The Last Ribs of Summer

Sep 18, 2011 | 1 comment

Ranch House BBQ

     We had an errand to do in Seattle and, when we saw the rainy skies yesterday, we decided to just go.  It didn’t look like a lawn-mowing day or a day to sit around and commune with the chickens.  And. for once, the timing would work out perfectly for lunch at the Ranch House BBQ.
     The restaurant is on Highway 8 just south of Olympia.  We pass it on every trip north but we are always too early and by our return trip, we just want to get home. We’ve heard rave reviews from friends and neighbors for years and have always had good intentions.
     Then, a few years ago it burned down.  We thought we had missed our opportunity entirely, but up it came again, like a phoenix from the ashes.  So, at last, we went.
     It was good.  Maybe even delicious.  But, I have to report (in all modesty) that Nyel said, “I like your barbecued ribs much better.”  High praise!  And since I take pride in doing very little cooking at all in this household, it’s good to know that one of my ‘specialties’ is a hit.
     The best ribs I ever ate were in a very ordinary looking restaurant on Mission Street in Hayward – the kind with booths and no-nonsense waitresses and excellent service.  And hot, damp towels for mopping yourself up afterwards.  None of these wimpy little wet wipes.   I used to go there in the ‘60s and ‘70s whenever I thought I deserved a treat.
     As for my own ribs recipe – its source eludes me.  The very spattered and frayed recipe card says “From the Kitchen of Sydney LaRue.”  Does that mean that I, myself, concocted it in another lifetime?  Maybe so but from a fifty-year vantage point my memory is as spotty as the card.
     We probably won’t go back to the Ranch House Barbeque.  There are too many other interesting places to try.  And, undoubtedly, most of them do a better job than I on whatever their particular specialty may be.  As for ribs… I guess we eat in.

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Not only did the Ranch House burn, when it did it had just be rebuilt from having been caught in a mud slid following the Hanukkah storm that cut off the Peninsula from the rest of the world. On the third day, when the roads were passable, Dave and I hopped in the car to check on my mom (no phone service) and went I-5 through Olympia because we were afraid that the roads were bad through Shelton. We were sorry to see that a landslide had shoved the restaurant right off its foundation. We’ve never stopped there and seldom go that far up 8. Our favorite is Slader’s in Raymond. Not fancy, but a trip down memory lane and picky Amy can find something to her taste!


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