November 1, 2010

Rosey's BBQ

Perusing one of the local Philly "Things to Do" blogs (Uwishunu) recently, I came across a post about one of my favorite foods: barbecue! One of our very first posts discusses the semi-lack of good BBQ in Philly, and I was interested to see which restaurants Uwishunu supported. I was disappointed to see that most of them were actually not in Philadelphia proper, but out in the 'burbs, until I saw that one of them was located in Jenkintown-- the only suburb I frequent (the boyfriend lives there). Even better, the BBQ joint was located literally around the corner from his house! While he nor his family had ever been there/heard about it, I decided it was about time to try it out.

Rosey's advertises itself as "Southern Taste, Up North," which I can certainly buy into. The menu consists of your usual barbecue suspects-- a meatfest consisting of ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken, turkey, and sausage, and well-known sides like collard greens, mac n cheese, cole slaw, and beans. The options don't spread much beyond that-- a few sandwiches and platters that consist of various combinations of the aforementioned items, as well as gumbo, fries, and BBQ nachos.

The restaurant is hidden in a tiny shopping center, seemingly a little out of place. Once you step in it's somewhat like entering a whole new world. A subtle smoky smell, lots of dark wood and no pretenses-- seat yourself, use paper plates and plastic forks, and hit up the fountain drink machine. The server brought us a little plate of crunchy pickle slices and spicy pickled pepperoncinis. For once, I was glad my boyfriend is a picky eater- all those pickles to myself! Just don't tell my cardiologist.

We both wanted the "Memphis" sandwich which is simple, but exemplifies the Memphis BBQ traditions-- barbecued meat coated with barbecue sauce and a heap of coleslaw, all on a kaiser roll ($6.75). However, for blogging purposes, I do not allow repetitive ordering (stern face), and called the sandwich for myself. It is served alone on a big plate, which was actually helpful because the sheer size forced me to deconstruct it. It was impossible to bite into, so I removed the top bun and used a fork and knife to tackle the heap of food. I selected pulled pork as my meat of choice, which was perfect- smoky, moist, some pulled strands alongside some chopped chunks. I love the warm meat/cool crunchy creamy coleslaw combination (that alliteration got a little out of hand). The bread was a little crumbly and dry, so the removal of the top half helped that problem, while the bottom of the bun soaked up all the meat juices and was a good little edible platter.

Since the sandwich comes alone, I also ordered a side of collard greens ($1.75) - one of my favorite Southern staples. A heaping styrofoam cup delivered the perfect portion of soft, well-cooked collards. Unfortunately, the major flavor was overwhelmingly salt. I managed a good amount of them, but knew I would probably be thirsty for the next two days.

All of the meats are also available all alone- in 6 oz, 12 oz, and 16 oz sizes. The boyfriend ordered the pulled pork (yeah, we just couldn't manage diversification) in the smallest size, which ended up being a good single-sized portion ($4.75). Since the meat was plain (minus all the delicious meat flavor of course), he topped it with some barbecue sauce. A good sauce can really make a BBQ joint, and it was here that Rosey's definitely fell short. Their signature sauce is very sweet, not very spicy, and just tastes a little bit.. off. He commented that it even had a sort of fermented smell. One other sauce is available, and I liked it a bit better, although I can't exactly pinpoint the difference. Either way, definitely a negative aspect of the place.

We also got a platter of BBQ fries ($2.50). I love thick cut steak fries, and these skin-on fat fries were right up my alley. If you're a fan of thin, crispy fries, these may not be for you. The "BBQ" aspect came from the signature spice rub sprinkled on top. I expected a bit of heat, but instead tasted a LOT of cinnamon. Cinnamon is a great addition to barbecue, but not as a top note... I ended up picking out the ones from the bottom.

I'm glad I found a new barbecue place that is accessible, but we'll see if I can convince a return trip out of my dining partner anytime soon. We didn't try a huge variety of the menu, and we certainly saw some misses among the hits, but I'm still interested in trying out some of the other items (Hello, ribs!). At least I got my barbecue fix which might last until our next trip to Gainesville (or Memphis!).

Rosey's BBQ
505 Old York Road
Jenkintown, PA


  1. Loving the frequency of the posts pressure, but everything you two write, I'm feeling. Keep up the good work.

  2. The (Dry) Spare Ribs are the Best I ever had...won't go back to Baby Backs. The House BBQ Sauce has a Nice kick too...