It had been awhile (years) since my last visit to Formaggio for BBQ. In the past I remember not thinking it was waiting on line for.
I went by today and picked up a large spread for family and friends. I thought the sides were generally great, but the meats were really sub par. We actually just threw out nearly a full rack of ribs because no one was going to eat them. The biggest issue by far was the seasoning. Their “rub” was predominantly cracked black pepper. The chicken was OK, but the ribs seemed as they were purposely prepared au poivre
style. Beyond that the ribs were badly overcooked and dry. The pulled pork suffered from a similar peppery fate. My kids were complaining it was too spicy. I thought this was strange as they like some fairly spicy food. When I tried the pork I knew right away that it was the black pepper. Also it was more like chopped pork than a shoulder that had been pulled apart. There were pieces that I would swear were cuber loin.
I don’t get the reverential tones and overzealous social media posts about the Formaggio BBQ by friends and ‘food bloggers’ alike. Is it one of those things people think they should like? Maybe we had an off day and there was some newbie prepping the meat. I am a bit miffed to have dropped over $100 and waited on line for this food. Now I am remembering why I maybe haven’t been to Formaggio for the BBQ in years, despite shopping there semi regularly for cheese and meat for special occasions.
As I mentioned, the sides were good. The cornbread was some of the best I have had, not too sweet and the perfect texture. Sweet potato salad was a welcome riff on this dish, with a nice amount of vinegar bite. Everyone enjoyed the slaw (I passed as it had a lot of raisins). The mac and cheese was perhaps best I have ever tasted. Unfortunately sides alone can’t save a meal.