Eat Random

The idea for this blog is to blog about everything I think about food and food culture. I'll tell you what I like to eat, where I like to eat it and if I thought it was good or if I thought it was crap. My thoughts about food could go anywhere. Hey if you don't like it go blog at

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Monday, August 22, 2011

BBQ Review: GT South's Rib House

Oh hell yeah!  The Random Dude Eats Random Food Summer of Love for BBQ Tour 2011 marches on, and this time the tour is marching into GT South's on 71st St. just West of Binford Blvd.  As we leave dozens of sauce crazy groupies who just love the pork in our wake we have come to GT South's to find out if our experience is going to be The Boss at the Garden in '87 or  a Loverboy coverband in 2011at the local AmVet (shudders).

To maintain consistency between these BBQ reviews I try to basically get the same thing at each place I go.  That being the pulled pork and coleslaw.  Those two items just happen to be my two favorites that I could eat almost anytime anywhere so it works out.  At GT South's I decided to go with the jumbo pulled pork sandwich with the standard chips on the side and a side of the coleslaw.  The Girlfriend, who if she's getting sick of BBQ by now is hiding it well, decided to go with the smoked brisket sandwich and potato salad on the side.  We both prefer the sauce served on the sandwich.  The Girlfriend went with the sweet sauce and I went with the medium. 

Before I talk about how the food/meal was I want to make a little rant here.  If you run a Southern BBQ restaurant it should be reasonable to expect that some of your diners might want iced tea to drink with their bbq.  As that is usually my preference I decided to order iced tea at GT South's.  What I got was tea with ice in, but that alone doesn't make it iced tea.  The fact of the matter is that the tea itself was setting at room temperature and wasn't the least bit cold before it was put into my glass.  When it was brought to my table the ice had practically already melted and I ended up with a lukewarm watered down glass of something that may have once been tea.  You claim Southern food as a specialty and you eff up the quintessential Southern drink?  Get bent.

Anyway, on to the food that really wasn't much more impressive than the tea.  When my jumbo pulled pork sandwich arrived I noticed that it was undoubtedly a healthy portion, but I was definitely disappointed that I paid a premium for a "jumbo" and got a sandwich that looked basically the same as the regular with the exception of a bigger bun.  Lame.  The pulled pork itself was some of the driest I've had anywhere.  It required I add extra sauce which is something I rarely do.  On the bright side I thought the sauce was pretty good and not too sweet.  It outshined the meat for sure which really shouldn't happen.  The potato chips were straight out of the bag and pretty worthless on the plate.  To me it basically is a statement of "here's some cheap crap to fill up space next to the sandwich".  When it comes to the coleslaw it was a lot like the bbq in that even when it's bad I still like it somewhat.  This coleslaw was definitely not made in house.  The pieces were all chopped perfectly into extremely small uniform cubes.  There was also a small rotten piece of cabbage in my slaw which was a turn off.  I also prefer my coleslaw more creamy and sweet than what this was.  The Girlfriend's brisket was tender, but she was disappointed that it made her bun so soggy she couldn't really eat her sandwich by picking it up.  The potato salad also tasted store bought and nothing to write home about.

Taste:  3.5/10  Like I said bbq that isn't so good is still ok, but I won't be going back to GT South's anytime soon.  That is especially the case when comparing it to other bbq places on the North side.  Also, I can't stop thinking about the small piece of rotten cabbage in my slaw even thought it was very minuscule.
Value 4/10 Below average here as well.  Not that it was expensive because it wasn't, but it wasn't really any cheaper than other much better bbq restaurants.

G.T. South's Rib House on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with your review. The food there has really declined. I prefer Black Diamond further south on Binford.

IndianapolisEater said...

I like this review a lot because it basically echoes my longstanding feelings on G.T. South's. People love it for some reason, but I feel it is overpriced, mediocre at best food and I'm trying to be kind there. Glad to see that you basically feel the same way.

By the way, it doesn't matter what you order from there. You are going to have the same experience each time, no matter what.

Brent said...

Black Diamond is the next stop on the tour.

Tom H said...

I respectfully disagree with your review, but that's no shock to anyone who has maybe seen my comments elsewhere.

I'd be willing to wager about the cole slaw, btw. In my experience the prepackaged stuff never comes in cubes (but shreds). And I give them a tip of the hat for mixing it up with what I believe are celery seeds, something I've started adding to my own slaws.

But who is to say. I have no idea what cabbage mixes might be available outside of grocery stores.

I guess I feel like a few reviewers have recently been rather critical of an independent place... one that has been in business for a long time and has outlasted lame chains like Smokey Bones. I personally find their sandwiches to be quite fairly priced... and on the right day, a beef manhattan made with smoked brisket is a meal that's truly hard to beat. Just my .02c

Brent said...


You're right about the celery seeds in the coleslaw, and it's a flavor I actually enjoy but I just need a little more creaminess in my slaw. Also, bbq is one of those foods that can be more personal and thus more divisive than most. Nothin wrong with that, but one thing I do want to say is I don't think a place deserves to escape criticism just because it's independent. I also don't think it's appropriate to write off a chain just because it's a chain. What it really comes down to is how much I enjoyed the food.