Would we go back:
8019 Glen Lane
• Chicken Plate with Dirty Rice and Potato Salad $9.75
It is hard to connect ribs with Eden Prairie, but why not? It was in a strip mall near Eden Prairie Center. A very small place that just stopped serving beer, apparently they had a little problem with serving minors. It is hard to imagine eating ribs, smoked chicken, with all the fixin's, country music in the background and no beer. It just don't seem right!
I really liked the place for two reasons, one it reminded me of a restaurant in Nashville that I went to on spring break in college. A place I really liked although they served big burritos kinda like one might find at Chipolte now. The other reason I liked it is because the chicken I had reminded me of the turkey my dad would smoke when I was young. Many of you out there may be confused right now...I like this rib place where I had chicken because it reminded me of a burrito place in Nashville and turkey that my dad used to smoke. Welcome to may world. You may send you sympathies to Steve.
The sides were fine, I really like the dirty rice and the potato salad, while not my style, was good.
• Rib Plate with Pasta Salad and Baked Beans $11.50
Are Baker's Ribs' days numbered? Nestled in a strip mall near the Eden Prairie Center, Baker's ribs stopped selling beer a mere six days before we visited. The Texas-style rib joint opened in 1996 and appears to have had some modicum of success (though I couldn't tell you what Texas-style ribs are). Though it's hard to imagine a rib joint surviving without serving beer.
If I lived in the area, I would visit Baker's Ribs several times a year. It's not fancy; you order at the front counter and bus your own table. There are tributes to pigs and Texas throughout the double-unit strip mall location. The three television sets with sports programming give it feeling of a bar and grill. The salvation: the prices for ribs with sides are much lower than you would pay in a fancy restaurant.
The rib plate was good. While I've had better ribs, the price was right. Baker's smokes their ribs, as you might be able to tell by the vast amount of fire wood in the back of the restaurant (apparently the police department in Eden Prairie is much more vigilant than the fire department). They serve the ribs dry, and give you a squeeze bottle of barbecue sauce. The ribs were very good, and the barbecue sauce was adequate, though I prefer a thicker sauce, which was not offered.
The sides were good. I really liked the baked beans with their smoked flavor. The pasta salad was o.k., though it tasted surprisingly like a boxed pasta salad mix. I had ordered the cole slaw instead of the pasta salad to accompany the ribs, but they ran out of cole slaw. You could imagine the horror: a rib joint running out of cole slaw! I'll have to forgive them for the few months they can survive as a rib joint without serving beer.
September 22, 2001