If the quality of a restaurant was directly converse to it’s level of “shadiness”, House of Ribs (known both as Ms. Betty’s House of Ribs or Bouldercrest House of Ribs, based on where you find the reference point) would be, hands down, the best restaurant in the city. In a trailer that has seen better days, with two signs tacked onto the end facing Bouldercrest, it would be easy to miss.
As we pulled up to the “restaurant”, there was an SUV parked parallel to the ramp that you see in the picture above. When I pulled past that SUV, I could see the smokehouse over to my left, in the middle of the parking lot. The “shadiness” factor just went up a notch. I pulled into a parking place and went to turn the car off and realized that I was the only one getting out. Jo looked at me and said, “You’ll eat just about ANYWHERE, won’t you?” I turned the car back on and ran inside.
When I got to the top of the ramp, the first thing I saw was the giant sign “NO PUBLIC RESTROOM”. Okay. I walk inside and realize that the trailer is about 1/2 kitchen. There are two tables, one on each side, with three chairs each, and a counter. The man at the counter is not a giant – he was about my height. The place is just that small. As this was a stop of convenience (how often do we get into that part of East Atlanta) more than necessity, I ordered a rib sandwich to go, and grabbed a Coke from the cooler.
I waited about five minutes and the lady behind the counter caught my eye and asked “rib sandwich?” I walked up to the counter and she educated me on their two sauces, one a yellow mustard based sauce and the other a thick brown sweet sauce, which she suggested that “most people mix”. I thanked her, grabbed my Coke and some napkins and headed to the car.
My rib sandwich had three ribs between two pieces of whole wheat toast. I tore the first rib from the other two, easily, with my fingers. Pulled the rib up to my mouth, sans sauce, and with a slight pull picked the bone clean. The meat was tender, nicely smoked and had a good flavor. I pulled a piece of meat from the side of the second rib and tried the two sauces. I preferred the sweet, but I could see how the two would make a good mix if you had room to spread out. I then pulled the rest of the meat from the two bones, placed it between the wheat bread, poured a few drops of sweet sauce on top, slapped the top slice on and had an actual rib sandwich. I can see why they’ve been around so long – good barbecue, served quickly. No frills, but you don’t always need them.