Walking down Portswood high street, you pass the usual haunts and hideouts that we are all used to frequenting but if you are willing to look a bit harder and try something new, you might be pleasantly surprised.
You might think of Rib Ranch as a brand new business but in actuality, it has been trading for years, beginning its life at Thorn Hill in town. Business owner Malcolm Cookson decided to make the move to Portswood, bringing with him the name and cooking techniques that make his previous establishment so popular.
We strive to succeed in making the customer happy, so by offering discounts to students and producing the best, authentic, homemade American-style foods, we can bring America to you!Marcus WilliamsAssistant Manager
Rib Ranch prides itself on it’s fantastic food, with what has clearly been years of testing and adjusting recipes in order to attain the perfect favors in it’s meat, sauces and meals. The flavors are vibrant and clean, but have a depth, which even for the biggest Rib connoisseur feels ‘Raunchy’ over Rib Ranch.
The Restaurant at the moment is set as a takeaway, until future expansion plans allow them to attain the atmosphere they desire; a sit-in diner with seating for 50 early next year. Yet the open plan layout means that as soon as you walk in you can smell the uplifting aroma of their secret recipe BBQ sauce and see the Rib’s meat being smoked in a smoke box right in front of your eyes.
This is their signature burger and it is BIG. Between two quality toasted buns, comes a layer of shredded pork and beef and (depending on if you get the single or double) a thick, handmade, triple minced burger with cheese and onion rings. Our reviewer made the comment that the burger was “like a steak”.
We were given 6 chicken wings, 2 marinated in each unique flavour (BBQ, Lemon and Herb and Piri Piri). The wings were succulent and fell off the bone, they weren’t dry or oily. Overall we really enjoyed these wings.
We weren’t sure what to expect from the ribs, as most places on the high street that sell them cook them as a ‘boil in the bag’ substitute. Rib Ranch starts by marinating their ribs before they pressure cook them, allowing the ribs to absorb the flavour of the sauces. They were so soft and tender, a very welcome surprise from one of their signature dishes.
Standard chicken breast, right? The quality of the chicken is spot on, they breasts are pretty big, light and not that dry. I wouldn’t say moist, but then again there was no greasy oil or horrible fat sitting around; it tasted great!
The two things that struck most whilst eating at Rib Ranch were:
1. The quality of the food was fantastic, especially for what is currently a ‘take-a-way’, vastly outdoing other well known take-a-ways on Portswood High street. Especially it’s Piri Piri Chicken that, if I dare say, was equal if not better than Roosters’ infamous chicken; the flavour was simply a lot cleaner and flavorsome. The 4 sauces that are hand made, strictly by secret recipes; Lemon & Herb, BBQ, Jerk & Piri Piri, gave what were initially good chips a new lease of life, the only shame is that current you can’t buy bottle of these sauces to add to your home cooking!
2. The value for money compared to other chains is fantastic. Having recently eaten in newly opened 7-Bone and being bitterly disappointed by the below average portion sizes (especially for £7.50) , with a burger no bigger than your clenched fist, including bun, lettuce and fillings. There was also NO sides included, which very quickly became a £10 main course. Whereas, for even less money (£7.00) the Rib Ranch Burger was easily the size of both my hands, both next to one another and on top of one another.
Rib Ranch is appealing to all student groups by offering a 10% student and military discount on all food on Monday and Tuesday. They are also offering a student/military discount on meal deals throughout the week. They are open 11:30-14:30 for lunch an 17:00-23:00, 7 days a week,
Overall, Rib Ranch has bought something new and interesting to the Portswood Eateries, which does a better attempt than most to serve extremely well presented, well-flavored and really good value for money food. Catering for all in the Portswood area, but with the Student population and popularity with Portswood places to eat, this is one that stands out from the crowd.
For more information, please check Rib Ranch on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ribranchsouthampton?fref=ts