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BBQ Baby Back Rib Night

Posted Monday, April 23rd, 2012 09:23 am GMT -6 in Food

Rick Nelson of the Star Tribune said the best ribs in the Twin Cities are at the 128 Cafe (128 Cleveland Avenue N, St. Paul, 651-645-4128). When I worked in St. Paul, I must have driven by that place across from the University of St. Thomas campus a million times, but never ate there. After emailing them a request for a Sunday night reservation, Colleen and I finally visited this past weekend.

I started with the ginger-soy sirloin skewers with purple cabbage slaw and spicy cashew sauce ($9), while Colleen tried the soup special (tomato basil, $4). We shared a really good Caesar salad ($7) before the main course, which I totally agree with Mr. Nelson – these were the best BBQ baby back ribs I’ve ever had (full rack with mashed potatoes, sautéed vegetables and sweet spicy bbq sauce, $30).

The meat literally fell off the bone and the sauce had just the right amount of kick. Our waiter recommended a red wine to go with the ribs (Zinfandel, Kazmet Valley, Graziano, CA 2009, $11), which to my novice wine nose was almost reminiscent of Scotch. Colleen had her favorite sparkling water (San Pellegrino) and we shared a bowl of Izzy’s vanilla ice cream with hand-made chocolate sauce ($7) for dessert.

The room was much smaller than I expected and the ambient noise level was very low (despite a full house). The service was very slow – it took almost 15 minutes before someone took our order – and we were there for nearly two hours. Maybe we caught them on a short-staffed evening, but the quality of the food more than made up for it. If you like ribs, call and make reservations now…

Originally published by DK on April 23, 2012 at 9:23 am

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