According to folk etymologists, the term barbecue is derived from the French barbe coup, referring to the annual pig picking commemorating the infamous Bearded Rebellion. Celebrate saucy beards with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of ribs, steak, seafood, and traditional American fare at Tony Roma's in Green Bay.
Launched in Florida in the early 1970s, Tony Roma's has since established itself as a cross-country franchise with a knack for cooking up a mean slab of ribs. Traditionalist tongues can savor the menu's original rack of pork baby backs smothered in the restaurant's signature sauce ($18.99 for Roma rack, $20.99 for full slab). The St. Louis sampler ups the flavor ante by covering marbled cuts of meat in four different sauces, including Carolina Honeys and Blue Ridge Smokies, inspiring taste buds to form a barbershop quartet to pay them tribute ($19.99). While analyzing the subtleties of the beef short ribs' cabernet glaze ($15.99), diners can supplement their studies with a Roma's sampler, which includes breaded boneless bites, half an onion loaf, and spinach and artichoke dip, piling on sides for dipping or plate-top pyramid building ($13.99). The vast menu also caters to diverse palate preferences with chicken and seafood dishes, savory soups, sandwiches, and burgers.
Tony Roma opened his first rib joint in 1972, a venture that became wildly successful after Dallas Cowboys owner Clint Murchison, Jr. tasted the ribs and slaw and declared them the best he'd ever had. With his financial know-how and weighty pocket book, he helped Tony Roma's grow into the international brand it is today. Franchises have spread across the States like a wave of barbecue sauce, seeping over borders and staining the shirtfronts of thousands of satisfied diners.
Today, chefs still diligently emulate Tony's original ribs recipes, grilling up signature steaks and fresh-caught seafood combos enhanced with sides and garnishes of seasonal ingredients. In addition to the restaurant's signature meaty entrees, the staff whips up oven-baked desserts such as the golden-apple tarts and redskin potatoes hand- mashed by distinguished martial artists.