Revival Smoked Meats – That Ol’ Time Religion

Pork Ribs with Mustard Slaw
Pork Ribs with Mustard Slaw

If you adhere to that ol’ time religion of the South—the gospel according to barbecue—sing “Glory, Halleluiah,” because Revival has been revived.

Revival Smoked Meats, as preached by Chef Thomas Boemer, rose from the dearly-departed ashes of Boemer’s former Corner Table at 46th & Nicollet in May, in a cheery, cozy, white and bright setting. Patio seating has been expanded for those who believe that the Eleventh Commandment enjoins one to scarf the stuff down outdoors, and can’t wait to reach the hoods of their cars. 

RSM’s appetizer list—I know, I know: When it comes to ‘cue, you don’t need an appetizer—but in this case, yes you do—stars those close-to-world-famous cheddary drop biscuits ($7) that made a dining sensation at Corner Table. They’re, first of all, huge—but, more important, they’re ideally tender and flaky and bear a slightly salty overtone that compels you to take another bite. Never mind that your ensuing meat plate will contain a cornbread muffin—fine-grained, slightly sweet—this biscuit is a part of a ‘cue-lover’s MDR.

The app list also contains cumin-crusted pork belly and chicken-fried ribs (Well, why not? Any meat tastes even better encased in batter fried in grease.) Also, Texas Twinkies, which involve jalapenos. Soup and salads also are listed, for some unknown reason.

Bourbon Sweet Tea

Five sandwiches are listed—burger to banh mi—but we were here for the meat plates. Four are on offer: pork shoulder, fatty smoked pork belly, and our choices, brisket ($18) and ribs ($17). The long, thin ribbons of brisket, fresh from the smoker, are sublimely tender, juicy and slightly smoky, but not overpowered by wood smoke. We chose them naked, which allowed us to mix and match the meat—or not—with the quintet of sauces ($5) served on the wide, which range from sweet and catsup-y to mustard-based to sharp and vinegary. 

The pork ribs on my friend’s platter fulfilled my rib-lover’s fantasies—again, nice and moist, and allowed to shine with full, pork-y flavor. Typing this, I want another. Right. Now.

Meat plates come with your choice of a side dish. Choose from seven, which include a sweet-corn pudding that could serve as dessert. Or breakfast. Boemer doesn’t stint. The mac and cheese was tasty, too, but standard fare. Next time, I’d go for the mustardy slaw (counts as a green vegetable, right? And cleanses the hard-working palate. 

Peach Cobbler

Yes, there are desserts—blueberry cobbler and blondie bar a la mode—but we couldn’t manage. We sipped all evening on our Black Manhattans ($12; less sweet than the Revival Old Fashioned that would have been my second choice). Three tap beers and more via bottle or cans, plus wine also are listed. So’s a swell-sounding rhubarb margarita and strawberry-cucumber hard seltzer, Bourbon sweet tea and pineapple mojito—more reasons to return in a hurry.

RSM does not take reservations nor call-aheads. A service charge automatically is added. 

Revival
4537 Nicollet Avenue South
612-345-4516
www.revivalrestaurants.com

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