Boston is probably one of my new most favorite cities ever! I love the young vibe in an old
city. I also dig those folks crazy wicked accent! The food scene is on a path straight to the moon! As most my peeps know I love BBQ anything. Yes that includes the McRib thank you very much Andy Sokol! I make it my mission to get some Cue as much as I can, especially when traveling. So starting with my most recent trip to Boston here are the first three entries in my BBQ trail!
Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q
1375 Washington Street, West Newton, MA 02465
(617) 332-BLUE (2583) / www.blueribbonbbq.com
I never expected to be blown away but I was. Up until recently I didn’t think of these
New Englander’s having a chance at decent BBQ, wrong. I like to hang in the seedy Back Bay bars of Boston eating oysters and listening to funny accents. I always ask about the food scene and who’s doing what of interest. Well Blue Ribbon came up more than once. I sucked it up and made the drive out to Newton. The place looked pretty Mayberry from the outside. The North Carolina flag flying out front made me feel pretty damn good too. So the place is laid out just right, it accommodates a solid stream of anxious customers slinging them out to a window bar or get the hell out, room for no lollygagging. The line moves fast, I order the standard, a “threefer”. Now a ‘threefer” is something I made up after probably after having a “fifther” of PBR. It is in my BBQ industry gage, something you can get a fair assessment of the skill set going on in the joint. My “threefer” is Pulled Pork, Pork Ribs and Brisket and you got to go with the cole slaw and collard greens as your sides. Because I picked the week to be in Boston for a flipping heat wave I order two cans Cokes. “Throw in a corn bread?” Sure! The dude was cool and calm during a lunch rush and didn’t give me the press at the counter, I flipping really like that kind service. I was feeling the love and they had a cool looking T-shirt with a pig on it. Throw one of those in too!
So I sit in the window and commence to destroy my platter. Everything is so darn good! Did I mention the sauce bar in a bucket? They have some pretty interesting house made stuff but the North Carolina vinegar is what I was partial to. Worth the drive and save room for a house made slice of pie! They also have a location in Arlington.
Larry J’s BBQ Cafe
600 D Street, Seaport, South Boston, MA 02210
(617) 348-9800 / http://www.larryjsbbqcafe.com/
Sweating like a whore in church after huffing all around Boston seeing sites and drinking “refreshments” during a hell storm of a heat wave I was ready for some Cue. I found this place near the sea port run by this dude named Larry, obviously huh? As usual I start shooting the breeze with this big black dude Larry who knows his game. Me asking like a machine gun , “what kinda wood?”, “what kinda smoker?”, “who’s sauce recipe?” and he is answering back, “Hickory some Apple, this and that I find.”, “These little smoker things here I use.”, “My sauce you know a little apple vinegar some spice and that sorta thing.” All vague replies as any good BBQ’er is known for giving and all the while not missing a beat making my order.
Just to get a feel for some real southern atmosphere I take my 2nd sweet tea and tray of
food to a nice spot in the sun on this 101 degree day. I loved the Pulled Pork and the vinegar sauce is pretty dang good too. You got to get the Texas Caviar which is essentially a black bean salad, I loved that stuff. The sweet tea is so critical and it is awesome! Greens and Coleslaw get a thumb up. All the sides are straight forward and a little unassuming. The St. Louis ribs have a real unique sort of dry dust rub, very little bark but still I liked with the KC style sauce. The vinegar sauce in the cole slaw is also worth noting. A lot of Texas influences with a splash of Carolina flair. See Larry is from Arkansas so he plays two BBQ fields. The location is tough to find in the middle of a park with little signage, but worth seeking out. Give Larry a high five from me, you will enjoy the chat.
Sweet Cheeks Q
1381 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215; www.sweetcheeksq.com / 617.266.1300
Lunch-M – F 11:30-5pm. Dinner- Mon-Tues 5-10pm | W – F 5-11pm
So shortly after having heat stroke number three or four, I lost count; I was ready for
some cold beers at my first Red Sox game! Going to Fenway has always been a boyhood dream. Jim Rice (a fellow South Kakalakee), Carl Yastrzemski and Ted Williams, I mean come on! Did I mention Carlton Fisk!? So I start knocking out a few cold ones, scoring a sweet new Boston baseball cap and hamming it up with a few guys who’s thick Boston Slur made them a strain to understand. A Perfect Game, Red Sox win, we all do! Chalk up one more heat stroke and I was ready for two things, make that three. Air Conditioning, Cold Beer with a Bourbon Chaser and some good Q. Not much to ask. So around the corner from Fenway Park is this joint called Sweet Cheeks Q. It gets a lot of press and play because it is helmed by Tiffany Faison of Top Chef Fame. So of course critics and fans have their own opinion. My opinion was that all in all it was pretty good however for the price you would do better just throwing your wallet on the ground and catching it on fire.
I came in late and the Bruin’s had just got their teeth kicked in by the Chicago Blackhawks for a Stanley Cup loss. Apparently I missed the memo but lucked out with it being cougar night. I was the only guy at a bar with seven cute ladies. So me being the player I start to talk BBQ!
They have an open kitchen, packed with young cooks hustling around. I don’t see the chef but hey I wouldn’t really know her anyway, never saw the show. They are wrapping up and breaking down the kitchen for the night. I squeeze in an order and fairly quickly I get my food.
The Berkshire Pork Belly was slap your momma good! The Brisket and Pulled Pork are well cooked but light on flavor going under the handle Texas style, whatever in the hell that means anymore. I was really happy with the house sauces; that made the meat really pop. Give the collard greens thumbs up. Also recommend the Troegs Hopback Amber with a Blanton’s chaser one cube. Then round two you need the Lefthand Nitro Milk Stout with
a Bully Boy Whiskey chaser.
Oh one weird ass thing about this place is they have this Chicken Egg Machine in the bathroom. You put in money then it kicks out a surprise in the plastic Easter egg. I never could figure out if I could have a chance at a real prize like a free beer or even a flipping biscuit?! Of course I came home with a couple of eggs. The surprise inside is my secret, get your own egg, maybe win a biscuit or something. If in the hood I would go back for sure, maybe with a wing man!