A Minnesota barbecue restaurant has found itself, through little fault of its own, going viral after a diner posted a picture of his ribs dish.
Justin Ekstrom, a Minnesota sports reporter, shared the picture of the ribs he ordered from Linsey's BBQ in Jordan to Twitter on Tuesday, only to be taken aback a short time later when his picture went viral, attracting comments from apparent barbecue connoisseurs and national celebrities.
The reason? Well, because the ribs appear dry/overdone, and naturally this led to the typical social media pile-on that is par for the course these days, with some even tracking down reviews from the restaurant's Yelp page to find similar complaints about the dry food (though there are plenty of positive testimonials on its website too).
In total, Ekstrom's tweet has been retweeted and quote-tweeted about 8,000 times as of Wednesday morning.
He told Bring Me The News: "The internet is weird. I just ate the ribs and they tasted fine. I guess I have much more influence and more avid BBQ followers than I ever thought."
Among those commenting was former ESPN host-turned Atlantic writer Jemele Hill, who tweeted: "In one of my group chats somebody called this ribs the filibuster and I've been laughing for 20 minutes."
Another said they look "like planks of a decommissioned 16th century battleship."
Linsey's BBQ wasn't looking for the attention, and after the year that restaurants have had, and the ongoing challenges they face, it seems uncharitable at best for it to be subjected to a national ribbing.
"I would like to invite all who are criticizing from a photo to try our bbq," owner Lindsey Green told Bring Me The News. "Pictures do not show our true flavors. I have supporters who love our bbq and come here on a regular basis. I really don’t know what else to say! I am a newer business and this negativity is a hard pill to swallow when I’m trying to build it."
Sure, Minnesota doesn't have the barbecue chops of, say, Texas and Kansas City, but would Minnesotans share the same outrage if a restaurant in one of those states produced a sub-standard version of a Jucy Lucy? Or hotdish?
Ok, we would, of course we would, this is the land of Grape Salad outrage after all, but we'd definitely be nicer about it.
Although, would we? I don't know anymore. The internet's awful. What are you doing reading this? Log off now, go do an activity or something. Oh, and support your local restaurants.