Filed under: Food
Since Hooligan’s Pub advertises having the “Best Ribs in Town,” “Winner of the Great Ohio Rib Cook Off,” we decided we had to stop by and see if the braggadocio was warranted. Hooligan’s Pub is located in a former Howard Johnson’s near the corner of Ridge and Highland in Pleasant Ridge. It features a spacious restaurant and bar area, along with nice outdoor seating next to some beach volleyball courts.
As there was nothing else BBQ-related on the menu, we all ordered up half slabs of ribs, bantered with the friendly wait-staff and eagerly awaited our ribs. The ribs appeared after a short wait and we all dug in. The first thing you notice about the ribs is the sauce, which is thick and sweet. (Think Montgomery Inn.) Sadly, the sauce was cloyingly sweet and nothing could remove the flavor from our mouths. That’s a shame because the ribs were decent. The ribs were clearly baked instead of smoked and were fall-off-the-bone tender. The lack of smoke meant the rib meat didn’t have much flavor other than that provided by the slightly sickening sauce they were slathered in. The texture was good, but just couldn’t compensate for the other shortcomings. All-in-all, decent “bar food” ribs, but nothing to warrant a second visit.
We’re not sure what “The Great Ohio Rib Cook Off” is or was, but we imagine it might have been two guys in their backyard. For my money, Hooligan’s doesn’t even have the best ribs in the neighborhood. That said, we were impressed with the friendly service and overall atmosphere. Hooligan’s Pub seems like a fun place to watch the game, have a few brews, and enjoy some bar food. Just don’t expect much from the ribs.
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