Sunday, January 15, 2006
Taste test: Dante's Chicken & Ribs
Happy, messy eaters at Dante's; fried dill pickles!
It's a huge challenge to find a place I would actually want to eat at where my kids will be happy too, since their adventurous genes still haven't kicked in. At one point we were so desperate we tried the Sizzler, Mimi's Cafe and Pat & Oscar's -- all disgusting, never again. I was trying to think of someplace besides Zankou, Senor Fish, etc. when I remembered Dante's BBQ in Eagle Rock. It's pretty small inside, but we managed to score a four-top and ordered chicken, ribs, macaroni and cheese and various sides. Arturo at the front counter was a hoot, clowning around and eventually bringing us a complimentary order of fried pickles with chipotle mayonaise -- they're like more flavorful fried zucchini. The portions were huge -- the chicken dinner is two full boneless breasts and two big bowls of side orders, and we could have easily split one dinner. The greens were good -- not too greasy like the one's at Zeke's, although a hit of vinegar would have really perked htem up. The chicken breasts were nicely charred, with a slightly spicy sweet sauce. Sam devoured a half rack of ribs with a mild sauce ($13.75 with two sides) in about five minutes -- he must have liked them. We liked all the sides we tried -- the cornbread, garlic mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese as well as the collard greens. After seeing a plate of nutty brown fries go by, I wished we had also tried the fries and onion rings.
The menu is compact but comprehensive, with a handsome romaine and blue cheese salad, chicken tenders for kids, bbq sandwiches and burgers and chicken wings in addition to the barbecue chicken and ribs.
Verdict: It's not the most soulful, authentic barbecue ever (I don't think they have boneless breasts at those places), but it's flavorful and possibly even a bit more healthy. The breadth of the menu, the size of the portions, the friendly service and the tasty sides make this place a winner. Although everything is nicely plated on white china, there's only three tables inside and a few more on the sidewalk, so don't expect a leisurely evening. Take out seems to be a popular option. And don't miss the fried pickles!
Dante's Chicken & Ribs
2006 Colorado Blvd.
at 12:38 PM