May 6, 2011, was my last day of work in the Willamette law school admissions office. With everyone in the admissions office aware of my passion for good food and food challenges, I felt it was appropriate to walk a couple of blocks to Adam's Rib Smokehouse to split the Goliath Burger.
Adam's was recently voted Best BBQ in Salem. Congratulations!
The Goliath Burger can also be a quantity food challenge. One person has 60 minutes to finish roughly five pounds of food (about 2 lbs of meat, a pound of bun, a pound of fries, and a pound of veggies and special sauce). If that individual eats everything and retains it within the hour, he/she gets the $20 meal free and an "I Conquered Goliath" T-shirt.
Behold...the Goliath Burger (with veggies and sauce on the side):
|Don't be misled here, it's bigger than a 2 lb. burger. The meat alone is at least close to 2 lbs.|
The burger was not bad. The bun was pretty soft and the cheese was warm and melted. Despite the size of the meat, the beef was properly cooked.
Unfortunately, the fries were horrible. I am not a fries person, and the fries at Adam's looked unappealing from the start. I tried them for the experience, and yes, they were disappointing. Instead of being crispy and golden brown, the fries were greasy, soggy, and salty.
I had to give Adam's a second chance because, well, they are a BBQ joint. And besides, I can't give them a grade based off a burger challenge, right?
All BBQ joints I review get the same taste test: ribs (beef and/or pork) and chicken, cole slaw, and any other sides I feel like trying.
So I went back on May 17, 2011. I ordered a two-meat combo: pork ribs, chicken, two sides (cole slaw and garden salad), and a corn muffin. I also got three of their BBQ sauces: Hefeweizen, Kentucky Bourbon, and "Blazen Hot."
|Chicken, pork ribs, and corn muffin|
Blazen hot sauce in back left, Kentucky Bourbon sauce in middle, Hefeweizen on near right
|Garden salad (w/side of Honey Mustard dressing) and cole slaw|
I really enjoyed all the BBQ sauces. The "Blazen Hot" sauce doesn't start off as very spicy, but the punch does come when eating a bunch of it over time. I definitely tasted the bourbon in the Kentucky Bourbon sauce, always a welcome taste to me. The Hefeweizen...also great. Need I say more there?
The cole slaw was pretty good. All too often, I'll find BBQ places selling cole slaw where the veggies are just saturated in liquid, and it just looks unappetizing. Adam's did a respectable job of controlling the amount of mayonnaise-y liquid at the bottom of my serving, keeping the slaw on the crunchy side.
The corn muffin was good for what it was. It held its shape nicely until I put some give on it, and the piece just started crumbling. Perhaps it's just me, but I'm not a huge corn muffin or cornbread fan. It's usually just too dry for my taste buds.
I still have issues with Adam's fries...I thought they were horrible. But it's about the BBQ meats here, and Adam's did a good job there. I can basically walk to Adam's from my place, so I can go there anytime I want.