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Jan 28, 2000 08:29 PM

Barbecue - The Best In Boston

  • t

Paul wrote -----
"Actually the king of barbecue in Boston is where you were going to have dinner last night. Redbones has held top honors in these parts for many years. Robert usually does a great job but my last 2 visits were disappointing. He at least has the good sense to use a "wood fired" finishing grille. I don't understand why people open Barbecue joints and use gas fired grills.

Have you tried M&M Ribs out in your neck of the woods at 195 Adams Street Dorchester? I am a member of New England Barbecue Society. They put out a monthly newsletter called "Burnt Ends". If you're interested, I will post the member info"

-------- Reply --------
Please post the member info to the Boston list! Thanks.

My wife and I did eat at Redbones last night. Not only is the food good, Redbones is very convenient to the Somerville Theater and to the Davis Square Red Line T stop.

I have bad news about the M&M --- it has been closed and empty for several months. The location was a little out of the way in Fields Corner. The restaurant had been occupied by a series of projects. A fair amount of state money went into trying to get the site to work -it's the former Station 11 Police Station and the building is in the historic register. The upper levels are office space. The basement where the jail cells were -and still are -with the bars removed - is the restaurant. Believe me, it was strange to be eating ribs, tripe and okra where I had been confined for my youthful fancy. I remember how the police cracked up at my striped bell-bottoms when they busted me for peyote possession :- )

The M&M hung on for a couple of years but Fields Corner has been gradually subsumed by the Vietnamese. We noticed fewer and fewer African Americans eating at the M&M -and it just slipped away. The family still runs their barbecue place up on Columbia Road on that empty lot where Quincy St. crosses.

I loved the M&M's Sunday Buffet - they had the whole range of great barbecue -all you can eat - for ten bucks. Of course the homemade pecan pie was off limits for me (sugar problems) -- but all the great tripe, brisket, pork and beef ribs, the shin bones, the stews, the huge trays of collards and sweet potatoes were fabulous - and the whole family pitched in -the young early teens daughters ran the food around - and the sons bussed the tables. The grandmother cooked - the guys barbecued -the wives did the business end - it was a family and I miss it a lot.

A small, mostly take out barbecue opened up a few years ago in another well worn spot on Dorchester Ave. It's called Chris's Barbecue and is in a drive-through former bad burger joint. Chris's is OK - fairly good chicken and ribs - but generally not up to what the M&M was. Since Chris's is right across from the Dorchester House - my health provider --- I get to Chris's fairly often. Their brisket is nothing to write home about -the Baby Back Ribs are fine - the Lamb ribs are quite good. All the prices are low - you can get a half chicken with two generous sides for $4.95. I go for the sweet potato or the plantains with collard greens. I can get two days out of this meal. :- ) Besides that they have frozen pudding ice cream - a couple of big scoops for a buck.

In the end - the M&M family is safe and sound on Columbia Road and the old jail is empty - waiting for the next "great idea."


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  1. Sorry to hear about the demise of the M&M. Although I never made it there, from your description it sounds like some appropriate mourning is in order. At least you will be able to head to the corner of Columbia and Quincy when the weather gets warmer.

    Hear is the Member info on the "Q" group.

    New England Barbecue Society
    PO Box 2079
    Hanover, MA 02339

    If you send them a check for $25 single or $35 family you will be a member. Their newsletter "Burnt Ends" is loaded with lots of neat barbecue stuff. Trip to Texas in search of the ultimate brisket-Deep fried whole turkey etc. They also have a web site @www.NEBS. org.

    By the way Tord I had a pair of those pants too-they were Red, White and Blue.


    1 Reply
    1. re: PAUL DESORCY

      Ok, I don't mean to be contentious but I had to respond to the BBQ thread. I personally have not found anything in Boston to be equal to my golden standard (I'm a Texan and consider Texas-style BBQ to be the best). The best I"ve found is at Blue Ribbon BBQ, locations in Arlington and West Newton. They have lots of varieties of BBQ and do an admirable job. Redbones is not good, I am sorry. There is just nothing special about it, in my opinion, and no self respecting BBQ restaurant would serve black beans and rice. Now, I like black beans and rice but NOT WITH BBQ. It belongs with other fine cuisines.

      If you are ever in the southwest corner of Vermont and want to try what is, in my opinion, the best BBQ I have tasted since I left home (and better than a lot of what I've had back home since), head to Pownal, VT on route 2 and look for Hickory Bill's shack on the east side of the road. It's just over the border from williamstown, Ma. This guy is from Oklahoma and knows how to do it RIGHT. He used to have restaurants in Pittsfield and Great Barrington but not enough folks appreciated him to keep the restaurants going. His catering business always did well, so he's back to doing that without a big restaurant overhead. It's simply the best, ambrosia from the gods. I won't get into details, go and taste for yourself and thank me later.

    2. The last few times I tried The M&M site at the corner of Columbia&Quincy Street it was vacant. Is this permanent? I hope not.