No one really knows why it’s called Adam’s Ribs. Some say it’s a nod to the diner’s location. Others think it’s got something to do with the 59th episode of MASH; the one where Hawkeye goes nuts after being served a river of liver and an ocean of fish for 11 days straight. Who knows?
I have a theory. The restaurant is filled with 90s memorabilia. Gig posters featuring The Porkers and Buck-O-Nine, and, curiously, one from the first Big Day Out in 1992, when Nirvana and the Violent Femmes headlined alongside the crème de la crème of early 90s Australian rock and roll, including; the Beasts of Bourbon, Ratcat, Cosmic Psychos and ... You Am I.
Now, You Am I are one of the greatest Australian rock and roll bands of all time. You will not hear a bad song on either Hi-Fi Way or its follow up, Hourly Daily. Cathy’s Clown rocks harder than any Cold Chisel song ever could, How Much Is Enough is as meaningful as it is melodious, and the opening guitar riff and outro for Mr. Milk is up there with some of The Who’s greatest performances. However, on You Am I’s first full-length album (Sound As Ever) is the song … wait for it… Adam’s Ribs.
But, I digest …
The original Novocastrian homage to Americana food culture is Adam’s Ribs and Pizza where you can dine in or takeaway six nights a week. Awesome for friends, and even better for families who want to take the kids out for a fun meal with delicious food and the coolest range of soft drinks and sodas outside of Sioux City.
Be warned: the takeaway gets busy and the small waiting room fills quickly. My advice is to book and pull up a comfy red pew or head to one of the tables with a red chequered tablecloth and relax with a BYO or drink from the fridge while you figure out what sort of deliciousness to eat.
You could do worse than start with a basket of wings and grilled corn on the cob. Six buffalo wings ($8) with blue cheese sauce (or, ranch, if you’re a barbarian) and a couple of charred cobs of corn will soon have you reaching for the paper towel dispenser and moist towelettes, which come as standard on each table alongside old Pepsi Cola bottles filled with pepper and salt. Refreshing.
The pork, beef, and lamb ribs are slow-cooked (obviously) and smothered with your choice of either a dry rub or sticky sauce. Choose from rubs such as rattlesnake, jerk, hickory, or sauces such as honey barbecue, tequila chipotle, or cola barbecue (which is gluten free). Ribs are served as a half rack ($18) or full ($32) accompanied by either mac and cheese, charred corn, or coleslaw. Get a full rack of smoky, tender meat and share a rib with Eve, or someone else near to your heart. It’s lots of fun.
At this point, some potato skins, poutine (cheese and gravy covered chips), potato gems or a slice of pizza might be overkill, but that’s only because you didn’t bring enough family or have enough friends. Vegetarians may be disgusted at the amount of meat on the menu, but will no doubt fall in love with Adam’s vegetarian pizza ($20) loaded with earthy mushroom, onion, capsicum, olives, pineapple and garlic. The pork rib pizza ($22) is a good option for indecisive folk, but my advice is to go with the Tropicana (ham and pineapple $20) for some tasty nostalgia.
Even though you can BYO booze, the imported American sodas and soft drinks are a fun accompaniment to the awesome Americana dude food. There are so many stacked in the fridge that it will take multiple visits to Adamstown’s hippest juke joint to find your favourite. Not a bad thing.
Grab your friends, head down to Glebe Road and get stuck into some of the stickiest ribs and wings you’ll find in Newcastle.
- What: Adam’s Ribs and Pizza
- Where: 548A Glebe Rd, Adamstown
- Owner: Mark and Annette Burrell
- Drinks: US soft drinks and sodas, BYO
- Hours: Dinner 6 days. Tues-Sun from 5pm
- Vegetarian: Yes
- Bottom Line: $60 for two (incl. drinks)
- Wheelchair Access: Yes
- Do try: Buffalo wings, pork ribs with honey BBQ