Friday, December 9, 2011

The Rib man, 9th December

The meat to bread ratio. I'm going to say that again. The meat to bread ratio. It is all important. How many times have you had a pulled pork sandwich, a burger, or one of those hog roast sandwiches, stalls of which can be found at every festival and market and ended up vaguely disappointed. And I can tell you for why - the meat to bread ratio is all wrong. And sometimes the bread is of the wrong type as well. As a bread lover, you would think the more bread the better for me, but I'm quite particular in how my sandwiches are compiled. The bread should not drown the filling and unfortunately it too often does.

Someone who clearly understands this is The Rib Man. Normally to be found on Brick Lane on a Sunday, this guy has taken one of everybody's (I use the word everybody here liberally) favourite foods and made it a gazillion times better. Ribs. Ribs are great. But what is the annoying thing about them? That they're on ribs. They're messy and annoying to eat, you have to make loads to get a decent haul of meat off of them. If only there were some other way...

Well, The Rib Man has provided the answer. He goes through all the trouble of marinating these ribs from outside reared Norfolk and Suffolk pigs and then slow cooking them. He then takes all the meat off the bones and serves it up in bread rolls or wraps. Actually, you can also buy them in their natural form on the bone as well if you so wish. 

Ooh saucy! And possibly as big as my head
I went up to Eat Street again today and he was there. That's why I went - to try him out. I saw that there were a few wraps already made and keeping warm but I wanted to try out the roll. The wraps looked good - pretty stuffed and the meat looked great, but I just had the feeling that the real test would be in the roll. So that's what I asked the lady serving for. They had a couple ready made in some paper bags but the guy 'in back' (who I can only assume is the Rib Man himself) said, wait a minute - I'll make a fresh one. And he grabbed a roll and scooped in the meat, grabbed a bunch of kitchen roll with which to hold it and handed it over. My eyes probably did a cartoon bulge at the sight of it. It was massive. The lady then asked me if I wanted any sauce (which the Rib Man makes himself). I went for some BBQ and of course some of the hot stuff. Apparently there is a second hot sauce you can have but it's so hot you have to ask for it specially. I believe it goes by the name of Holy F**k. So I figured the mainstream stuff would be enough for me.

It wasn't all that busy in that area so I found a seat and began to tuck in. 

This is the view halfway through - I'm attempting to show
how juicy the meat is without sauce
I've got to say, it was pretty special. The roll was hefty, and soft - it was the perfect roll in which to encase some shredded meat. He had also packed it so full, he had managed to attain the perfect B to M ratio (see above). At last! This almost excited me more than the taste. I had quite a bit of sauce on the meat, which I tried, sort of unsuccessfully to spread evenly across all the meat, but to be honest, the meat is so juicy, sauce isn't essential. But it tastes good so whack some of that on too. The BBQ sauce is sweet and smoky, the hot sauce is bloody hot. It seriously made my mouth, tongue and I think even teeth tingle. 

I would say I couldn't get enough of this sandwich but it is so huge, that would just be a blatant lie. At about three quarters of the way through I thought a decent person would probably stop, but I'm not a decent person - I'm a glutton so I ploughed on to the end!  Just wonderful.

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Please feel free to add your views, or maybe suggest somewhere I should put on my list!