Restaurant review: B&K Smokehouse tickles your rib expectations

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Ever eat turkey ribs? I’m gonna go out on a limb and say no, because … well, who in the hell eats turkey ribs? On purpose. I mean can you even envision such a thing? Still, I’m here to tell you the “Turkey Ribs” I tried at B&K Smokehouse are fantastic. Note: They are only available as specials on Fridays and Saturdays.

Counter-ordering B&K is a humble, two-year-old barbecue shop in Olde Towne East. It’s pretty easy to drive by — unless you let the scent of smoke lead your nose to its doorstep. Inside, you’ll find a quirky, to-go-oriented place with five little tables.

B&K’s walls hold old Mad Magazine covers and — good company for Mad — a portrait of that ubiquitous Ohio State superfan in the crazy white outfit who goes by “Buck-I-Guy.” B&K also has a full-sized, special flag — a red, white and blue pennant with “BBQ” written on it. You’ll want to salute that flag after consuming B&K’s turkey ribs.

OK, they’re not really ribs. They’re actually a portion of breast-like, white meat taken from the bird’s shoulder area. And in B&K’s hands, they are fall-off-the-bone and melt-in-your-mouth tender (the bone is longish and curved). The juicy and delicious ribs also sport an impressive pink “smoke ring.”

If you get a $13 “dinner plate” like I did, it’ll include Styrofoam containers with two sides, bread choice (my cornbread was kinda dry but not overly sweet) and three smoke-scented, spice-rubbed ribs approximately the size of small chicken breasts. Two sauces are available, a conventional sweet red barbecue condiment and a more interesting and zingy, mustard-spiked sauce.

Side-wise, I liked the soupy and homey green beans, which featured a welcome jolt supplied by pickled chili peppers. Had my baked beans not been cold, their sweet, zesty and perfume-y flavor tickled by pickle relish would’ve shone better.

The other stuff I tried — pot roast-like and curiously unsmoky brisket, underseasoned collard greens and too-soft macaroni with wads of cheese but no sauce — suggested B&K might’ve been having an off day. I’ll give the place another shot … but on a Friday or Saturday.

Photo by Meghan Ralston

B&K Smokehouse

1114 E. Main St., Olde Towne East