Ribs for Her Pleasure

The Dish

For those of us who like pork, there's no better way to honor it during this time of year than to devour a plate of gooey ribs dusted with some sort of sauce and cooked until the meat can be easily pulled off the bone. It's not just barbecue joints offering chop-smacking good ribs these days; more omnivorous restaurants are taking rib cookin' seriously and are happy to claim their portion of the pork pie. Get your napkins ready, because we have some ribs coming your way!

Local ribs, Asian flavor.
The Rivals

Monsoon East

10245 Main St., 425-635-1112

The best thing about these Carlton Farms pork ribs is that they're only $7 during happy hour (3-close, Sun-Thurs). For that price, you get 4 large ribs coated in hoisin barbecue sauce. The glaze was a little overpowering and sweet for our taste, but the ribs were cooked to perfection and really tasty. We'd love to know what goes into the sauce, but as chef/owner Eric Banh tells us, "Unfortunately, I myself don't even know our ribs' sauce recipe. It belongs to my sister (and co-owner), Sophie. She does not wish to share with anyone, including me, since the beginning of Monsoon on Capitol Hill." That's one hell of a secret to keep for 11 years.

Laying down the law on ribs.
Tavern Law

1406 12th Ave., 322-9734

Most of you probably wouldn't think of heading to Tavern Law if a hankering for ribs ever struck you. But this food-focused cocktail lounge run by chefs Dana Tough and Brian McCracken is exactly where you should land. Okay, $14 for three ribs may not sound like the best deal in town, but when you consider how the ribs are prepared, you may reconsider. These baby back ribs are cooked sous vide for 48 hours, brined for 24 hours with a liquid smoke solution, then topped with a barbecue sauce made from fresh blended figs and the liquid drained from the sous vide bags. The result is the most tender pork rib you've ever eaten. Not only is the texture sublime, but the fig glaze works nicely to complement the smokiness of the sauce without being too sticky sweet.

The Champ

Monsoon and Tavern Law are formidable opponents, but Monsoon's dish was just too unbalanced for our liking. Had we eaten anymore than the four ribs on our plate, we would have suffered from hoisin overload. At Tavern Law, on the other hand, we're quite certain we'd be able to sit at the bar and eat their ribs all day. In fact, if there was an all-you-can-eat buffet of their baby back ribs, we'd be first in line. And last. We declare Tavern Law the winner in this challenge. It's not everyday one can afford $14 for a few ribs, but it's a chunk of change we're happy to spare once in awhile, for damn sure.

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