I was watching an episode of BBQ Pitmasters recently when I heard a quote that stuck with me. Myron Mixon, owner of Jack’s Old South BBQ, was smoking some of his award-winning ribs when he said, “real barbecue ribs don’t fall off the bone.”
Thanks to the marketing of chains like Chilis and Texas Roadhouse, “fall-off-the-bone” has become synonymous with good ribs.
But as Myron Mixon said on the show, real BBQ pitmasters strive for ribs with texture. When you bite into the perfect rib, it should leave a beautiful bite mark.
If you like your ribs to have a little meat on their bones, the best place in Berks County is CC’s Wooden Grill.
CC’s doesn’t look like much from the outside, a non-descript brick building along Constitution Boulevard in Kutztown. The inside isn’t much to look at either. A handful of paintings provide the only decoration in an otherwise drab dining room.
Even the menus are plain, a simple 8 1/2″ by 11″ piece of paper, folded three ways.
What the restaurant lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for in flavor.
Many restaurants make the mistake of trying to be everything to everyone, but CC’s has a formula that works: keep the menu small, but offer quality in every dish.
CC’s only offers three entree options (ribs, 1/4 chicken with ribs, and sauteed vegetables), six sandwiches, two appetizers, two soups, a salad and a handful of sides.
I made several trips to CC’s over the summer, having an opportunity to try most of the items on the menu, and from appetizers to main courses, I have yet to be disappointed.
The smokey corn chowder is a great way to start your meal, and it really is smokey. The bits of smoked sausage in the chowder dominate the flavors, but that’s not a bad thing as it adds a uniqueness to a dish that you wouldn’t expect at a barbecue joint.
But if you’re dining in a group, you can’t go wrong with an order of wings. Just don’t expect the wings you get at your local bar. These wings are meaty, juicy and smokey. Served without sauce, the wings are coated in the crisp bark from the grill. It’s the perfect way to whet your appetite for the main course.
And if you have never been to CC’s before, your main course has to be the ribs.
Myron Mixon would be proud of CC’s because these ribs don’t fall off the bone. Taking a bite out of these ribs leaves a beautiful mark.
Like the wings, the ribs could stand on their own without any sauce, but they are even better with the house BBQ. The sauce is thin, very different from anything you would brush on your ribs at home, and very sweet, Carolina style. The sauce is irresistible (which is why I used my fries to soak up what little was left) and blends perfectly with the already flavorful ribs.
The only downside to CC’s is that there are no desserts. If you are craving something sweet after dinner, there are plenty of options in downtown Kutztown, but most diners won’t have any room left after the main course. I ordered a half rack of ribs, and that was more than enough to keep me full for the rest of the night.
A half rack of ribs costs just under $20, with a full rack at $25. The sandwich options are very reasonable, starting at just $5.50 and appetizers and sides starting under $3.00.