The Rib Man

The Rib Man

I’d been meaning to visit Mark Gevaux, The Rib Man for ages, and then yesterday I happened upon him by chance on the South Bank. What a beautiful little bit of luck. He sells slow-cooked baby-back rib sandwiches, and we’ve had much discussion on Twitter about his reputedly spectacular ‘HOLY FUCK HOT SAUCE’. “You’re really speeding up”, my friend said as we approached the stall. Damn right – I’m getting me some tender rib meat in a bun. We’d eaten a bratwurst about 10 minutes earlier but I choose my friends wisely and she was more than up for round two.

Mark has been trading on Brick Lane for about 3 years now, since an accident cut his career as a butcher short. He was apparently a “speed boner” (don’t laugh) but circumstance forced him to think about his options and his ribs had always gone down well with colleagues. He started out just selling racks, but people were finding it a bit tricky to eat a rack of ribs on the go and kept asking for bread; eventually he decided to shred the meat off the bone and put it into a sandwich.

The spiced, melty (so melty) meat has the texture of classic pulled pork and he stuffs that bun to bursting with it (“some people say my rolls are too big…I’m not one of them”). You can choose from either BBQ sauce, regular hot sauce or HOLY FUCK HOT SAUCE. I tried the latter, obviously and oh my goodness me if it wasn’t the best damn hot sauce I’ve ever tasted. He uses my favourite Scotch Bonnets but also a small amount of Naga; one of the hottest chillies in the world. The sauce was, of course, hot but genuinely not too hot; just the right amount of tingle, hum and numb and the flavour, oh my goodness…incredible. One of the fruitiest chilli flavours I’ve ever tasted and something you don’t often get without knife-like heat. He could bottle that stuff and make a million.

I feel like the hot sauce is over-shadowing the ribs but they are at one with each other, trust me. The meat is just so juicy, with wibbly strands of fat preserved. For me, this is a rib meat sandwich stall rather than a rack of ribs stall as the name might suggest but what’s not to like? It’s a fantastic sandwich and as I’m sure I’ve mentioned about a hundred times, I’m very, very fond of a good sandwich.

The Rib Man is on the South Bank (next to the South Bank Centre until the 25th  and otherwise at Brick Lane on Sundays. See His Website for details. 

The Rib Man on Eat. St


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  • Avatar
    Reply Paul September 24, 2011 at 10:55 am

    How have you not told us about this sooner! :^P

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    Reply Catherine September 24, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Went there yesterday and had a roll with a mixture of the BBQ sauce and the hot sauce. Very enjoyable. Thought he only had two kinds of sauce; that is what he told me.

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      Reply Helen September 24, 2011 at 1:16 pm

      Catherine: he has 3 kinds of sauce. BBQ, hot sauce and extra hot sauce.

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    Reply Naomi September 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    The only upside to working on a Saturday is that I am right by the Southbank and this has just made my lunch break SO EXCITING.

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    Reply Catherine September 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm


    Will have to go back tomorrow. When I was there he only offered me two sorts, and one was the BBQ so don’t know which hot sauce I ended up having! As I approached the stand he offered hunks of meat in his his gloved hand to try. If that doesn’t rope you in then I can’t imagine what will.

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    Reply Meatball Micky September 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Well this is a bit more exciting than fig salad!

    Those pictures set me off on a mission to Waterloo to find the rib man… I was entranced like Homer Simpson after doughnuts.

    I had the roll with the super-hot sauce and boy was it good. You are so right about him selling the sauce in a bottle. It has just the right balance of setting your mouth aglow and a nice rich flavour. It worked perfectly with the bread and the meat – but it was most definitely the star of the show.

    Strangely it was both satisfying and moreish. As I walked home I wished I had bought another one for later… though I don’t think it would have lasted till much later. In fact I could eat another one (or two) right now.

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    Reply Lizzie September 24, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    HOLY FUCK. That looks delicious. And now I can swear with impunity now that it’s in the post 😉

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    Reply Chris September 24, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I have a speed boner for those rib sandwiches.

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    Reply Catherine September 24, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Oh yeah, he told me he is also at Battersea Farmers Market most Saturdays as well.

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    Reply Jon - Adventures wthi the Pig September 26, 2011 at 10:37 am

    These look so tasty.

    Also, speed boner is an excellent phrase.

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    Reply sam b. September 26, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Mark truly deserves the flood of accolades being thrown his way….I brought my relatives visiting for the weekend straight to the Ribman, and they were thoroughly entranced as well.

    The sauce is most definitely holy fucking delicious; it had matured quite a bit from when I had it last Saturday @ Battersea (the morning after he made it). I could easily see it replacing sriracha as my go-to hot sauce to put on virtually anything….and that meat. Simply perfect.

    We also commented on the baps themselves, as they’re airy and quite light, but they hold in all of the meat very well and compact easily in the hand for maximum into-the-mouth shovability (new word).

    Great write up, and nice pics too.

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    Reply Emma September 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with all the praise, I discovered him two weeks ago at Battersea market and his food is absolutely amazing and something really deliciously different (I can’t be the only one who’s bored with burgers and hog roasts?). His passion is a real winner too, he just loves his product and loves to talk about it, making the whole experience a delight. That hot hot sauce is AMAZING too, and all homemade!

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    Reply Anne September 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    we popped to the festival yesterday and finally managed to try Mark’s Ribs -after weeks of planning to go to Brick Lane. They were worth the wait, really tasty and melt in the mouth. We weren’t as brave as you and had the normal hot sauce which was VERY hot and tasty.

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    Reply oliver September 26, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    This sounds amazing, is it just sunday brick lane?

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      Reply Helen October 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm

      As far as I know, yes. Will have to ask the rib man for further info!

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    Reply the ribman September 27, 2011 at 8:07 am

    thanks for the wonderful words , it makes it worthwhile, just to clear up about my sauces , i make 3 sauces smokey BBQ , hot , and really really hot (holy fuck) i am at brick lane every sunday and will be out in london during the week from october , follow me on twitter for updates thanks again to everyone who likes what i do ! mark the ribman

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    Reply Mzungu October 2, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I’ve tried the ribs a couple of times, and I was not really impressed with the bbq sauce. It was too sweet for my buds, but if he’s updated his sauces then all the better I say.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen October 2, 2011 at 9:42 am

      You need to try the HOLY FUCK hot sauce; forget the BBQ!

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    Reply the ribman October 3, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    @Mzungu always trying to improve mate , but if you don;t like sweet , why have bbq and not hot? or as a lot of my customers do “have a bit of both” come see me sunday and i will convert you!!

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    Reply Jonathan October 4, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Sweet Jesus. You’ve struck gold. I’ve searched high and low for good bbq porky sandwiches… and here it is.

    Rib Man here I come.

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      Reply Helen October 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      I knew you would like this! You must get the HF hot sauce – it makes the sandwich

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    Reply Hermione October 24, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    We can’t find it on the southbank. Where is he exactly? Need some of that holy fuck sauce!

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