There were six of us (three married couples) at Oceano's price fixed BBQ dinner. The price of $59 per person includes water. This price is beyond my comfort level and my customary cost for a dinner out but the other two couples wanted to return to Oceanos and I, having read all the enthusiastic reviews, agreed to try it. It was the first time here for my wife and I.
The entrees offered this night were all prepared on Oceano's smoker. They were:
pork ribs, kielbasa, pork bellies, and chicken thighs. Sides included a broccolli salad, potato salad, grits, and sliced cucumbers. The dinner also included a strawberry shortcake.
In total, I experienced the food as being OK to good, not great. I enjoyed most of what I ate but I wasn't blown away by any of it. Nor were the others in my little group of six. I really enjoy BBQ ribs and I find some restaurants make them the way I love them and others don't. Oceano's ribs didn't do it for me but I'm sure some folks love them. I wasn't nuts about the kielbasa either. I had never had pork bellies before and I absolutely loved them. They're kind of like bacon on steroids: thick slices of wonderful pork meat inside of layers of fat. Wow. I did notice, though, a Maybach idling at the curb with 4 cardiologists inside waiting for business.
Now to the chicken thighs. First, know that all the meat is served on large platters. There was a pile of ribs, six pieces of kielbasa, and six pieces of pork belly. Makes sense, right? But we got just four chicken thighs. They were big, these four chicken thighs, but there's six of us. My degree is not in math, but four does not go into six. Six goes into six. So we asked for two more chicken thighs. Nope. They didn't have enough left, we were told. WTF?? They did bring us more ribs and kielbasa, but at $59 a pop I think it's reasonable to expect that each person will get their own personal chicken thigh. Ironically, the thighs were just OK. The edges were a bit dried out (too long on the smoker is my guess) and the taste wasn't at all special. I often barbecue chicken thighs, I've also started making them in my new air fryer, and they taste better than the one I had. Yes, I said one. I didn't split mine with my wife. She split one with one of the other women. Anyhow, the ones I make are typically more moist and a lot tastier. And free for my guests. And I'm just your basic schlub fooling around with his Weber grill.
We liked the sides, particularly the potato salad and even the cucumber slices. Great banana muffins too. And I almost forgot the diced watermelon: different and tasty.
The dinner ended with a yummy strawberry shortcake.
Will we go back to try their regular menu? Maybe, but I have to say that if not I don't feel we will be missing something special. I feel disappointed in the food because most of the reviews I read reported an out-of-body level of yum and it just wasn't there for us.
Oh, the server and hostess are gracious and efficient, the vibe of the place is kick back and relax on the outdoor deck, and your fellow diners range from infants to relics (us).
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