Sure, warmer weather’s almost here (emphasis on almost), but it’s still a bit premature to be busting out the backyard grill. So, until spring has officially sprung, get your finger-lickin’-good comfort food fix at Southbound BBQ just over the Bergen County border.
With a slew of awards and accolades under it’s (no doubt well-seasoned) wing, this “Southern comfort”-focused family-friendly restaurant, located in the former Blue Ribbon Tavern space, has taken Chestnut Ridge by storm. We stopped in on a recent Thursday night for dinner to see for ourselves, and the experience was sweeter than sweet tea.
It was a bit crowded when we arrived, so we took seats at the corner of the bar, where we reveled in the industrial look of the place, particularly the exposed Edison-style bulbs hanging from the ceiling. Meanwhile, the hubby reveled in the extensive selection of handcrafted cocktails and craft beers, including one of his favorites, Muddy Creek from Defiant Brewery (in Pearl River).
None too soon, as we were famished, the friendly bartender showed up to take our orders, and we didn’t hold back. We started with the Bayou Mac & Cheese ($13), which arrived in a dish reminiscent of a pot of gold. Buried within the delicious creamy, cheesy mac were pieces of sautéed shrimp and crabmeat, elevating it to the next level and making it more of an adult dish (note: the kids’ menu does include basic mac & cheese ($7) for those picky eaters). We also ordered up the Southern-fried Chicken Tenders ($8), which arrived perfectly crispy alongside a generous side of buttermilk ranch sauce that took the whole thing to the next level of tasty.
After polishing those off, we were ready for more. We noticed that the portion sizes were pretty large, but our stomachs were telling us to go ahead and order with abandon. I opted for the Pulled Pork Sandwich ($14), adding Gruyere cheese (+$2) for good measure, and the husband selected the Chopped Brisket Cheesesteak Sandwich ($15), giving us the chance to try two of the three “BBQ” meats they offer—both of which flavors we loved. Each of the sandwiches were served with a HUGE heap of fries that were crisped to perfection—not too overdone, true heaven. On the table were a variety of BBQ sauces to choose from, so we tried Louisiana and Kentucky. Both were good but very different: Louisiana was thinner and appeared to have more of a vinegar taste, while Kentucky was much thicker and a bit smokier. Both sandwiches also came with hefty portions of coleslaw, which neither of us typically enjoy, but the husband gave it a shot and rated it as good.
After almost managing to polish those off, we were both pretty stuffed, so we skipped on dessert, but did make a mental note to make sure to try the Key Lime Square and the Bread Pudding Cake (both $5 each) the next time we moseyed in.
Attention, fans of down-home cookin’—things are looking up!
811 Chestnut Ridge Road Chestnut Ridge, NY
Wed - Sun: 5pm – Midnight (Kitchen closes at 10pm)