Sherman's Food Adventures: Boonies


*This location is now closed*

"Boonies? What? Are you saying we are going out to the boonies?" Yah, that's the response I got when I suggested we head out to Langley for some Southern eats. No one seemed to know what I was talking about. Even Hot Mama, who lives only minutes away wasn't aware of it. Mind you, she can get lost going from her car to the front door... I explained that Boonies used to be located in the Cloverdale curling rink. Predictably, it drew some more looks of confusion. At this point, I'm sure they thought I was committed or should be committed. Alright, it isn't the most logical location for a place that specializes in ribs, collard greens and black-eyed peas. When the lease ran out, Boonies was a restaurant without a home. Finally, we see the return of Bonnies in the Quality Inn Hotel right next to the Home Depot near 200th. No, that is not a misprint. It's inside the Quality Inn. Of course the response was: "So let's get this straight. You want us to head out to Langely, to the Quality Inn for some down home Southern cuisine?" I gotta hand it to them, everyone was game.

Now if you have a GPS, it is unlikely that you will get an exact location on the place (at least it didn't show up on mine). The Quality Inn is located within the same complex as the Home Depot. So if you can find your way to the Home Depot parking lot, you'll find Boonies. They're still working on the actual signage. For now, a simple sandwich board will point you in the right direction. Being that the place is quite new, everything is spic and span. I guess this is quite the upgrade from the curling rink! I "encouraged" everyone to get something different and I was quite pleased that Ma got the Pulled Pork Sandwich. I got to try some and it was decent. I thought the pork was a tad on the stringy side; however, I did like the sweet honey bourbon BBQ sauce, it went well with the meat. She enjoyed her sandwich; but she liked her fries even more. They were very crispy and aggressively seasoned. I was somewhat dismayed that Pomegranate and L-Pete both had the Half Rack of Ribs. At the very least, they got different sides. Now, if you were expecting fall-off-the-bone tender ribs, go to Montana's. The true Southern method of cooking ribs does not involve a pot of boiling water. Thus, the ribs will be a tad drier and chewier. Pomegranate prefers the Montana's type and hey, I don't blame him. I know it's sacrilegious and probably would make Boonie cry... Yet, I'm not afraid to admit that I like that kind too. L-Pete loved the ribs, so you can chalk this up to a personal preference thing. However, it was a consensus that there was an ample amount of meaty ribs. Although dressed with the same honey bourbon BBQ sauce, I found it to be more on the tomatoey sweet side. It wasn't as smoky as I'd hope. I guess the sheer amount, compared to the pulled pork sandwich, made for a different taste. As for the sides, Pomegranate had the Southern Mac 'n Cheese and Red Beans & Rice. L-Pete had the Collard Greens and Coleslaw. We both thought that if the mac 'n cheese had a bit more salt, the side would sing. Every other side was solid with nothing amiss.

Hot Mama ended up with the Boonie Burger which was a monster of a sandwich. It consisted of 2 patties, cheese, lettuce, tomato and BBQ Louisiana hot links. She remarked that she really liked the sausage. I tried my hardest to refrain from an obscene comment... Alas, knowing me, I said it anyways. Back to the sausage... It really gave the burger a kick of flavour and spice. However, the patties themselves were on the drier side. I ended up with the BBQ Chicken because no one else ordered it. Presented in 2 large pieces with a side of Black-eyed Peas & Rice and cornbread, this was a lot more filling that it looked. I thought the chicken was quite tender considering the cooking method. Once again, the same honey bourbon sauce smothered the meat. For some reason or another, I find the sauce lacking a bit of depth. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad. For me, it's just missing something. I'm sure someone will disagree with me since the sauce is generally a personal preference kind of thing.

Ma was the only one of us with enough room to order dessert. Her choice was the Peach Cobbler with ice cream. We really enjoyed the flaky pasty, very nice. However, since peaches are not in season, canned were used. It didn't really detract from the dessert; but it's worth noting. I think the one thing that can sum up the meal at Boonies is "different". It is in a category by itself since there is not much like it around the GVRD. Sure, there is Montana's and Memphis Blues; but that's like comparing apples, oranges and peaches. None of them are exactly alike. There is Ozark's nearby and that is not really all that similar either. My conclusion? It can only be left up to each individual persons' personal preferences.

The Good:
- Definitely something different
- Fairly decent portions

The Bad:
- Depending on your preferences, the ribs are either too chewy or just right
- Again, depending on your preference, the BBQ sauce could be just right or too mild

Boonie's Southern Soul on Urbanspoon


KimHo said...

C'mon, it is not the first time you have gone to a restaurant that does not necessarily look like one from the outside. Remember Tenhachi? But, yes, BBQ will be dependant on what you like/dislike. More vinegar vs. tomato based. Different form of ribs, etc. etc. Good you point that out because I am sure a lot of people would dismiss them based on what you wrote originally. On that note, I don't necessarily mind either if the ribs were parboiled first...

Oh, well, now that you have been there, I need a partner in crime for this... Mijune? :)

Now, it seem you liked the sausage as well.. *cough* *cough*...

jlomein said...

I'm disappointed you didn't comment on the cornbread. It's one of the staples Boonie does best. Did it not meet your tastes?

I've been a Boonie's fan since he first opened at the curling rink and I have to agree something is missing from the sauce on the ribs. Boonie says its the same recipe as he used before, but it tastes less smoky to me. I'd like to believe the ribs used to be more tender and fell off the bone too.

That said, the ribs are still decent, the pulled pork is fantastic, and his sides and cornbread are great.

Anonymous said...

Sherman how do u jump the gun to these new places? Will be interesting to see how they transition from their earlier curling ring kiosk to a restaurant. All of their food looks the same but the plating of the ribs is much nicer. Their pecan pie is amazing with vanilla icecream. Their sides are pretty tasty as well as the pulled pork. The walmart supercentre actually sells collard greens, I haven't seen those elsewhere locally. I hope they become more well known, their food is unique and delicious. It looks like their prices may have gone up a bit but it is a new venue now. It's about time they re-opened their food was missed.

Sherman Chan said...

Kim, you are right, BBQ sauce is such a personal thing. What I think is good may be bad to someone else and vice-versa. Yah, you need to go try it... Mijune, Jenny and Dee/Ann would be close enough!

jlomein, you are right, I forgot about the cornbread! It was good! Much better than the crumbly mess from Memphis Blues. I'm glad you share the same opinion about the sauce. It was good, but something, something was needed... And you are right though, the food is still solid. Worth a visit.

Anonymous, I don't know, people just tell me things and then I go... You are right. If you like that style of BBQ food, it would be heaven. For me, I liked it, but I also like the bastardized versions as well. So either I'm totally clueless or I just live variety.

trisha said...

hey, this place isn't too far from me. when i was in new orleans i ate crayfish and collard greens every day. mmm....n

Sherman Chan said...

Trisha, I envy you! Crayfish every day? Yah, give Bonnies a try. Again, it depends on each individual whether they like it or not.

Dee said...

We just came from here and it was really good. It was really slow though, but maybe because of the 10 person table. It took an hour to order and get our food! We didn't order any appies.

The corn bread with honey butter was amazing. And the fried chicken was really good too. I'll have a review up soon =)

Sherman Chan said...

Dee, I totally believe that your meal was good. That's what everyone has been telling me. However, for some reason or another, our visit was average. Maybe I have to go again.

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