15 October 2008
BBQ SAUCE OF THE WEEK: Tony Roma's Original BBQ Sauce
I found myself over at Opry Mills not too long ago with some time to kill before my movie started, and I didn't want to walk the 2.5 miles to the food court, so for the first time in my life, I ate at Tony Roma's.
The less that's said about Roma's baby back ribs, the better. And that's all I'll say about that. But I did pick up a bottle of the house barbecue sauce, so...
The first thing that you'll notice about this sauce is that it's on the thin side - not nearly as viscous as you'd expect to find at a nationwide chain. Tasting it confirms that this sauce is heavier on the vinegar and lighter on the ketchup. As a result, this sauce is not very sweet at all, but rather tangy, with a little bit of heat. This is, in my experience, very atypical of national barbecue chains, which tend to employ thicker, sweeter, smokier sauces. Especially in this case, when the flagship product is ribs, it is surprising to come across a sauce of this kind.
In the end, there is just not enough depth of flavor to make this sauce interesting. You get vinegar and ketchup, but not much beyond that.