Backyard Chicken Has Ribs, But Should You Order Them?

If you haven’t walked past tiny Backyard Chicken on Pearl St. (at John) in a while you should be aware that they have branched out from selling rotisserie chicken, changed the set up a little and got a new awning with a giant digital scrolling sign above it. This hole-in-the-wall is still that, but a nicer looking one. What drew me there was the promise on that digital sign of ribs (and pizza!?). But the question is: Can you trust a place specializing in chicken with your ribs?

They shifted things around so the line is entirely on the sidewalk which is probably a better use of the small space they have to work with. And the cheaper rent means you get a better deal on food here than at other places selling comparable items.

A half rack of ribs will run you $7 and you get three sides with that (a full rack or half rack/quarter chicken combo are $13). I’m not entirely sure of what ribs usually cost but I thought this was a great deal for the amount of food I got. The hardest part was deciding what sides to get.

Before ordering I scoped out the ribsĀ behind theĀ glass next to the chicken and was pretty excited by what I saw. Instead of the sad ribs you see on too many steam tables swimming in a sea of dubious BBQ sauce with a sheen of fat on top, these were sauceless. And they looked delicious with their dark crust of dry-rubbed seasoning.

After one bite I became that girl gnawing on ribs without caring that my hands and likely face were becoming covered in seasoning and meat juices. I normally don’t like ribs, but these were great – not dried out, and with plenty of seasoning.

The sides aren’t too exciting but unless you really hate mashed potatoes, I urge you to order theirs. They’re chunky in a good way and when paired with the gravy will put you in a happy food coma. I also got some spinach and plantains that were adequate but nothing amazing.

While I admittedly haven’t eaten (or even seen) many ribs in the Financial District, these were great and the price is definitely right. Plus, with winter weather coming this is the kind of comfort food made for dreary days.

Backyard Chicken, 241 Pearl St. (at John), (212) 406-6600



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