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Great American Rib Co. In Bkk


jfchandler

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Catching up on a bit of past business.... had the opportunity recently to try the Great American Rib Co. location on Sukhumvit Soi 36, which is near Thong Lor BTS but probably a 10 minute walk down the soi on the right hand side if you're starting from the main Sukhumvit Road (actually it's closer on the soi to Rama IV).

I'd previously been to the Hua Hin location, which has been the subject of both good and bad reviews in other threads here on TV. My experiences at HH in the past couple years were OK both in terms of food and service, not outstanding, but certainly acceptable.

But this was the first visit to the BKK location, so I was very curious to see how it compared. Whereas the Hua Hin location is relatively small located on the second floor balcony of a shopping center, the BKK location is big and spread out on ground level, with lots of outdoor big wooden covered tables that make for a very pleasant evening venture on a nice night.

They have quite a varied menu of BBQ and other items. But invariably, when I go there, I find myself gravitating toward either their Whole Feast or Half Feast BBQ samplers, usually because it's the Thai people I'm with's first try for American BBQ, so we want to cover the field.

This night, with just two of us, we settled for the Half Feast (recommended for two to three people) priced at 625 baht, which really is more than two regular/hungry people likely can eat. No complaints about the quantity of food provided for the price. Our plate included heaping portions of BBQ pork ribs, BBQ Chicken, thin sliced pulled pork in BBQ sauce, and sliced tenderloin with a wasabi sauce, ears of corn, toast, and cups of potato salad, BBQ beans and cole slaw.

From my tasting, all were nicely prepared, of good flavor and made for a very satisfying meal...assuming you're in the mood for lots of MEAT!!!! We were there around 9 pm on a weeknight, so the place wasn't busy. But the service was fine and attentive, no complaints. Everything we needed and asked for was brought promptly and with pleasant demeanor. And we washed it all down with a very tasty, well-prepared pitcher of lime margaritas priced at 395 baht.

They also have ample car parking at the BKK location and an outdoors bar set within the restaurant area. I didn't bring my own camera that night, but below is a menu photo of their Whole Feast platter recommended for 4-5 people, which is about double the Half Feast, as you might expect.

post-53787-1232943517_thumb.jpg

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All in all, IMHO, a nice complement to the other American BBQ options available in BKK, such as the much smaller and more remotely located BBQ King shop, or the large and much more varied night-club-ish Hard Rock Cafe in Siam Square--both of which have very tasty BBQ choices available when ya just gotta eat MEAT!!!.

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I've been to the Great American Rib Company a few times myself but can only give them a so-so review. I agree that the ribs are the best item on the menu and I have always been pleased with them when I have ordered them. The steaks I've had there though left something to be desired, even the imported ones. Both times I ordered my steak medium-rare but each time it arrived well done and tough. My friend joked that you could still see the marks where the jockey had been whipping it. The side dishes such as the cole slaw were good but the portions were tiny. The service was good every time I went and the Suk Soi 36 location is isolated enough to be quiet and peaceful, especially in the tree shaded outdoor area. Overall I'd give it a 6 or 7 out of 10.

BTW, I don't recommend walking down Soi 36 to the restaurant from the BTS Station, better to flag a taxi or motorcycle. There is no sidewalk (foot path) and it would be real easy to get run over, especially at night. On an unrelated matter, I have always found it interesting how many groups of wealthier Thais I have seen in the Great American Rib Company and Tony Romas the times I have gone to these places. I wouldn't have thought ribs would be so popular with this group but I obviously they are. Just an observation.

Edited by Groongthep
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I'll agree largely with Groongthep's comments. The walk to GARC from Sukhumvit Road is longish, and the path is not pleasant, especially at night... I found myself nearly stumbling any times of times while heading down the sometimes dark soi. On foot, it would be much easier coming from Rama IV. We did the walk that night fine, but next time, I might take a taxi or tuk tuk instead, though I tend to value the opportunity for exercise.

Likewise, on my night there, there were more Thai couples/tables than farang, which was nice to see. If I can eat Thai food daily, there's no reason why Thai folks can't try American BBQ from time to time.... :o

I've never tried the steaks at GARC, so I can't speak to those. Though if I was looking for steak, I might be inclined to first head toward the Chok Chai Steakhouse branch nearby on Suk Soi 23 (near Soi Cowboy).

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Thanks Sorensen, for the reminder about Tony Roma's.... I tend not to think about them as a dining destination so much, because back in the U.S., they're pretty commonplace.... almost like a BBQ Dennys... :o But here in BKK, given that they provide a fare not easily had here, they deserve better recognition.

For others interested, here are images of the Roma's two locations in BKK...and a pdf file of their full BKK menu including prices... Looking at the menu, with many individual rib dishes priced in the 400 to 700 baht range per single dish, it reminds me what a great value I think the "feasts" are at GARC.... ie. half feast for 2 priced at 625 baht...

I don't see Roma's mentioning the lunch special you mentioned on their official menu....If you know, what exactly are they offering for the price you mentioned...what hours...what days???

post-53787-1232949067_thumb.jpg

Tony_Roma_s_BKK_Menu.pdf

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I'll agree largely with Groongthep's comments. The walk to GARC from Sukhumvit Road is longish, and the path is not pleasant, especially at night... I found myself nearly stumbling any times of times while heading down the sometimes dark soi. On foot, it would be much easier coming from Rama IV. We did the walk that night fine, but next time, I might take a taxi or tuk tuk instead, though I tend to value the opportunity for exercise.

Likewise, on my night there, there were more Thai couples/tables than farang, which was nice to see. If I can eat Thai food daily, there's no reason why Thai folks can't try American BBQ from time to time.... :o

I've never tried the steaks at GARC, so I can't speak to those. Though if I was looking for steak, I might be inclined to first head toward the Chok Chai Steakhouse branch nearby on Suk Soi 23 (near Soi Cowboy).

It was all going so well until you mentioned this awful place.

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Polecat...I've yet to try Chok Chai Steak House.... The night I tried to go...we arrived 9:45 pm, and they had already closed the kitchen...even though their hours officially are open until 10 pm.

However, over time, I believe, I've read generally good comments from others here on Thai Visa about Chok Chai.... If you have a different story to tell, please tell it... I always try to spend my dining out dollars on decent, enjoyable places with good food...

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OK, here goes.

I've known about this place for years - in fact I've even written about it in stories I've done on steak in Bangkok, but I'd not eaten there until last weekend (I'd eaten at the farm restaurant up in Khao Yai which was pretty good).

The service was great. My partner is unable to eat gluten (nightmare in Thailand) and even though the staff weren't familiar with the condition they went all out to accomodate her.

It was a nice dining room too - comfortable, casual but reasonably upmarket.

The milkshakes were great.

The ice creams were great.

But the steaks...

I got the strangest cut of meat I've ever had (I forget which steak it was. I've just looked at the website but can't see it. It looked like the house standard - Chokchai strip, or something). It was folded like a baseball glove and was full of gristle and sinew. The texture was mealy - it almost powdered in my mouth. It was also cooked atrociously. I asked for medium rare and on one half of the steak it was very rare, while the other half was medium-well.

I know it sounds like I'm exaggerating, and maybe I am - retrospect can do that.

I tried my partner's filet mignon and it tasted the same.

Very disappointing. But ther we go. Maybe you'll have a different experience.

What's perhaps most disappointing is that I live on Suk 38 and haven't tried GARC yet!

Edited by polecat
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Hmm... ordering steak in Thailand can always be a dicey proposition...

Likewise, I've had some awful, sinewy steaks in BKK and elsewhere... usually, I'll confess, at cheap places like the Santa Fe shops and such... But then, to some extent, you do get what you pay for..

From what I saw the other night, the dining room at Chok Chai on Soi 23 looked great, modern, comfortable, everything nice I would expect... But that doesn't tell you anything about their steaks.

In particular, from past posts here, I remember some folks raving about their sliced beef steak salad....

In your instance, I'm wondering what grade/price of their steak produced that kind of result???

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In your instance, I'm wondering what grade/price of their steak produced that kind of result???

That's a good point. As I said I can't remember the exact name of my order (it's not listed on the online menu), but it was something like Chokchai Special and cost around 300 baht. Not a lot to pay for a steak here, I know, but that was the point of going to Chokchai rather than, say, Prime or Madison.

As I said, my partner's filet mignon (same price, roughly) tasted the same :o

Talking of filet mignon, if you're into cooking at home, Thai French do package filet mignon at around 140 baht and it is great! We usually get rump steak (not sure what Americans call that cut?) and have mixed results, but the filet mignon is uniformly good, I reckon.

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I've been to the Rib Company and i have found the place to be expensive and of dubious quality.

Everytime i have left there i have felt disappointed with what the bill came to verses how i enjoyed the meal. Maybe its just me not liking several ltrs of over powering BBQ sauce thrown over everything put in front of me, but either way this resturant has made it onto my "Dont eat there" list. The prices are over the top (considering what you get) and whilst i dont mind a bill of 1000b for two of us (no alcohol on the bill by the way) i want to feel like i enjoyed the meal for that kind of money :o

Everyones different, one mans chalk is another mans cheese :D

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I've had a good steak, cooked correctly, at Roadhouse BBQ on Rama IV near Surawong Rd. It's owned and operated by a guy who did catering for the Miami Dolphins for many years, and for touring rock bands before that.

Haven't tried Great American Rib Co, maybe because the name makes it sound like some kind of generic strip-mall franchise :o Wondering if anyone can compare it with Roadhouse fare.

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Have been to both Roadhouse and Great American Rib.

I have to say that for quality and taste, Roadhouse was better. You get real North American portions at Roadhouse , even more then at GARC.

Price wise, Roadhouse is also more expensive then GARC.

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Choke Chai is the reason why the first thing I bought when I moved into my house was a proper gas bbq.

Sorry, local nua cannot compare to a 12-14 oz Grade A US or AUS or CDN Rib Eye, seared quickly and served medium rare with a nice baked potato, lots of sour cream, butter, chives and home-made bacon bits.

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Sounds VERY good to me James... When you inviting me over for dinner???

I like my ribeye done medium rare... light butter on the spuds... but a generous dollop of sour cream... and a healthy dose of cracked black pepper...

Well JFC, I like the french butter for the spuds. But no seasoning on the steaks except freshly ground (cracked) peppercorn (tri-colour) and sea salt from france.

Another nice condiment is you take red, green and yellow bell peppers and slice em up thin but to remain the shape of pepper and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over top with a touch of paprika - mixed up gently in bowl and grill till slightly charred on both sides.

Needless to say, my Thai neighbors are either 1) pissed off at the smell of my bbq habits (grouper fillets, salmon steaks) or 2) are waiting to be invited over. Seeing as one of them is a general, I think he will get priority seating. :o

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"Great Amerian Rib" has opened anothe brank on Ramintra, been in business for about a year now.

The best item on the menu is draft Paulaner otherwise unavailable out there in the sticks.

Rather expensive at 170+ per pint but beats Chang or Heineken by a mile.

Food ingredients look like they've been sourced from nearby Foodland.

If you got Christmas copy of Bangkok Post Real Time, there's a big write up about it with Plus and family featured at one of the tables in the overview shot. Next time we'll demand free beer for secretly using us as models.

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I've eaten at the Roadhouse a couple times.... never steak there... but an OK hamburger...and some very good all-meat chili... And some very bad fish and chips...prepared in what tasted like week-old stale frying oil...

I've seen Roadhouse's BBQ meat dishes...and the prices on their menu for them... And honestly, in a direct comparison, I'd still say Great American Rib provides just as good or better BBQ and at better prices/value.

That, and...every time I've been to the Roadhouse, they have an acoustic music duo that puts me to sleep... very quickly.... I like the ambiance of GARC on Soi 36 better.... Just one man's opinion....

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How does this place compare to Australian Outback (Discovery tower or were-ever they are located) for instance?
Kind of apples and oranges, really, though they share some common dishes like hamburgers. I live next door to The Great American Rib Co., so I eat there regularly and would probably anyway, so I've tried most of the menu. I really think some of the stuff is superlative in its class for Bangkok and other things surprisingly aren't. The quesadillas, for example, are dam_n near authentic. The pico's just about right, though more pickled and less cilantro-jalapeno-ish than it would be back home, but the preparation is excellent. The hamburger, on the other hand, is pretty lackluster for a place that specializes in American meat food. Not sure why, but it is. The pork ribs aren't bad as pork ribs go and I have them probably once a month. The BBQ chicken is BBQ chicken, something I never think much of, really. The chili isn't real chili, but it tastes decent enough and it's also used as the base for the nachos which also aren't technically real nachos, but also taste dam_n good. The beef ribs really shine, they're my favorite - they use a dry rub on them with heavy smoking and I can't recommend them enough. Kinda sparse on the meat compared to back home, but beef in Thailand is beef in Thailand. The cornbread is by far the best in town (much better than either Bourbon St. or Roadhouse) and the cole slaw is authentic and tasty as well. The beans aren't horrible, but they're not real ranch style beans and the potato salad isn't a recipe that I favor, but it's not bad either. I could take or leave the macaroni they added to the menu, it's okay. Seems like it's on there to give the kids something to order. The steak I had the one time I ordered it wasn't bad, but I'd go somewhere else for steak, frankly (Neal's Tavern or JW Marriott?). Finally, the New Orleans blackened duck they offer is really good. The taquitoes and onion rings and onion strings and other stuff doesn't really rub me one way or the other and I haven't tried any of the shrimp, but other people seem to like it.

Other than BBQ King up by Nichida you're not going to find anything more authentically American here in my opinion - I really like BBQ King's menu, but Nonthaburi's pretty far out and I don't make it much. If you get a chance, get Mark (the guy at BBQ King) to smoke you some sausage from Bei Otto. dam_n good, best I've had here by far. His barbecue and trimmings are all quite good as well. As for Roadhouse, I used to live in Silom and ate at there frequently from the time it opened until last year when I moved across town. There are some things on the menu there I really like, none of them are barbecue though. The barbecue there is really just not at all authentic, frankly. Chunks of meat covered in an inscrutable sauce that's tangy and chunky and doesn't quite fit. It's not horrible tasting as food goes, but it's not like anything you'd get if you ordered BBQ back in Texas (or Memphis or KC in my experience) and I think the disappointment kills it. On the other hand, the wings at Roadhouse are easily the most authentic in town in my estimation and their bleu cheese dressing both with those and on the wedge salad is fantastic and generous. They do a kick ass pork chop as well.

In closing my third grade book report on barbecue here let me say that Bangkok is a land of contrasts. The end.

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On-on... thanks for the detailed and interesting review on GARC... It'll be my roadmap for future visits there in terms of things to order and try....

I never would have considered to try beef ribs there, TBT, this being Thailand. But on your word, I'll give them a try...

BTW, when I've tried their potato salad before, I thought it was pretty good and authentic in terms of its makeup. It's always the first sidedish there I look to finish. The BBQ beans, as you mentioned, are OK, not great not bad, but they suffice.

PS - Mark at BBQ Sandwich King likewise makes a very good quesadilla with chicken and cheese, though it's only marginally "BBQ".

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How does this place compare to Australian Outback (Discovery tower or were-ever they are located) for instance?
Kind of apples and oranges, really, though they share some common dishes like hamburgers. I live next door to The Great American Rib Co., so I eat there regularly and would probably anyway, so I've tried most of the menu. I really think some of the stuff is superlative in its class for Bangkok and other things surprisingly aren't. The quesadillas, for example, are dam_n near authentic. The pico's just about right, though more pickled and less cilantro-jalapeno-ish than it would be back home, but the preparation is excellent. The hamburger, on the other hand, is pretty lackluster for a place that specializes in American meat food. Not sure why, but it is. The pork ribs aren't bad as pork ribs go and I have them probably once a month. The BBQ chicken is BBQ chicken, something I never think much of, really. The chili isn't real chili, but it tastes decent enough and it's also used as the base for the nachos which also aren't technically real nachos, but also taste dam_n good. The beef ribs really shine, they're my favorite - they use a dry rub on them with heavy smoking and I can't recommend them enough. Kinda sparse on the meat compared to back home, but beef in Thailand is beef in Thailand. The cornbread is by far the best in town (much better than either Bourbon St. or Roadhouse) and the cole slaw is authentic and tasty as well. The beans aren't horrible, but they're not real ranch style beans and the potato salad isn't a recipe that I favor, but it's not bad either. I could take or leave the macaroni they added to the menu, it's okay. Seems like it's on there to give the kids something to order. The steak I had the one time I ordered it wasn't bad, but I'd go somewhere else for steak, frankly (Neal's Tavern or JW Marriott?). Finally, the New Orleans blackened duck they offer is really good. The taquitoes and onion rings and onion strings and other stuff doesn't really rub me one way or the other and I haven't tried any of the shrimp, but other people seem to like it.

Other than BBQ King up by Nichida you're not going to find anything more authentically American here in my opinion - I really like BBQ King's menu, but Nonthaburi's pretty far out and I don't make it much. If you get a chance, get Mark (the guy at BBQ King) to smoke you some sausage from Bei Otto. dam_n good, best I've had here by far. His barbecue and trimmings are all quite good as well. As for Roadhouse, I used to live in Silom and ate at there frequently from the time it opened until last year when I moved across town. There are some things on the menu there I really like, none of them are barbecue though. The barbecue there is really just not at all authentic, frankly. Chunks of meat covered in an inscrutable sauce that's tangy and chunky and doesn't quite fit. It's not horrible tasting as food goes, but it's not like anything you'd get if you ordered BBQ back in Texas (or Memphis or KC in my experience) and I think the disappointment kills it. On the other hand, the wings at Roadhouse are easily the most authentic in town in my estimation and their bleu cheese dressing both with those and on the wedge salad is fantastic and generous. They do a kick ass pork chop as well.

In closing my third grade book report on barbecue here let me say that Bangkok is a land of contrasts. The end.

Brilliant review :o

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How does this place compare to Australian Outback (Discovery tower or were-ever they are located) for instance?
Kind of apples and oranges, really, though they share some common dishes like hamburgers. I live next door to The Great American Rib Co., so I eat there regularly and would probably anyway, so I've tried most of the menu. I really think some of the stuff is superlative in its class for Bangkok and other things surprisingly aren't. The quesadillas, for example, are dam_n near authentic. The pico's just about right, though more pickled and less cilantro-jalapeno-ish than it would be back home, but the preparation is excellent. The hamburger, on the other hand, is pretty lackluster for a place that specializes in American meat food. Not sure why, but it is. The pork ribs aren't bad as pork ribs go and I have them probably once a month. The BBQ chicken is BBQ chicken, something I never think much of, really. The chili isn't real chili, but it tastes decent enough and it's also used as the base for the nachos which also aren't technically real nachos, but also taste dam_n good. The beef ribs really shine, they're my favorite - they use a dry rub on them with heavy smoking and I can't recommend them enough. Kinda sparse on the meat compared to back home, but beef in Thailand is beef in Thailand. The cornbread is by far the best in town (much better than either Bourbon St. or Roadhouse) and the cole slaw is authentic and tasty as well. The beans aren't horrible, but they're not real ranch style beans and the potato salad isn't a recipe that I favor, but it's not bad either. I could take or leave the macaroni they added to the menu, it's okay. Seems like it's on there to give the kids something to order. The steak I had the one time I ordered it wasn't bad, but I'd go somewhere else for steak, frankly (Neal's Tavern or JW Marriott?). Finally, the New Orleans blackened duck they offer is really good. The taquitoes and onion rings and onion strings and other stuff doesn't really rub me one way or the other and I haven't tried any of the shrimp, but other people seem to like it.

Other than BBQ King up by Nichida you're not going to find anything more authentically American here in my opinion - I really like BBQ King's menu, but Nonthaburi's pretty far out and I don't make it much. If you get a chance, get Mark (the guy at BBQ King) to smoke you some sausage from Bei Otto. dam_n good, best I've had here by far. His barbecue and trimmings are all quite good as well. As for Roadhouse, I used to live in Silom and ate at there frequently from the time it opened until last year when I moved across town. There are some things on the menu there I really like, none of them are barbecue though. The barbecue there is really just not at all authentic, frankly. Chunks of meat covered in an inscrutable sauce that's tangy and chunky and doesn't quite fit. It's not horrible tasting as food goes, but it's not like anything you'd get if you ordered BBQ back in Texas (or Memphis or KC in my experience) and I think the disappointment kills it. On the other hand, the wings at Roadhouse are easily the most authentic in town in my estimation and their bleu cheese dressing both with those and on the wedge salad is fantastic and generous. They do a kick ass pork chop as well.

In closing my third grade book report on barbecue here let me say that Bangkok is a land of contrasts. The end.

Great review. Now I know what to order when I go this weekend.

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