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, steaks, seafood, and more at Tony Roma's.
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. Traditionalists should stick to the menu's original rack of pork baby backs ($18.99-$20.99) smothered in the restaurant's signature sauce. The adventurous might hunker down with the St. Louis sampler ($19.49), a marbled cut of meat covered in four different sauces, including Carolina Honeys and Blue Ridge Smokies. Beef lovers can savor the flavors in the Cabernet-glaze of the short ribs ($15.99), served with a guilt-free side of mixed veggies. If a hunk of bone-in meat isn't enough to appease the appetite, supplement dinner with a sampler starter ($13.99) that includes breaded boneless chicken poppers, fried onion, and spinach and artichoke dip, served up with plenty of sides for dipping. The extensive menu covers palate preferences galore with chicken and seafood dishes, along with tantalizing salad entrees, 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.