We went back to Surf for the second time on Monday. What a difference a from when we were on the Monday a few days after they opened. This time we arrived at around 7:30 p.m. to find a nearly empty place. In the front room, some folks at the bar and one or two occupied tables. There were also a few people sitting in the back room. No line. We walked right up to the counter and placed our order: brisket, cornbread, Surf slaw, mac 'n' cheese, and pickles. A Boylan's Crème Soda for me and fountain Diet Pepsi (refillable) for Mr. RBI.
To be honest, I'm not really keen on brisket because I usually find it to be too dry. The best smoked brisket I've had has been at Hill Country, in NYC, where you can choose between fatty or lean. I found the fatty there to be nicely juicy. Out of curiosity, I tried their lean. Not a bit of fat made it like eating shoe leather. The brisket at Surf has only a bit of fat on it, so even though the flavor was fine, it was too dry for me. I don't like Surf's sauces, so drowning the meat in sauce was not an option. Mr. RBI likes the hot sauce and the spicy bbq sauce, so he used them.
As for the sides, the cornbread was not quite as good as it was the first time. The Surf slaw has a vinaigrette-style dressing. Normally, I prefer a creamy slaw, but I actually liked this slaw better than the creamy slaw we had last time. The mac 'n' cheese was just o.k. The pickles remain great -- crunchy and flavorful.
We were told they will soon be open 7 days a week (they're now closed on Tuesdays). They've got tables with umbrellas set up outside on both sides of the front entrance and in the small outdoor area on the side of the building. Their take-out window is also now in operation.
We really liked the ribs we had the first time, so we'll be back to have those again. Plus there are other things on the menu we want to try.
One last thing. When we ordered the brisket, I asked for half a pound. While we were eating, Mr. RBI noticed on the sales slip that we were charged $25. I was facing the menu board, so he asked me how much they were charging for the brisket. It's $12 per half pound. Looking closer at the slip, we noted that the weight we were given was .8+, i.e., a tad over a pound. I had looked at the scale when the slicer put the meat on it and thought I'd seen .5 come up. But I guess I mistook the 8 for a 5. As we were discussing this, one of the owners was passing by, overheard, and stopped to ask what the problem was. He also said he remembered us from last time. When we explained the situation, he said it was the slicer's mistake, and we should only be charged for what we ordered. Even though we said it wasn't necessary since we'd eaten all the meat, he insisted and gave us a $15 refund. Very classy!
Surf BBQ Photo Set