Durk’s offers fast food BBQ

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Restaurant Review

By DON FOWLER

Rhode Island is blessed with many BBQ restaurants, and now we have one that fits in the “fast food” category.

Located on Thayer St. in Providence, just a block from the Avon and next door to Baja, the fast-food Tex-Mex spot, Durk’s offers sit-down or take-out service.

You are seated in the crowded space, where many customers were also eating at the spacious bar, and given a card to check off your menu choices.

While the waiter is bringing your beverages to the table, you join the line, hand in your card, and watch the employee prepare your meal, adding a number of garnishes.

I ordered a quarter pound slab of pork ribs, four large, perfectly cooked ribs for $8, and was amazed at the tenderness and juicy taste, with only a slightly smoked taste. A sweet BBQ sauce was on the table, and Tabasco sauce was there for the taking.

Half-pound ribs are $16, and full slabs are $24.

A large order of fresh potato salad, with all the garnishes complimented the ribs perfectly ($3). I also added a delicious cornbread for $3.

Oddly, the meal came with two slices of white bread. I noticed most slices being left on the trays.

I had to drag Joyce to Durk’s. She is not a fan of anything smoked. She tried my ribs and agreed that the smoked meat was not at all overpowering. She had the mac and cheese ($4), cornbread and a most unusual side, crispy Brussels sprouts ($4), which were prepared in front of me with numerous herbs and oils. Now Brussels sprouts are where I draw the line, but Joyce made me try one, and lo and behold it was one of the tastiest morsels I had ever eaten.

The smoked meats are sold by the half pound and include sliced and chopped brisket for $13, pulled pork and pork belly for $11, a chicken leg or sausage link for $5.

The meats are also available on sandwiches served on a potato roll with onion, jalapeno and the special Durk’s sauce for $8 or $9. Two combos that I’m dying to try at $10 are Ridurkulous (chopped beef and sausage) and Dirty Durk (sausage and pulled pork).

Other sides include pinto beans, coleslaw, pimento cheese, pork rinds, and smoked sweet potatoes at $3 and $4.

They even have desserts: banana pudding, pecan pie and lemon chess pie.

With concept restaurants becoming the big new thing in Rhode Island, Durk’s is a welcome addition. The food is great and the prices are most reasonable, which as you can expect, attract many college students on the East Side of Providence.

So the next time you’re at the Avon or on the East Side, wander across the street and try Durk’s, whether you enjoy their informal atmosphere or take home some great BBQ.

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