Spare No Rib

A taqueria-barbecue joint owned by a Tunisian mathematician may seem like a recipe for disaster, but a visit to Spare No Rib erases any doubts. Owner Lassaad Jeliti was inspired to open the Benton Park restaurant after a taste of tacos and barbecue reminded him of North African street food. Jeliti was amazed at the similar spices, sauces and preparations of the seemingly different cuisines, and he wanted to celebrate this at his restaurant. Spare No Rib has a small menu, but it covers all of the taco and barbecue basics. Of the tacos, the cachete is the clear standout. The fresh corn tortilla is stuffed with braised beef cheeks that melt in the mouth. Another must-try is the pork and fennel — chunks of tender grilled pork are served with fennel. The smoky, fall-apart ribs do not need sauce — a spice rub dominated by flavors of cumin and cinnamon gives the meat more than enough flavor. The pulled pork sandwich, another excellent barbecue option, is piled with tender hunks of smoky pork that have been tossed in sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. It’s topped with creamy coleslaw and served on a fantastically flaky bun. Those who can’t decide between tacos and barbecue don’t have to. The SNR platter features tacos and ribs — the best of both worlds. Just like the restaurant.

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