New Westside BBQ’s Humble Atmospherics Evoke Rib Shack from House of Cards

. July 27, 2016.
Snapchat-8943970961686837292

Situated in a modest candy-red building next to the Fingerle Lumber yards, Westside BBQ (108 E. Madison), based on looks alone, is Ann Arbor’s closest compatriot to Freddy’s Rib Joint from the Netflix series House of Cards.

Delineated by a chalkboard sign that says, “Westside BBQ,” the veritable shack’s black trim against the candy red evokes the smoked crust-pink interior motif most long-time BBQ fare patrons are familiar with.

There are two picnic tables out front with a bright red water bowl for dogs near the front door. Black cinder block and 4×4 lengths of wood comprise DIY benches along the side of the building, leading to a square-brick-tiled patio bordered by an unfinished wood picket fence lined by mosaic stacks of cherry and apple firewood to feed the roughly 10ft torpedo-shaped smoker trailer. There are two picnic tables on that patio, one of which has an umbrella.

Inside, there’s an abbreviated steel counter book-ended by two piggy banks. The kitchen is largely exposed to guests with a roll of brown butcher paper sitting on an otherwise cleared stainless steel table as a mark of authenticity. Drinks are in a small coffin-sized cooler. Guests can sit at a 10-seat community table decorated with a few varieties of hot sauce. There’s a large white cooler.

Printed in black and white on a 8.5x11in sheet of paper, the BBQ menu for July 26 listed dirty rice and beans for $8 with the option to add brisket for a $14 total. The green bell pepper, red onion, celery, fresh thyme, garlic and red pepper Beef Brisket sandwiches, served on a fresh-baked brioche bun with coleslaw, spicy dill pickle chips and bourbon molasses BBQ sauce “always on the side” go for $15. Available sides include mac and cheese for $5 and baked beans with organic molasses and PBR for $4.

Though it was closed when we stopped by, the truncated menu and humble space evidence some carefully unpretentious kitchen work, which I’m looking forward to confirming in the coming days.

Westside BBQ is open everyday from 11:00am until it sells out of smoked meats, which is usually around 2:30 or 3:00pm.


The 1/2 Chicken with Slaw and Cheesy Potatoes


Chef Matteo Melosi tends to the Smoker


The half rack of ribs


Chef Matteo Melosi tends to the Smoker

Westside BBQ is located at 108 E. Madison. Check out the restaurant’s Facebook page for periodic updates; its website isn’t working yet. 

Trending


Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1030): Got error 28 from storage engine in /home/ecurrent/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1811

Estar Cohen Lives Fully in All The Moments of Music

“can’t hold on // I can feel time as it bends…” Just some lyrics from a composition called “Endings” by award-winning jazz vocalist Estar Cohen; and this propulsive image aptly fits for her music career, as each year since her 2015 graduation from the University of Toledo has gotten busier, faster, more exciting. You can

Monticello Van Odom – ‘In My Mind’

An essential way to craft a resonant piece of music is to unpack the existential pondering, the fleeting but insistent anxieties, the hard truths and easy reminders, that are swimming around up inside the head of the songwriter. The sublimity of Saline-based folk/Americana artist Monticello Van Odom‘s album is in how its spilling out all

Heavy Color’s River Passage

Toledo’s future beat/psy-jazz/hybrid electro duo Heavy Color recently premiered a new music video that commemorates an inspiring musical odyssey charted by one of its songwriters back in 2015. The group formed several years ago around the collaborations of Ben Cohen and Sam Woldenberg. Their Toledo’s answer to cerebral ambient electronica acts like Four Tet, Caribou,

Green Book is Worth the Trip

An elite black pianist tours the segregated south with a white roughneck chauffeur. Green Book combines two crowd-pleasing formulas—the road movie and the true story—with two stellar lead actors, Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. Mortensen plays Tony Lip, a white, working class second-generation Italian-American from the Bronx who works as a nightclub bouncer. Ali plays