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 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!)

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RibRater

  • Total Posts: 1862
  • Joined: 3/3/2006
  • Location: Johnson City, TN
12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Fri, 01/25/08 6:12 PM (permalink)
12 Bones in Kingsport TN has only been open a few months now but they have become my favorite local rib spot. Located on Main St across from the Chamber of Commerce, they are a branch of sorts to the original 12 Bones in Asheville NC (website for the asheville location - menu is pretty much the same http://www.12bones.com/ )

A couple of things I like about 12 Bones..

1) They cook a decent rack of BB ribs and the selection is different from day to day. Today they offered

Mango-Tango - a VERY spicy concoction with almost all the heat coming from a thin slightly sweet sauce.

Brown Sugar - Slightly sweet

Memphis Style - A dry rub

Blueberry Chipotle - slightly sweet, smoky flavor..a little heat.

But tomorrow you may find some of the above along with a strawberry jalapeno or a raspberry rib, etc. They aren't afraid to mix it up and offer something you probably haven't tried before. I like that simply because it gives me ideas for home cooking.

2) Their sides often change as much as the ribs. There are usually 6-8 sides to choose from and during todays visit I noticed 3 that I hadn't seen before.

In addition to the ever changing ribs and sides, they have a very good std menu of pulled pork, salads, beers, etc.


Ok, off we go...


Outside of the building...kingsport is working hard to revitalize their downtown area.




Another outside..close up.




This is their menu board area.




In this photo you can see the top of the cardboard menus where they post todays rib selections. Look where it says Mango-Tango...




The Chow - this is a plate I split with my wife. A rack of ribs - we selected two half racks today. One brown sugar and one mango tango. Above the ribs and to the left is Broccoli casserole. A piece of cornbread is covering up a very generous pile of collards with smoked meat.

The ribs were good but one thing I've noticed is when you arrive early I always think the ribs could use a little more time cooking. If you arrive later in the day they are great! regardless, the mango tango's were very hot and the brown sugar ribs were moist and sweet.

I like broccoli casserole but find most restaurants serve it overcooked so there is no bite left in the broccoli or they cut the broccoli so small it overcooks into mush. Not the case here. Large, slightly crunchy pieces of broccoli made up about 80% of this dish. The cornbread was a little dry for my liking but it usually is and I always leave full without bothering to eat it anyway.

The collards you can't see in the picture are as good as you will find. Growing up in the south, we ate collards all the time and they were often set on the table at the same time as a bowl of white vinegar seasoned with sugar and chopped onions. No vinegar here but the collards are good enough to stand on their own. Always cooked perfectly (not over cooked or watery) with just enough smoked meat to have a taste in each bite. Regardless of what else may be on the sides menu, the collards are always on my plate.




Below is my daughters plate of Pulled pork sandwich, mac and cheese, and garlic green beans. The pulled pork always has a decent smoke to it but it's also a little dry so the sauce they serve on the side is recommended. The garlic green beans are from a can (one of the few items on the menu that is not made fresh) with seasoning added. Not great but I'd order them again. The mac and cheese is a bit of a disappointment with very little flavor of any kind, it's as close to "just noodles" as I think you can get. I've tried it twice now and it was the same both times.




While we were eating the cook brought over a small bowl of their corn pudding..a dish I had asked about when ordering but decided against. Very good dish! Fresh tasting corn in each bite and a beautiful top and side crust that provided a contrast of textures in each bite. Recommended!





If you're passing through the area on 81, take a 15 minute detour over to downtown kingsport and try out 12 Bones!


edit to add: forgot..12 bones asheville recently won a good morning america contest.. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Story?id=3906705&page=1




 
#1
    CajunKing

    • Total Posts: 6317
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    • Location: Live at Saint Clair
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    RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Fri, 01/25/08 7:54 PM (permalink)
    LRJ

    looks good, I love corn puddin, and that one looks realllllll good

    how tender were the ribs??

     
    #2
      Robearjr

      • Total Posts: 1102
      • Joined: 6/17/2007
      • Location: Baltimore, MD
      RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Fri, 01/25/08 10:39 PM (permalink)
      Looks like I'll have reason to head to the north side I 81 when I'm in NE Tenn. Normally, I'm only interested in Ridgewood.

      I alway thought Kingsport could use some more restaurants. Alot of the places in the downtown area are mostly about the lunch crowd. Normally, if I'm in the area, I head down 11 to the Mountaineer.
       
      #3
        MikeS.

        • Total Posts: 5360
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        • Location: FarEasternPanhandle, WV
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        RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Sat, 01/26/08 12:40 AM (permalink)
        Larry, maybe you, Paul and I can meet up there in October. Those pictures look really good.
         
        #4
          Sundancer7

          RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Sat, 01/26/08 7:05 AM (permalink)
          Larry is usuing his camera very wisely. Mike, count me in. I may not be able to wait until October though. I like the assortment of sides.

          I agree with Larry that the mac and cheese looks a bit thin.

          Paul E. Smith
          Knoxville, TN
           
          #5
            RibRater

            • Total Posts: 1862
            • Joined: 3/3/2006
            • Location: Johnson City, TN
            RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Sat, 01/26/08 8:07 AM (permalink)
            CK, Like you, I cook ribs by feel and I would have left these on the smoker for about 30-45 minutes longer. The flavor was right...good smoke level and good layers of flavor...but they needed just a bit more time.


            Anytime Mike!


            Paul, I actually had the settings wrong on the camera (the IS was off) so the rib plate looks a little shaky. But I'm learning and the pics sure beat my old phone camera in my last review ;-).

            I think that picture of the sandwich plate could be a magazine cover with the way the light hit the plate. I'm not good enough to plan it that way so dumb luck took over.




             
            #6
              John A

              • Total Posts: 4295
              • Joined: 1/27/2006
              • Location: Daytona Beach, FL
              RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Sat, 01/26/08 8:08 AM (permalink)
              That's some good looking BBQ. Do you know what kind of smoker they use?

              Thanks
               
              #7
                wheregreggeats.com

                RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Sat, 01/26/08 8:16 AM (permalink)
                Excellent report.

                Thanks.

                 
                #8
                  mayor al

                  • Total Posts: 15073
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                  • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
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                  RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Sat, 01/26/08 8:19 AM (permalink)
                  Nice job, Larry, Your new camera has real potential!!. I would like to try tha place as well.
                   
                  #9
                    roossy90

                    • Total Posts: 6695
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                    • Location: columbus, oh
                    RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Sat, 01/26/08 3:28 PM (permalink)
                    Those ribs, and the whole plate look delicious....
                    Nice report...
                     
                    #10
                      ann peeples

                      • Total Posts: 8317
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                      • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                      RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Sat, 01/26/08 3:59 PM (permalink)
                      Wow!! Looks wonderful...
                       
                      #11
                        chewingthefat

                        • Total Posts: 6100
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                        • Location: Emmitsburg, Md.
                        RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Sat, 01/26/08 5:32 PM (permalink)
                        Larry, were those Baby Backs??
                         
                        #12
                          myterry2

                          • Total Posts: 526
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                          • Location: Lake Forest, IL
                          RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Sat, 01/26/08 5:42 PM (permalink)
                          My wife and I have been there... to many odd choices of ways to prepare quality ribs to me...I also thought there salad dressings need to be expanded. Wife said the green beans were the worst she ever ate. Good job on the pics, and THANX for the report.
                           
                          #13
                            Sundancer7

                            RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Sat, 01/26/08 5:47 PM (permalink)
                            quote:
                            Originally posted by myterry2

                            My wife and I have been there... to many odd choices of ways to prepare quality ribs to me...I also thought there salad dressings need to be expanded. Wife said the green beans were the worst she ever ate. Good job on the pics, and THANX for the report.


                            Sounds like you really enjoyed it. I will try it with Larry and others. I really liked the variety of sides.

                            Paul E. Smith
                            Knoxville, TN
                             
                            #14
                              RibRater

                              • Total Posts: 1862
                              • Joined: 3/3/2006
                              • Location: Johnson City, TN
                              RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Sun, 01/27/08 8:47 AM (permalink)
                              quote:
                              Originally posted by myterry2

                              My wife and I have been there... to many odd choices of ways to prepare quality ribs to me...I also thought there salad dressings need to be expanded. Wife said the green beans were the worst she ever ate. Good job on the pics, and THANX for the report.



                              I can see where some would feel that way about the rib selection. 12 Bones is not your typical rib house with dry rub or sauced ribs and, as I said above, this is one reason why I like the place. My family thinks every rib we eat pales in comparison with the ribs I fix at home, but I like to find companies like 12 Bones that stretch my ideas on what makes a good sauce or rub. Usually they have at least one selection that caters to more traditional tastes (their memphis dry rub or brown sugar ribs for example).

                              On the green beans...I see their asheville site says the beans are fresh and they may very well be but the green beans I ate, I believe, were canned. Not the best beans but quite frankly I'm a vegaholic. Unless they are cooked to a mush state or really have a bad flavor, I'd consider re-ordering them.

                              The only "salad" I've had is the wedge which was as good as the first time I had that type of "salad" 10 years ago at 111 ChopHouse in worcester ma. The house dressing that came with that was a spicy ranch.


                              One more note about kingsport vs asheville. I would think that the quality control at the asheville store would be a little better then kingsport simply because of asheville's limited schedule. i believe it is a lunch only..weekday only restaurant where the kingsport store keeps regular hours. I could be wrong about that but it just seems reasonable to assume that is the case.



                              John A - I didn't ask. Maybe a CS or ST ;-)


                              Chewy - yes they were BB's. In spite of my complaint about the ribs needing a little more time to cook, I find most places overcook BB's until they are fall off the bone often to a point of being mushy. IMO, BB's should not have quite the tug that a spare should have but it still should require more then a hard stare for it to separate from the bone altogether.

                               
                              #15
                                leethebard

                                • Total Posts: 6083
                                • Joined: 8/16/2007
                                • Location: brick, NJ
                                RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Sun, 01/27/08 9:00 AM (permalink)
                                Fascinating report...thanks for the pictures and info....As usual,I'm really hungry...for Mango Tango!
                                 
                                #16
                                  ces1948

                                  • Total Posts: 1499
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                                  • Location: Port St Lucie, Fl
                                  RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Sun, 01/27/08 10:04 PM (permalink)
                                  Larry:

                                  12 bones has also become one of favorite stops. The jalapeƱo cheese grits and the collards are outstanding. Kingsport has a winner.

                                  Charlie
                                   
                                  #17
                                    RibRater

                                    • Total Posts: 1862
                                    • Joined: 3/3/2006
                                    • Location: Johnson City, TN
                                    RE: 12 Bones - Kingsport TN (large picture warning!) Mon, 01/28/08 9:49 AM (permalink)
                                    Hey Charlie...good to hear! Maybe between us we can keep this place busy enough for them to stick around kingsport for awhile


                                    I'm almost ashamed to admit I haven't tried the grits yet but with that recommendation you can be sure they will be on my plate on the next visit.
                                     
                                    #18
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