Tuesday, February 01, 2011
JoBoys BrewPub (Manheim, PA) 01/2010
There are at least 80 brewpubs in Pennsylvania, the majority in small towns. Unlike gastro pubs the beer is generally more important than the food. At JoBoys it's more like an even split. They have a range of micro brews from a mild pale ale to a fairly heavy porter made with well roasted hops. For $9 patrons can have a sampler of five different beers
while friendly staff are happy to provide a taste to assist indecisive patrons.
On the food side they concentrate on smoked and BBQ dishes in the style typical of Southern states. We had a couple of snacks - Hush Puppies, which I used to think were shoes but here are deep fried corn balls, and a serve of deep fried okra. Okra is one of my least favourite foods but served like this their least appealing characteristics are so disguised that I found them quite palatable. They had become soft centered crunchy little balls and their normally slippery texture was barely noticeable. This is no place for the calorie conscious although a plate of mixed sliders, ($10), chicken, beef and pork mini hamburgers,
might be reasonable for the weight conscious. They have a reputation for some very hot food and virtually everything is brushed with chili.
We had a smoked meat platter ($18) featuring ribs, brisket, chicken and pork.
This was a lot of food. It also came with choice of two side dishes.We had fries, which were soft and the potatoes had not been peeled and a plate of collard greens.This photo is taken from Wikipedia and shows exactly what they look like. We have never had this before, related to cabbage, something like spinach but with a different taste it was a very pleasing. This is a very inexpensive restaurant. A serve of brisket,with two sauces, $10,
is quite an adequate meal. Desserts are also handsome serves for only $5. Sweet potato pie
was excellent and the home made Southern Surprise looked almost irresistible.
The greatest weakness, from the dining point of view, is the over smoking and over cooking of the meat dishes which results in the food being dry and the meat losing it's structure and being very fibrous.
Staff are very homely patient and helpful and there is a very comfortable ambiance!
A note for the curious. The name JoBoy's has nothing to do with American author Louisa May Alcott, famous trilogy, Little Women , Little Men and Jo's Boys. It is the combination of the middle names of the husband and wife owners!
Without deciding the importance of these things we might score Ambiance 4, Service 8 Wine 5, Beer 7 Food 4 Presentation 4, Returnability 5 Value 8 all out of 10