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Monday, January 24, 2011

The Rib Whip Delivers on Day One in SOMA

Posted By on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 2:48 PM

click to enlarge The Rib Whip's signature bones, with garlic mashed potatoes. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • The Rib Whip's signature bones, with garlic mashed potatoes.

Two weeks ago, when SFoodie cracked the news about The Rib Whip ― a ready-to-launch food truck with an on-site smoker ― we could feel the anticipation rippling through certain sectors of the city. Since then, in the vacant lot the truck occupies on Ritch Street near Bryant, owner Ryan Gessel has treated his eagerest Twitter followers to informal, soft-launch boxes of grilled pork tenderloin and ribs. That all ended this morning, when The Rib Whip had its hard launch.

click to enlarge The truck stands in an empty lot on Ritch Street near Bryant. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • The truck stands in an empty lot on Ritch Street near Bryant.

By 11:45 more than a half-dozen guys were already lined up, a few more seated at a stretch of pushed-together tables near one of the high concrete walls. A generator growled, as Gessel tended a smoker out back beyond the truck. "I'm not totally happy with the brisket today," he said ― it'd turned out dry, apparently. The BBQ pork ribs ($8), however, were right on, with big, tender flakes of meat skiving off their white bones. They smelled sweet-smoky, painted with a sauce that stayed well clear of sugary (its dominant feature: cumin).

Gessel's truck turned out totally likable, even on day one, though it's already clear that The Rib Whip will change in myriad ways, and soon. Sam Landrum, Gessel's business partner, says the oxblood-red truck will undergo a logo wrap any day now. There are already plans to collaborate with nearby bustaurant Le Truc for SF Beer Week next month. Breakfast is coming. And, says Landrum, "we're considering whether we want to bring in sand for outdoor volleyball." The dude-food energy is powering up in SOMA.

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