Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hard Rock Cafe (Destin)

Non-Quest BBQ No 22 – Hard Rock Cafe
Destin, Florida

During my occasional travels, I try to sample BBQ at those near and far away places outside the Quest area. I just really, really like that stuff ... 

Loud Music. A sweaty shirt from the Beach Boy’s Brian Wilson. A golden record from The Who. Keith Moon’s nasal hair. Obnoxious T-Shirts for sale. Music videos from the 1980s on TV.
Hard Rock Café.

Well, I certainly never expected this famous franchise ending up on the list of BBQ places, but it is there now, and rightfully so.
The menu has five BBQ themed sandwiches on it these days, which is reason enough to swing by and try it out.

I opted for the South Carolina Sandwich, which is a bun with some pulled pork on it and Tangy homemade South Carolina style mustard Bar-B Que sauce with crispy slaw and crispy cayenne onions.”
It is hard to tell how good or bad the pulled pork is, because the sandwich arrives smothered in the above mentioned BBQ sauce. Every whiff of smoked pork flavor that might exist is effectively blanketed by the sauce. Which is, by itself, not too bad at all.
Tangy and a bit spicy, with a nice full mustard aroma – I had much worse.
The combination of tender and lean meat, the mustard sauce, and with the onions and the slaw, makes this a very tasty sandwich, indeed. Not necessarily your typical BBQ sandwich from the shack down the country road, but a totally acceptable creation for a middle-of-the-road chain restaurant like the Hard Rock Café.
The sides, BBQ beans, mayonnaisy cole slaw with raisins, and French fries, were totally middle-of-the-road, or in other words: bland and unassuming. The contrast to the flavorful sandwich could not be bigger. But at least I got an additional cup with the mustard sauce to dip the fries in with the plate.
So, would I return? Definitely – I just love that music from the 1980s.


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