station, to their delight, I’m sure.) Adults will appreciate the beer and trivia. Walt’s BBQ is located on Colerain road, a little north of West North Bend Road. Try it this weekend. After all, Mikey likes it.

13 comments:

Cin Twin1 said...

Great review! Being new to Cincinnati if a restaurant didn't just open or is located downtown, I probably have not heard of it! I am from the South, and we call fried pickles "frickles". It is just fun to say. Glad to know there is more BBQ in Cincinnati than Montogmery Inn. Even though it is a chain, I don't think City BBQ is that bad.

I have to confess, I worked at a Sonny's BBQ one time. We got a free meal for everyshift we worked. I thought it was decent.

Julie said...

CinTwin, where are you from? Terry, too, hails from the South, and though he swears you can't get really GOOD barbecue up here, he does like both City Barbecue and Montgomery Inn for a "fix" to hold him until he can get some Golden Rule.

Cin Twin1 said...

I am from a little town in SC called Bennetsville. It is about 1.5 hour from Myrtle Beach and 45 minutes from Florence.

I went to Clemson University and met my hubby there. He is originally from Toronto but moved to the Cincinnati when he was in Middle School. After Clemson, he went to law school at UC and works for a firm downtown, so that is how I ended up here.

BTW, I have a twin who I also relocated here!

The Phantom said...

I lived for two years near Kansas City and I agree that you can't get really good BBQ here. Nothing beats Arthur Byant's. The thing I miss most are burnt ends. Anyone know if you can get those in the tri-state area?

Julie said...

I'm pretty sure you can ask for them, Phantom. That's Terry's favorite part, too, and he asks for them. I just don't remember how he phrases it...

Julie said...

CinTwin (I gathered you had a twin!), does your twin also like food? :)

Kelly said...

My boyfriend hails from NC and is a total BBQ snob. The closest he's found to "acceptable" BBQ here is Pit-to-Plate.

Cin Twin1 said...

My sister likes to eat food, not so much on preparing it. Then again, she is single and lives by herself and finds it hard to be motivated to cook for one. Her philosophy is it can't take longer to make dinner than it does to eat it. She microwaves a lot!

liberal foodie said...

I agree with the other commenter, Pit to Plate has good barbeque.
http://liberalfoodie.blogspot.com/2008/02/plating-food-cooked-in-smoky-pit.html

After reading this post, I am not sure if I want to try Walt's. Except for the meats and fish, some of their offerings don't sound tempting. Regardless, I am sure we'll stop in there sometime, since we enjoy barbeque.

Julie said...

Haven't tried Pit to Plate. Terry and I went to BBQ Revue, and found their pulled pork to be crock pot barbecue-- and if I want crock pot barbecue, I can make it myself.

I'm sort of glad I didn't try this restaurant (thank you, guinea pig Kasmira!) because for me, sides are just as important. Though the sweet potatoes sound good, nothing else does, and that's disappointing!

Chris S said...

Just a note, BBQ Revue isn't really famous for their pulled pork (its 'meh' at best), but for Ribs, they do darn fine smoked ribs (something you WILL NOT find at say montgomery inn, which is quite obviously when you try it "cheater" ribs - par boild)

I'm a big fan of the Revue Ribs. I like Pit to Plate for their chicken. Unfortunately, I don't think there is one BBQ place I can say does everything really well.

Julie said...

I'll try their ribs next time. I like Montgomery Inn's ribs, but I don't pretend they're barbecue, but they are tasty. I LOVE Goodie's ribs. Mmmm.

liz said...

oh my god, i <3 walt's! best bbq by far in my opinion. the key is the ribs... my favorite are ribs which are delicious and need no sauce. montgomery inn ribs are terrible in my opinion. i love walt's ribs and also their greens. yum!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Review: Walt's BBQ, by guest blogger Kasmira

Kasmira wanted to guest blog! Now I have to come up with an outfit cool enough for HER blog....

I’m not a fan of BBQ, but when my husband dragged me to Walt’s BBQ on Colerain a few weeks ago, I liked the sides enough to suggest we go back. Link

We showed up for dinner at a little past 7 p.m. on a Thursday night. The parking lot was packed. We actually had to wait for a space. Happily, there were plenty of open seats inside and the hostess was able to grant my request for an “out of the way” spot. (I didn’t want to be totally obvious with the picture taking.)

The best non-food thing about Walt’s is the trivia cards on each table. Several editions of Trivial Pursuit gave their lives to provide the tables with a thick stack of cards. While the wait for food isn’t long, it seems even shorter while sucking down a beer and quizzing your dining companion on trivia.

(I always find it amusing when food writers refer to the person eating with them as their “companion.” It sounds kind of naughty and clandestine. Like maybe the NY Times food critic takes a call girl out for dinner on the paper’s dime.)

We both ordered entrees with our choice of two sides.

Sides

My companion (okay, it was just my husband) ordered his meal with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans. When I asked why, he told me “potatoes are my favorite vegetable.” (He refused to listen when I explained that they were more in the “bread” than “vegetable” group.) I think he ordered the green beans just because they required little chewing, and thus little tasting, to get down. I sampled the potatoes and they were adequate, although bland. I was surprised to find they had actual chunks of potato. It was nice to see evidence that they didn’t just come from a box. I have no comment on the green beans. I didn’t try them and I don’t think Mike did more than swallow them like big vitamin pills.

I put more thought into my sides. I ordered the sweet potato casserole. It is amazing. I’d say the primary ingredients are mashed sweet potatoes, butter, brown sugar, and chopped pecans. If potatoes count as vegetables, than sweet potatoes are my favorite. Honestly, though, the casserole is so decadent that I’m tempted to classify sweet potatoes as a dessert instead. I’m a cole slaw fiend, so I ordered that as my second side. It was disappointing: too much mayonnaise and too much vineger. The cabbage had marinated for so long that it had lost its firmness. I took only a few bites. (For the record, the best slaw in town is the veggie slaw at Gabby’s in Wyoming.)

Mike’s meal also came with a corn muffin. I love corn muffins and Walt’s are no exception. The muffins are heavy, moist, and sweet. They don’t even need the butter that comes alongside. These muffins are so good that I’ve had Mike drive to Walt’s and bring them home for me.

Last time we visited Walt’s, I also tried the macaroni and cheese and fried okra. Both were good.

Entrée

Mike had the pulled pork and beef brisket. I couldn’t get more than an “Mmmmmmmm” out of him, so I tasted his meal myself. I hate pork, so, predictably, I hated the pulled pork. The beef, though, was great. It was juicy and flavorful and I would have been tempted to eat more if I didn’t have a huge plate of fish in front of me. Walt’s offers two bottles of BBQ sauce at the table (your guess is as good as mine as to which of the three sauces, original, sweet, or spicy, is in them). Mike slathered his meat with the bottle we assumed to be hot sauce (red lid), but I didn’t find it spicy at all. It tasted like you’d expect BBQ sauce to taste: sweet, smokey, and tart.

I ordered the tilapia based on the recommendation of a fellow Walt’s lover. I was served two very large pieces of deep fried fish. One of the ends was a bit over-crispy and the fillets wouldn’t have satisfied Chef Ramsey, but it was still satisfying and tasty. I appreciated that the fillets came with both a slice of lemon and tartar sauce. The portions of fish were so generous that, even with Mike’s help, I ate only one fillet. (Maybe I had too much sweet potato casserole?)

Last time we ate at Walt’s, I ordered the sausage and sauerkraut. It was dreadful. The kraut was overly tart and the sausage had been boiled so long that, once the casing was broken, it had the consistency of oatmeal. I’m no carnivore, but even a sometimes vegetarian like myself wants a little firmness when she eats flesh.

Appetizers

I’m mentioning appetizers last because I only dimly remember eating the fried pickles on my first visit. I shoved them down my throat so quickly that I hardly remember eating them at all. They were that good. Can you screw up fried pickles? I haven’t had any bad ones yet.

Walt’s is a budget and family friendly place for a casual dinner. You get loads of meat for a low price and there is a play area in one corner for the kiddies. (It's right next to the servers’ drink station, to their delight, I’m sure.) Adults will appreciate the beer and trivia. Walt’s BBQ is located on Colerain road, a little north of West North Bend Road. Try it this weekend. After all, Mikey likes it.

13 comments:

Cin Twin1 said...

Great review! Being new to Cincinnati if a restaurant didn't just open or is located downtown, I probably have not heard of it! I am from the South, and we call fried pickles "frickles". It is just fun to say. Glad to know there is more BBQ in Cincinnati than Montogmery Inn. Even though it is a chain, I don't think City BBQ is that bad.

I have to confess, I worked at a Sonny's BBQ one time. We got a free meal for everyshift we worked. I thought it was decent.

Julie said...

CinTwin, where are you from? Terry, too, hails from the South, and though he swears you can't get really GOOD barbecue up here, he does like both City Barbecue and Montgomery Inn for a "fix" to hold him until he can get some Golden Rule.

Cin Twin1 said...

I am from a little town in SC called Bennetsville. It is about 1.5 hour from Myrtle Beach and 45 minutes from Florence.

I went to Clemson University and met my hubby there. He is originally from Toronto but moved to the Cincinnati when he was in Middle School. After Clemson, he went to law school at UC and works for a firm downtown, so that is how I ended up here.

BTW, I have a twin who I also relocated here!

The Phantom said...

I lived for two years near Kansas City and I agree that you can't get really good BBQ here. Nothing beats Arthur Byant's. The thing I miss most are burnt ends. Anyone know if you can get those in the tri-state area?

Julie said...

I'm pretty sure you can ask for them, Phantom. That's Terry's favorite part, too, and he asks for them. I just don't remember how he phrases it...

Julie said...

CinTwin (I gathered you had a twin!), does your twin also like food? :)

Kelly said...

My boyfriend hails from NC and is a total BBQ snob. The closest he's found to "acceptable" BBQ here is Pit-to-Plate.

Cin Twin1 said...

My sister likes to eat food, not so much on preparing it. Then again, she is single and lives by herself and finds it hard to be motivated to cook for one. Her philosophy is it can't take longer to make dinner than it does to eat it. She microwaves a lot!

liberal foodie said...

I agree with the other commenter, Pit to Plate has good barbeque.
http://liberalfoodie.blogspot.com/2008/02/plating-food-cooked-in-smoky-pit.html

After reading this post, I am not sure if I want to try Walt's. Except for the meats and fish, some of their offerings don't sound tempting. Regardless, I am sure we'll stop in there sometime, since we enjoy barbeque.

Julie said...

Haven't tried Pit to Plate. Terry and I went to BBQ Revue, and found their pulled pork to be crock pot barbecue-- and if I want crock pot barbecue, I can make it myself.

I'm sort of glad I didn't try this restaurant (thank you, guinea pig Kasmira!) because for me, sides are just as important. Though the sweet potatoes sound good, nothing else does, and that's disappointing!

Chris S said...

Just a note, BBQ Revue isn't really famous for their pulled pork (its 'meh' at best), but for Ribs, they do darn fine smoked ribs (something you WILL NOT find at say montgomery inn, which is quite obviously when you try it "cheater" ribs - par boild)

I'm a big fan of the Revue Ribs. I like Pit to Plate for their chicken. Unfortunately, I don't think there is one BBQ place I can say does everything really well.

Julie said...

I'll try their ribs next time. I like Montgomery Inn's ribs, but I don't pretend they're barbecue, but they are tasty. I LOVE Goodie's ribs. Mmmm.

liz said...

oh my god, i <3 walt's! best bbq by far in my opinion. the key is the ribs... my favorite are ribs which are delicious and need no sauce. montgomery inn ribs are terrible in my opinion. i love walt's ribs and also their greens. yum!