Searching for additional barbecue options in the Tampa area, I noticed a lot of buzz about Ribit's, both good and bad. The small joint in the hip Hyde park neighborhood has only been open since 2009, but being housed in an old gas station lends it an aura of authenticity from the start. I knew I would have to try for myself though to see whether the barbecue was truly the attraction or if this place was just a trendy hangout.
The rib sandwich consisted of four meaty ribs piled on top of two slices of plain white bread. Full flavored, smoky moist pork nearly burst from the skin as I took a bite. They were perfectly tender, hot and fresh.
Sauce wasn't needed for these ribs, but with a presentation as unique as this I at least had to try it out. Four sauces were loaded in plastic water coolers, where a push of a button dispensed it's contents onto your plate. I sampled both the sweet and the N.C. vinegar. While both were an adequate representation of their style, frankly neither contributed enough to be worth adding to the flavor equation.
The sides held their own; big chunks of red skinned potatoes in a mayonnaise/mustard dressing made for good potato salad, and the banana pudding was top notch as well, it's thick consistency containing equal amounts smooth bananas and crunchy vanilla wafers.
In the end, Ribits came through with quality 'que in an interesting location. In answer to one of the misinformed commenters on another review site who complained they couldn't get the smoky smell off their fingers after eating here: that's not a problem, that's the way it's supposed to be.
FOOD RATING: 4 OF 5OVERALL RATING: 4 OF 5