For some reason we had recently passed by a Wood Ranch in a couple of areas we had beer traveling. Remembering that we had eaten here once or twice in the past, we had suggested another try. Perhaps this will be our last try.
Other than spending a whole bunch of money, we really found nothing special or better about Wood Ranch that put it above other chain BBQ places or steakhouses. It seems that getting hold of some decent barbecue here in Southern California is left to the local independent purveyors. Wood Ranch is really nothing better than chains like Famous Dave’s, Dickey’s, Texas Roadhouse and the likes. Just some average ribs, sides and salads but often with a different twist.
We ordered an appetizer of some profoundly greasy onion strings. A very large order had us wiping our face of the deep-frying fat often well after the meal. The strings were tasty, greasy and came with a very average dipping sauce and ketchup. We thought they might go rather well on a Western burger or sandwich.
An order of their moderately meaty Baby-back ribs proved nothing special or better than others. I likened them to the pre-cooked style you can by from most supermarket’s meat section. Wood Ranch also served some very greasy, presumably buttered dinner rolls after we ordered; as taught in culinary school so as to not impart less of a desire to order more food, but then we realized we ordered too much food, especially with the large order of onion strings.
We also ordered the tri-tip salad which threw the wife off as it had an unusual mint-leaf added to the flavor profile. It was good, fresh and different as was the additional side order of coleslaw that included peanuts. The coleslaw was another tasty fresh twist on usual BBQ. Also included with my ribs were some rather average sweet-potato fries.
Wood Ranch is not a bad place, just not something I would again return to with a conscious decision. But after spending nearly $100 for lunch that included only two drinks and tip, I would rather save my BBQ for something more along the hopes of having really good local fare. Wood Ranch may be a nice place to take clients on another company’s dollar while staying at a nearby businessperson’s hotel . . . again, on the company’s dollar.