Holmes Plate (54 W Market St, Corning NY) says they are the only restaurant in the Crystal City for ribs… I’m not sure if that’s literally true, but I may not order ribs from another place ever again…
Lets just get to it… Holmes’ Plate may have the biggest and best ribs I have had in a very long time. And that is saying something… I love ribs and I love BBQ. A few months ago I spent a weekend in Canada at “Rib Fest” in London, Ontario… For the past 4 years, I lived in the south where I sought out and ate some very good BBQ. When I saw the claim that Holmes’ Plate was the “only place for ribs…” I decided to put them to the test.
OK now let’s step back a little. I was walking around town in the afternoon snapping photos and looking over menus in restaurant windows. I stopped and glanced at Holmes’ where it seemed their menu was made just for me… sweet potato fries, taco salad, chicken wings, crab cakes, french onion soup, pulled pork sandwich, burgers, steak, shrimp scampi, ribs and that’s not even half of it. (see the full menu here).
So that evening I showed up with my girlfriend and had at it. For an appetizer we had the potato skins. They were tasty and I’ll probably get them again after I try some of the other things (i.e. nachos). Most meals come with a basket of homemade bread and side salad (all of which were top notch)… I got Italian with crumbly blue cheese on top (I should not be writing this while I’m hungry).
The inside itself needed a few more decorations. It could be that the place is new, but the food was so good I think it warrants a little more of a dinner atmosphere. However, it is also nice to feel like you can just walk in anytime and get great food without going home to change first. I’m sure there’s a medium they will reach.
For our meals my girlfriend got the night’s special of pan seared scallops, and if you forgot, I got the ribs. The scallops were good and done in a light garlic and thyme butter sauce. We were surprised how many we got. The price was a little higher than the rest of the menu (around $20), but half of it ended up coming home with us and making another meal, so it was worth it. This is not one of those fancy pants places that charges out the wazoo and gives you a tiny portion. You’ll go home full and happy.
The ribs were fantastic. I ordered a half rack. It was the biggest half rack I’ve ever seen. There was more meat on this half rack of ribs than I’ve seen on most full racks. Even though I took half of it home for yet another meal, I wish I had gotten the full rack just so I could have more right now.
The BBQ sauce that Holmes’ makes is amazing. I won’t get into the details of it, you’ll just have to try it yourself. The meat was tender and there was a lot of it. You really can not ask for more when it comes to ribs. However, they give you more… the ribs came with a slice of warm homemade cornbread, coleslaw (which wasn’t my favorite… I personally like sweet coleslaw), and beans (which were great). If you’re feeling cheap and just want to try the sauce, you can get wings or pulled pork with their homemade sauce on it…. but if you can swing it… go for the ribs.
I’ll sample some more of the menu in time, but feel free to add any comments about your experiences.