Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lunch at Bubba's Q

Since I returned to Cleveland a couple of years ago it has been a goal of mine to find good barbeque. When we lived in Columbus it was a no brainer, whenever I had to get my "-que" on I just went to City Barbeque. Most people in Cleveland that I've talked to about the subject either don't have an opinion or don't really offer a passionate recommendation. Since we were going out to North Ridgeville for our godson's birthday, I figured it would be a perfect time to visit Bubba's Q in nearby Avon.

We met my two brothers-in-law, since they're always up for this type of food. Let me start by saying the place is very clean and grease free. There's typically a sticky factor that goes into most BBQ places, but there was no grease in the air, no sticky floors or tables. Very pleasant.

I knew since this is such a haul for us distance wise, that I wasn't going to be back anytime soon. That being said, I decided early on that I was going to try as many different things as I could. I ordered the appetizer sampler, which had good sized portions of pulled pork, beef brisket, three St. Louis style ribs, fries and a small side of chili. I also added a side of baked beans because I'm obsessed with good baked beans. Since the missus is able to excercise restrain,t she ordered the smaller pulled pork sliders with sides of cole slaw and green beans. One brother-in-law got the $40.99 MVP platter which consists of 1/2 rack of St. Louis style ribs, 1/2 rack of baby back ribs, 1/2 chicken, 1/4# pulled pork, 1/4# smoked brisket, coleslaw, baked beans, and fries. Ugh. He ate half and took the rest home. My other brother-in-law had the beef brisket with sides of Mac n' cheese and cole slaw.

My overall impression was that it's a good place. My wife and I both felt the pulled pork was a little dry for our liking (I felt the brisket fell in that category as well). We were also plus minus on the sauce. It's a sweeter sauce that I would put a notch above Open Pit. I enjoy a sauce that has a more vinegar in it. On the up side, we loved the ribs, coleslaw, and baked beans. The ribs were top notch, on par with City Barbeque. Perfectly smoked with a crispy exterior these ribs were very good. The baked beans had a brown sugar base that was absolutely delicious. Although I didn't have any of the coleslaw, Mrs. Dine O Mite gives it a huge thumbs up (with a special nod to the fact that's it's made in house).

If you're Jonesin' for some barbeque and don't mind trekking out to Avon, you've got to give Bubba's Q a shot. It's the best I've tasted, so far, in Cleveland.

Bubba's Q
820 Center Rd
Avon, OH 44011
(440) 937-7859

Bubba's Q World Famous Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon


  1. I've had some great ribs from Hot Sauce Williams. Aside from that I've tried a few other places and haven't found anything worth a return visit. I think another foray into Cleveland bbq is overdue. Here are a couple from my to-try list off the top of my head: B&M, Rotuno's, Just Like Mom's, Freddie's... There are a few more but this should keep me busy for a while.

  2. There's a HSW's about a mile away that I've never been to. I may actually pick some up this weekend. I went to B&M which is very close to the HSW's on Lee. I thought it was decent but was a bit nothing that knocked my socks off. They did, however, have good red velvet cake. I'm going to have to try some of the other places you mentioned.

    I did try to go to a place over on Harvard and Warrensville in the middle of the summer. What an experience. I pull up and there's a guy leaning up against the building bracing himself with his forearm looking down. In a split second I winced as I realized he had his donger in his other hand taking a leak right there in broad daylight. I walked up to the store front looked inside and turned around and thought no barbeque is so good that I've got to subject myself tho this. I hopped in my car and never looked back.

    I sometimes wonder if the danger element adds to the whole barbeque experience. Where else do you find bullet proof glass and guys pissing on buildings? I don't even see that at Popeye's. Yeah, I eat Popeye's, so what?

  3. I agree Cleveland's BBQ options are very limited, it is very unfortunate.
    I have been to Bubba's and the ribs are good. I do agree the pulled pork was disappointing, as was the mac and cheese. If you can't do a good mac and cheese, I mean come on...I have also been to B&M and it was alright. Hot Sauce Williams' ribs I found to be disappointing as well, but the fried chicken was spot on. I have been meaning to try Just Like Mom's for a while now too. With all this talk, maybe this week!

  4. My 2 cents. Hot Sauce for chicken, Just Like Mom's for rib tips (although they're pretty vinegery). Never had any crazy experiences at either one. I tend to go pretty late (JLM's is open till at least 4 on weekends).

    I'd love to hear about good ribs. Maybe time to give Bubba's a try.

  5. I'm very intrigued by "Just like Mom's". The name sounds encouraging (as long as it isn't like MY Mom's). Has anyone been to Angie's Soul Food?

  6. Catching up on my reader and finally got to this one. I live about 2 miles from Bubba's. It's ok, service is usually HORRIBLE, which keeps us away. It has gotten better though. I agree on the pulled pork, which is my favorite Q. I guess I'd rather make it at home.

    One place you've got to try is Rotuno's Texas Style BBQ in Elyria. I only made one trip, but I thought it was the best that I've had in Cleveland. I think it's only been open a few months, hopefully they make it!

    Here's their info:
    515 N. Abbe Road
    Elyria, OH 44035
    (440) 366-5027

  7. The next time we go visit our friends in North Ridgeville I'm going to stop there. I've got find something that comes close to a "go to" place. Thanks for the heads up.

  8. I actually live a few blocks away from Rotuno's so I've been meaning to try it. Because of last night's big snowfall I decided to walk somewhere for lunch instead of driving a few miles like I usually do. Then I remembered Rotuno's, so I looked it up online and found a couple of glowing reviews (like the ones here). Now you can add me to that list.

    It's a great BBQ joint with really reasonable prices. I had a half-slab St. Louis style ribs + 2 sides & a slice of texas toast for $10 (normally $13 but today's special). The meat was really tender and they have a good house sauce. Best ribs I've had in a long while! The portions are generous too - I was pretty hungry but only finished a little over half of it. (For comparison sake, yesterday I polished off a bowl of chili and 2 double stacks at Wendy's for lunch).

    The decor is really tastefully done, and they keep it clean. Not a big place (the owner, who is the bbq man, says they can seat 25) so it has a nice, cozy feel to it and the bluegrass music on satellite radio fits well.

    They have take-out and many bulk order (i.e. family style) options.

    This place is a local gem. Better food than the local chains (Texas Roadhouse, Longhorns, Smoky's, etc) at lower prices. I definitely will be going back sometime soon.

    Haven't tried Hot Sauce Williams yet, but I drive by it everytime I go to University Circle. It's a local legend, so gotta drop in one of these days.

    Thanks for blogging about this and all the follow-up comments!