The easy way to tell an authentic rib joint? The dining room is virtually empty. C&M’s spare ribs, hot off Mary Solomon’s grill, rarely linger on the premises. You gotta bring those boys straight home, tussle with the big bones, then stack the carnage on the end table by your La-Z-Boy. Fred Flintstone never had it so good. C&M doesn’t stop at spares, either. Fried and jerked chicken are also favorites (Solomon, left, hails from Jamaica) and the house burger is decent. Catfish and baby back ribs are also frequent specials, the latter bathed in Solomon’s sticky-sweet yet spicy “volcanic sauce.” And out of respect to folks’ preferences, pork and chicken are always cooked on separate grills. Hearty portions of sides are dirt cheap and easily feed two; the greens and pinto beans have that tough-to-place comfort-spice, and I’d swear my Aunt Janet is back there in the kitchen whipping up her signature potato salad. Don’t be shocked to see the boys in blue dining in. There’s no trouble, they just want to keep the cruiser clean. And they have been known to take some of that red velvet cake to go. C&M is just off the main drag—blink and you might miss it at the corner of Kennedy and Montgomery. But if your windows are open, you’ll smell the smoke on the approach.
C&M BBQ Grill, 6457 Kennedy Ave., Kennedy Heights, (513) 631-8888. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat.