Would we go back:
1414 Nicollet Ave S
• Pulled pork sandwich w/ fries and cole slaw $9.95
Walking into Market BBQ is like walking back into time. They haven't changed the style of the decor since the 1950s and there are jukeboxes at every table. Our waitress fit right in and it was a fun venture.
My food was good, I have had many pulled pork sandwiches that are better, but I have also had some that were worse. This was a little dry, but there were bottles of sauces at the table to remedy that. The fries were good standard fries and the coleslaw was acceptable.
Overall there are better bbq places in the city, but none that I can think of downtown, so if you are hankering for bbq and you find yourself downtown, I would check it out.
• Baby back ribs – ½ rack w/ fries and cole slaw $14.95
Market Bar-B-Que is the type of place that survives because of itself. It serves good quality food at good prices and takes itself seriously, but not too seriously. The panoply of pig-related merchandise speaks to both, and it has been in business for over 60 years. According to the web site, the restaurant takes its name from the Farmer’s Market that used to be across the street. The server we had was professional, but she had a definite order and script that was charming and expeditious, albeit a touch impersonal. The décor is nothing fancy; old, dark wood booths with plastic red-checkered tablecloths take you back in time. Pictures going back over the decades adorn the walls.
All of the ribs at Market Bar-B-Que are wood-smoked. The baby back ribs had a good, strong flavor, and represent a good value for downtown (or near downtown) eats. The meat was cooked well, although the meat was a little tough. The mild and hot barbecue sauces on the table added zip to otherwise dry meat. The generous portion of French fries were fresh and delicious. The cole slaw was below average.
All this said, Market Bar-B-Que is not as real, authentic, or as good as Rooster’s or Lee and Dee’s in Saint Paul . These are good, serviceable ribs served by professionals with plenty of experience.
May 26, 2007