Thursday, September 1, 2011

Black Diamond BBQ

Fresh on the high of a great set of ribs from Squealers not long ago, hubby has become slightly obsessed with barbeque.  He wants to try them all, like tomorrow, so he can compare and contrast them all while it is still fresh in his head.  So we invited friends over the other night to finally get around to trying Black Diamond which is like 5 minutes from our house, and which we have never tried.  It is a pretty small place, and there isn’t a lot of ambiance there, and since it is so close, we figured it probably wouldn’t lose much in the 5 minute drive from there to our house.  Not to mention, barbeque is inherently slow cooked anyway right?  The people working in there are really nice and they put together your order super fast.

They do a lot of barbeque chicken at Black Diamond which I like, although the more I eat, the more I realize it is tough to do it well.  But I still decided to go with the half chicken anyway, figuring that at least the dark meat would be tender.  So my meal was a half barbeque chicken dinner which comes with two sides—I had the mac and cheese and the greens ($9.75).  So unfortunately, the chicken was quite dry really and even the leg meat suffered from that fate.  Extra sauce helped, but not enough.  The sauce choices are sweet, mild, and spicy. I got the mild, thinking, well it wouldn’t be sweet since they actually have a separate sauce that is sweet, but I still found it a little too sweet.  If I went again, I would certainly go for the spicy, as one friend who had it at the table did not think it was really spicy at all. The mac and cheese was fine—it was your standard noodles in cheese product—you know, like Velveeta-esque.  Didn’t taste bad, but wasn’t wowing anyone for sure.  The greens weren’t bad, but honestly weren’t my first choice.  I always want to try the potato salad at barbeque places, and when I asked for that as my side, I was told they were out of it (I was also told if we wanted hot dog kids meals that they had on the menu it would be a 30-40 minute wait which was weird I thought. What kind of hot dog takes that long to cook?).  Anyway, I was kind of bummed about the potato salad thing, but I can adapt.

Hubby got the large rib dinner ($12.95) with cole slaw and baked beans.  So these are not baby back ribs, they are the spare rib style—meaning they are larger bones with more meat and fat.  The baby back ribs come from the top of the rib cage (or the back of the pig) whereas the spare ribs come from along the sides of the rib cage.  Obviously, this is a matter of preference, as both are very popular, but hubby (and I) prefer the baby back ribs.  To me, I prefer the smaller size and the less fatty texture of the meat.   I have to say though, they give you a very nice portion of them for the money.  The thing that disappointed me the most about them though was the lack of any smoky flavor at all.  Overall, these ribs were pretty much the reason I rarely order ribs.  They were a bit tough, too fatty for me, and lacked any smoke.  Hubby’s cole slaw was also pretty bad.  It was just cut cabbage and had no creaminess to it, which is fine in theory—I thought maybe it was a vinaigrette kind of thing.  But it actually was just purely sweet.  The baked beans were pretty standard.  Definitely better than the slaw.

The kids shared some pulled pork and a bunch of the macaroni and cheese. The pulled pork on a bun is $7.95 for an adult portion and $3.99 for a kid’s portion (the adult portion is pictured).  I would say the pulled pork was the best of the things we had, and they gave you a fair amount of sauce.  Inherently though the meat was a tad dry as well (seemed to be a theme running through everything).  The kids were happy with it though, and were really into the mac and cheese (go figure).
I don’t know, I have heard so many good things about this place, but compared to what I have had locally, I would put this in the very average category.  Luckily for us (and hubby is already planning the next place), we have lots of barbeque choices around town.  Of course, I always want to hear which one you think is the best and why.
Black Diamond Barbecue
6404 Rucker Road, Suite 5
Indianapolis  46220
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Black Diamond Barbecue on Urbanspoon


  1. The menu items pictured on this place's own website destroy any interest I might have had in this place. Surprised to see they have been open since 2007 -- seems like the kind of place that wouldn't survive for long, so somebody must think they're doing something right. But between their website and your review, I doubt I'll ever spend the money to find out if I agree.

  2. How is it compared to GT South's? I drive by the Black Diamond all the time but have yet to stop...

    I work in the 75th & Shadeland area & the food choices around here are getting really old...

    Thanks for the review!

  3. Andrew, I quite like the Moveable Feast that's in the same strip as GT South's (they are only open for lunch Mon-Fri).

    I prefer GT South's, but people tend to have strong opinions and preferences when it comes to the Q. Beef Manhattan at GT South's is awesome, IMO.

  4. I had G.T.South a few days ago for the second time. I thought it was pretty awful. No smoke flavor at all. If Black Diamond is not as good as G.T. South, there is no way I will be going there.

  5. Wayne, that's funny that you say that. I thought the website was pretty unappetizing as well, which was one of the reasons it took us so long to go.

    Andrew, I haven't been to GT South's since I started blogging, but it is on the list for a review. Honestly, I don't remember feeling strongly about it one way or the other.

    Tom, Movable Feast is on my list for soon as well. I have a friend who has been nagging me to go there for ages.

    Andrea, I can't really speak to GT South's because it has been so long. But sounds like you didn't have a good experience. I will let you know what I think when I go.

  6. I have been once since it is super close to my house, too. I liked the meat (pulled pork), but I spit out the cole slaw and thought the mac and cheese was edible but nothing very tasty. Still, I'd like to see them stay in business, they seem like nice folks.

  7. Sarah, your comments are a good summary of the place. They do seem like nice people, so you want them to do well, but too bad the food isn't better. And when you said you spit out the cole slaw, it made me laugh. I felt the same way.

  8. My favorite bbq is Big Hoffa's in Westfield, on Main St./SR 32. We also like Squealers, and I think it's on the same level. Adam does beef, pork, and chicken, and then he has some fun with rotating items. Not sure if it's still on the menu, but he'll make you a buffalo bbq chicken sandwich that clears my sinuses, and yet I still can't resist. He also makes his own addictive sweet tea and ranch dressing (not together, obviously!).

  9. I've tried both Black Diamond and GT South's, but Big Hoffa's BBQ in Westfield is by far the best, in my opinion. Check them out at