Wednesday, February 20, 2013
When it comes to looking for that “hole-in-the-wall” bbq place (you’ve always heard about but have not found on your own) you have to look no further than J.R’s Rib Shack in Panama City, Fl. (the one on Hwy 22 and Star Ave.) there are now two locations but I can only speak for this one. First, it looks a little rough on the outside (we have driven by it a number of times over the last two years) but this particular trip I was running solo and decided to give it a try. Once I made it inside, I kinda liked the animal heads on the wall, a salute to Jr. Earnhardt, little baubles around the walls and all clean and everything about the inside albeit old, it was clean, a nice start. The special for my first trip was all-you-can-eat ribs and a coupla sides for $10.99. So let the feast begin. I chose ribs (pork spares) and my sides were the baked beans and fries. The ribs came out large, very meaty with just the right, amount of fat, a little tension off the bone and a beautiful smoke ring. The ribs came hot, NON-SAUCED and the four bones that were served were delicious. The second order two bones came out much the same as the first (not always the way many other places do it, a lot of times the re-orders are smaller, less meaty, overcooked and drier). The baked beans were hot, had some nice pork mixed in sweet and tasty, not overly sweet but very tasty and finally the fries were crinkle cut, HOT, crispy on the outside and dry and fluffy on the inside, as good as it can get, oh and darest I not forget the 2 HOT pieces of freshly made grilled Texas toast. The service was good and Cindy, the person I spoke with was very enthusiastic and proud of the restaurant (she has been there 13 years) and had me try a couple of other sides, the green beans, hot, not mushy and flavorful, then the Brunswick stew, it was sweet but a little spicy not something I am used to but after mentioning to several locals they said that was not all that unusual…well, not sure my fave but hey, I don’t like lima beans in my stew either but others do. I would give it a try. Despite my thoughts, the stew was served hot and had plenty of meat chopped but NOT to fine. On my next visit (2 days later with Chef Erik) I tried the everyday special choice of 2 meats and sides for $13.99, I had the chicken and ribs…both well done. Then I finally had to try the freshly made banana pud or pudding as my friends so aptly put it…outstanding. This is a must try location and I know you will thank me for it. WELL DONE J.R’s thank you for the culinary delight.