Sweet like her

Waitress Gineé Libertus offers a whiff of the sweet, sweet barbecue sauce.

Waitress Gineé Libertus offers a whiff of the sweet, sweet barbecue sauce.

Photo By David Robert

Attention TMCC students: You may have been among the reportedly thousands of onlookers who recently saw a pretty girl slip, fall in the mud and tear the ligaments in her shoulder in a vain attempt to keep her clothes from getting dirty. If so, I’d like to present Danielle Biselli. This foxy vixen is currently walking around with her arm in a sling, and though I think she’s faking it, I would like to hereby publicly proclaim my love for her. Baby, you’re the best.

Danielle and I recently went for dinner at BJ’s Barbecue. She’s from Sparks and knows all the hot spots. It was weird that when I said I was craving barbecue, she had a place to recommend right off the bat because she was a long-time vegan and remains a notoriously finicky eater. One would guess that our first few dates would have been awkward since Danielle would order half a salad, hold the dressing, and then I’d get, like, 19 courses and the tallest glass of beer available. But, for some reason, the pairing works really well.

Danielle bumped into a few chairs on our way to one of the booths that have been quaintly decorated to look like horse-stables. BJ’s has a kind of down-home, Western, farm-life vibe that’s fun and relaxing.

“It’s kind of creepy the way they have all these ceramic pigs all over the place,” said Danielle with characteristic disgust and disdain. “And some of them even have chef hats on … it’s perverse: It’s like they’re doing the cooking—but really they’re the ones being cooked.”

Our waitress turned out to be an old acquaintance of Danielle’s and, before taking our order, she gave Danielle some of the arm-in-a-sling sympathy she had been craving.

Danielle got the half order of chicken ($6.50)—she has been almost completely cured of her veganism—with the chosen sides of beans, cornbread and something called “sweet potato crunch,” which tasted like pumpkin pie. I got the half slab of ribs ($13.50) with my chosen sides of fries, cornbread and coleslaw.

“You ordered coleslaw?” said Danielle. “It’s like the most totally pointless food ever.” Well, if you’re like me and willing to count coleslaw as one of your daily vegetables (I also counted the fries), the coleslaw at BJ’s is pretty good, though a little sweet.

In fact, everything was a little sweet: the barbecue sauce, the beans, the coleslaw and the cornbread, not to mention the sweet girl that was sitting next to me writing love notes on my paper placemat. Sometimes, the culinary sweetness was good, sometimes it was just too saccharine.

The true test of any barbecue place is the sauce, and it’s really good at BJ’s: tangy, sweet and addictive. A good barbecue sauce is a food that stimulates weird places in your mouth—just like Danielle stimulates weird places in my … heart. You can get the sauce mild, medium or hot. Danielle ordered mild because she’s such a pansy, but even the supposed “hot” sauce that I got didn’t light my fire.

I like eating barbecue—any food where it’s socially acceptable to get a little messy is all right with me, and though this idea is abhorrent to the prudish Danielle, she still managed to get food on her elbow and sauce on her new shirt. This to me says two things: First, she’s clumsy, and secondly, though she’s finicky, a good restaurant like BJ’s can win her over.