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Challenging Elements: The Rib House


Have you noticed the delicious smells in the air around One Boulder Plaza lately? If you’re anywhere near 13th Street and Canyon, you’re bound to notice people turning their noses to the air and deeply inhaling the heady aromas wafting out of the new location of The Rib House. A Longmont favorite for years, the barbecue institution has grown into a great location in Boulder with plenty of space for the throngs of people who will, no doubt, be following their noses.

Owners Merry Ann and Tracy Webb were a little cautious about agreeing to participate in our Challenging Elements game, because what they know is barbecue, pure and simple. But we knew they would be up to the challenge, and May is when our thoughts start to turn to barbecue. When they agreed, we rubbed our hands together in glee as we gave them berries as their secret ingredient.

Twenty-four hours later, Lindsay Killion, the Boulder Rib House chef, came out of the kitchen with a gigantic square of triple-berry cobbler paired with a perfect sphere of fresh whipped cream and drizzled in a tart blackberry lemon sauce.

There are as many ways to fix cobbler (grunts, slumps, dumps and crumbles) as there are kinds of barbecue. The Rib House’s version starts with a puff pastry crust rather than a more traditional pie or biscuit crust, because Killion feels it stands up better and doesn’t get lost under the weight of the fruit. Two full inches of gorgeously purple organic blackberries, blueberries and raspberries make up the filling, which was not too sweet or syrupy, letting the flavor of the berries themselves take center stage. The lightly sweetened whipped cream and drizzle of lemon-infused sauce are a perfect foil to the natural sweetness of the fruit.

Cobbler seems like the perfect dessert to go with barbecue, homey and familiar, appropriately messy, not ever contrived. Killion’s managed to feel light (though we aren’t talking about calories), like something you might still have room for after a huge meal of ribs, pulled pork or brisket.

As we chased the last few crumbs around the plate, scooping up whipped cream and sauce for the perfect bite, Tracy mentioned that most of the produce at both locations of the Rib House comes from Colorado farmers. He told how, in the summer, he goes to the farmers market and tells the farmers what he needs, and then picks it up when they come to Prospect later in the week. He mentioned that they had added more salads and vegetarian options to cater to a more diverse crowd.

And with triple-berry cobbler on the menu? Yeah. We think The Rib House will do just fine in Boulder.

The triple berry cobbler will be on the menu throughout May at The Rib House in Boulder, 1801 13th Street, and Longmont, 1920 South Coffman Street. Visit theribhouse.com for directions and more information.


Lacy is an award-winning food writer and blogger. She lives in Westminster with her family. Google

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