All of the signs were there. New restaurant. Empty parking lot. Nearly empty restaurant. Yes, it was early, but none of that should have mattered. For a restaurant that claims to be “Accented with BBQ”, the smell of smoke was noticeably absent at Hermans.
The space is very clean and modern looking. Stainless steel shimmers throughout the kitchen, while granite countertops can be found at the bar and along the kitchen where barstools can be had for diners who want a close up view of the action. Red Naugahyde line the booths while stone tile line the walls. This mismatch in décor was only a preview of what was to come.
The Rib Tips came in an earthenware pot smothered in BBQ sauce, which was a little too sweet for my taste, but also had a little bit of spice which I liked. The pieces of pork were not very tender and somewhat chewy. There was a lot of fat to the rib tips as well.
The Beef Ribs were of Flinstonian proportion, but they were sorely lacking flavor. The ribs were very tough and fatty and there was no hint of any smoky flavor. The ribs tasted like they had been baked and then covered with sauce as an afterthought. One bite and you could tell that they had no idea of what “low and slow” means.
The Baby Back Ribs didn’t fare much better. Again, a fairly large portion was served, but the meat was very tough and in some places undercooked. Trying to find a smoke ring on these ribs was like searching for a Rolex in a box of Cracker Jack. Fat and gristle made up a large portion of the ribs.
The Garlic Mashed Potatoes were also uninspiring. At least these tasted like they were homemade with large chunks of garlic spread throughout the mix. Some large chunks of potatoes could be discerned but overall they were a little pasty.
The Green Beans were loaded with crushed garlic and butter, but it surprisingly didn’t have that distinct garlic kick to it. The beans were a mix of green beans and yellow and white wax beans. The beans were rather limp and tasted as if they were a mix of canned and frozen beans that had been boiled to death.
The Sweet Potato Fries were a very pleasant surprise. The fries were seasoned and had a pleasant crunch to them. They were served with two dipping sauces, one of them a very interesting selection. A honey mustard sauce tasted like your standard fare, however, the other sauce was a marshmallow sauce. Combined with the fries, this was a new take on the classic Thanksgiving dish of yams with marshmallows.
The French Fries were also seasoned with the same coating as the Sweet Potato Fries. These were nice and crunchy on the outside, and light and creamy on the inside.
Hermans does not BBQ in the traditional way. They use a piece of equipment that is called the BBQ MF2. This BBQ/oven unit is claimed to be able to BBQ with hickory wood smoke, cold smoke, bake, roast and broil. The unit also claims to be able to cook food faster and more consistently and that no BBQ or cooking experience is needed to use the oven. Based on this visit, I prefer BBQ the old fashioned way, LOW AND S-L-O-W!