13 Bones (Greensboro, NC)

Two things that I absolutely love are saving money and eating ribs. Needless to say, when Living Social offered up a deal to a new local rib joint, I was quick to purchase a certificate. The Greensboro location of 13 Bones opened in August of 2011. It's their second location. The original restaurant opened in Mount Airy, NC in 2009.

13 Bones opened in a building that was formerly occupied by a Ryan's restaurant. It's a casual, family friendly steakhouse. The hostess greeted us with a smile when Katie and I walked in the door. Before I evaluate the food, I'd like to note that the service was excellent from beginning to end. Our waitress was prompt and friendly. Several courteous employees checked in to see if we needed anything. The entire staff was polite and attentive.

13 Bones offers up the typical assortment of seafood, steaks and pasta, but advertises (as their name would suggest) their slow roasted baby back ribs as the house specialty. Katie and I both ordered rib dinners. I opted for the whole rack while Katie went with the half rack. Each dinner included two sides. Additionally, we ordered a basket of fried pickles for an appetizer.

The pickles arrived first. The basket was quite large. It would have been an adequate appetizer for a group of four or five. The batter was tasty, but they were over salted. I've never understood the need to salt something that has been battered and fried. Fry batters and breaders are typically pre-seasoned with a fair amount of salt. Hitting them with additional sodium when they come out of the fryer is overkill.

Our dinners arrived promptly. The serving sizes were substantial. One area in which 13 Bones scores well is  the price / portion ratio. All the dinner entrees are moderately priced while the portions appeared to be quite generous. (I apologize for the lack of pictures. I forgot my camera)

The ribs are advertised as "slow roasted". Of course that means they're cooked in an oven. Judging by their texture, I have to assume that they're covered and steamed as they cook. They are finished on the grill before being sauced and plated. Because of the steam cooking technique, the ribs were fall off the bone tender. While restaurants love the "fall off the bone" phrase, BBQ folks know that authentic, slow smoked ribs should never fall off the bone.

Like the pickles, the ribs were very salty. The salt did not penetrate to the interior meat telling me that they were salted after being cooked. I saw little need for the added salt considering they were also sauced. The sauce itself was thin and tangy. It definitely drew from North Carolina BBQ's vinegar roots, but I wouldn't call it a traditional Carolina sauce. It was orange and also had a sweet component that typical Carolina dips don't have.

Overall, our evening at 13 Bones was pretty pleasant, even if the food was a little disappointing. Simply holding back on the salt content could have greatly improved our dinners. The ribs, though incredibly tender, weren't exceptional. I think one could do a little better just down the street at Smokey Bones.

To learn more about 13 Bones, click here to visit their website. See how their ribs compare to other restaurants on our "BBQ Ratings" page.

6 Response to "13 Bones (Greensboro, NC)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Enjoyed our meal very much. Xu P was an exceptional waitress.

    Anonymous says:

    I think 13 Bones is fabulous!!! I have driven hours before to visit both locations in Mount Airy and Greensboro. I am not a salt fan, and have never thought anything was too salty at 13 Bones. This critic needs to have his tongue checked. As a BBQ connoisseur myself, I have found that these are the best ribs in NC, hands down!!

    Derek says:

    Folks in and around Greensboro seem to really like 13 Bones. I'm sure I'll make a return trip at some point. "Best ribs in NC" is a bold statement..but to each his own. Thanks for the feedback.

    Anonymous says:

    We went to 13Bones in Greensboro with coupons in hand. As soon as we were about to order we got right to the point, can both couples use the coupons that were already purchased online for $20 ($40 value). Yes, I said purchased not just a regular coupon. It stated one per table but that was why we inquired prior to ordering. We were told yes, if we had to separate bils. So we ordered. A little slow bringing the food and onions in everything. One item was sent back because I failed to ask about onions. Then the baked beans were suggested by the waitress. Well, they came with onions in them! I am allergic. Seems like the waitress would have realized that since that is why I sent the vegetables back. The baked beans were like pork & beans and tasted much like them. The bread that came with the meal came when the meal was almost over, but it was great. Oysters were great. maybe 9 on the plate, said you got between 12-15. The beef tips were tough, shrimp & flounder was good. Well, then we are told you can not use but one coupon! So we ask for the Manager (J). He came with attitude!! Again, these coupons were paid for not given so they already have their money. Finally it was decided we could use them but NEVER AGAIN, he was not customer friendly whatsoever! He was just plain rude to the waitress, holding up the coupon in hand and asking her if she could read! This was just tacky for him to belittle her in front of everyone! That did it for us. We like the place till we saw how the employees are treated so that is our 1st & last trip! This was rude to say the least!

    Anonymous says:

    Closed in Greensboro

    Unknown says:
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