“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”
Poor Reds revisited
A few days after I wrote about the additions to the menu at Poor Reds Bar-B-Q, the eating landmark in the town of El Dorado, I received a call from Mike Adams, the owner. He was inviting me to test a few of the menu items I had not previously tried, along with some of the regular ones.
I met he and his wife, Bree, there on a Tuesday, at about 1:30 in the afternoon. We talked about the different things they are doing to improve Poor Reds with a larger menu and special events and then moved into the dining room and sat at a table which soon became covered in food, all prepared by Chef Casey Moore.
The first dish, quite to my delight, was one of their Australian lobster tails (served only on Friday and Saturday), beautifully served fine dining style, on top of its shell. It was tender and delicious, and more than I could eat, especially with what was coming.
Next I was given a plate with one of their new lunch items, the Prime Rib Sandwich, along with my old favorite, the Pork Dip. The Prime Rib sandwich was very tender and full of flavor. I can see why it has become one of the two most ordered items on the menu. The Pork Dip, which I have been eating since I first visited a long time ago, was delicious and had the dipping sauce that you don’t tell your doctor you eat. It was very lean, maybe a bit too lean (I like a bit of fat in it, not to eat, but to add flavor). However, it was a trip down memory lane and tasted like it should.
Being that it was “Taco Tuesday,” they brought me a couple of their tacos to try. They appeared to be deep fried before adding the garnishes, but not as greasy as some fast-food ones. They sat for a bit on my plate, but were still very good. They come in corn or flour tortillas, are a good size and inexpensive.
Next came a sample of their famous pork ribs and a grilled chicken breast and leg. They are using the original recipe rub for the ribs, which I find a bit salty. However, I have seen people add salt to them and love them. Over the years I have found the ribs varied from moist and delicious to more than a bit dry. These were very moist, meaty and good. The chicken, which I have never ordered, was really good. I ate the drumstick and saved the breast to share (I took home several leftover containers). Now I wish I had kept both of them.
My final dish was a serving of their Baby Back Ribs, which have become the number one seller at dinner. I can see why. The flavor, the tenderness and the sauce were all excellent (see if the chef will tell you what is in the sauce). Ribs should be cooked to pull off the bone, not fall off and these were that way. They gave me an additional half rack to share and everyone gave them raves.
Even though I had been drinking only water while tasting, Mike asked me to try their house Regal Amber beer, which they have made for them. They gave it that name because there is an old sign on the west side of the building that says “Regal Amber.” I like hoppy beers and it was nice, right in the middle between very hoppy and slightly hoppy. Oh, he also ordered some fries to taste at the same time. I love fries, they are my downfall. These were thin, shoestring style, crisp on the outside and tender inside. They kept their crispness for over five minutes, which is excellent.
Mike wanted to make sure I mentioned that there is no added MSG in the food and that he and the staff want to know about anything that you feel can be improved upon to make sure you enjoy your visit. If something is wrong and they don’t hear about it, they won’t know.
For more information give them a call at (530) 622-2901 or visit www.poorredsbbq.com (and be sure to listen to the song “Poor Reds” by the Golden Cadillacs). They also have a Facebook page that lists events almost every day. Oh, when you are there next, ask them about their “Hot Wheels” races