Monday, November 03, 2008

Razorback's

To escape the trick-or-treaters on Halloween, Mr Minx and I had dinner at Razorback's on Dulaney Valley Road across from the schwanky new part of the Towson Town Center mall. I have always liked Razorback's, ever since it opened in its original Canton location. Once it moved to Towson, I went less frequently because of the horribly smoky bar at the front of the joint. Once past the gauntlet of chain-smokers that infested the place, one was not safely free from the smell even in the dining room, as its double doors were constantly being opened and closed to let in customers and servers bearing beverages.

Yay for smoking bans! Instead, the bar smelled incongruously of potpourri. Also incongruous is the somewhat fine-dining appearance of the dining rooms, with their polished wood trim and soothing music, quite the contrast from the restaurant's cartoonish logo. It certainly doesn't look like a rib joint, which I suppose it isn't, considering how extensive the menu really is.

Although the air was cleaner, the food seemed to have declined a little. I had the fried oyster appetizer, which for $8 included four, count 'em four oysters, breaded in a simple flour batter, and served with a home-made tartar sauce (by request; the menu says cocktail sauce, which in my opinion belongs only on steamed shrimp and steamed shrimp alone). The oysters were rather paltry in size; one was mostly breading. But they tasted fine. (Doing a little research, I found a City Paper review of Razorback's from 1999, when it was still in Canton. The fried oyster appetizer then included four specimens, for a dollar less. I suppose I shouldn't complain, but I could swear I've gotten a more generous portion before.) Mr Minx ordered fried calamari and receives a generous portion of ringlets, no tentacles, and a decent marinara. They were properly cooked, but probably came out of a bag in the freezer.

On to entrees. Mr Minx and I both got ribs. He went for the spicy Cajun style, and I had the Razorback's original; both came with good slaw and boardwalk-style skin-on fries. The ribs were as flavorful as I remember, as were the sides, but I felt the meat could have been a bit more tender. I think it was mostly the fault of the meat being far too lean. Why do they breed all of the flavor out of pork these days?

We passed on dessert, paid our check, and headed to Ukazoo Books, at the back of the same shopping center, to continue our avoidance of Halloween.