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Birthday 'cue

Hey 'hounds -

My bro's coming into town for the weekend, and I want to treat him to large quantities of delicious meat for a belated birthday present(places with decent beer selections are a plus, I'm trying to wean him off Bud Light). I was thinking Redbones, but it doesn't seem like a consistent fave from what I've read on here. I'm not tied to the idea of BBQ, it just seems like the most meat-centric dining experience. Whatever it is, needs to be T/bus accessible and not TOO pricey. Thanks a million!

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  1. I cannot say enough about the cue at Blue Ribbon BBQ. If it's huge portions of meat for small money, I really think this is the place to go. The Arlington outpost is accessible by bus, I just don't know which one.

    Redbones cue just isn't good. But the beer selection is great. (No beer at Blue Ribbon.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: yumyum

      No question, Blue Ribbon over Redbones for the barbecue.

      I haven't been a big fan of Redbones, having seen the quality slip over a 10 year period. But my last 2 visits haven't been bad, pointing to a possible upswing. And like you say, great beer selection.

      Another alternative might be a crawl. Bukowski's for beer, ECG for barbecue.

    2. If you're after something a bit different....and TONS of meat....try the Midwest Grill in Cambridge for Brazilian BBQ - really excellent & well worth the trip in my opinion.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kparke30

        That is what I was thinking too. I love Blue Ribbon but they don't serve beer.

      2. East Coast Grill. Great 'cue. Lots of other non-'cue options. Good (not great) beer selection. Fun place.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Blumie

          I remember having some good beef ribs at Sunset a long time ago (they used to have all you can eat on Sun-Tues. I think). Do people like them? Certainly plenty of beers to choose from.

        2. Well, Redbones may not have consistently superlative BBQ, but I still think it's very good, and a great value. Redbones does, however, have an incredible beer selection, easily top 10 in the city----the same cannot be said for any of the other 'cue places. I've never found the food at Blue Ribbon to be worthy of choosing it over Redbones (it's better but not THAT much better), the place is just not nearly as fun to go to.

          If you have a small group, try to get a seat at the kitchen counter, you're guaranteed some free food from the kitchen (usually an app) and you get to see the cooks work. To get the most for your money order family-style---a distended stomach and 2 beers each will be about $25-30 total per person.

          I was at Redbones recently and had a Cantillon Geuze for only $5!!! Went great with the barbecue. They also have a great, and regularly rotating selection of microbrews.

          1. I think it depends on what you want in your BBQ. Pork ribs? Uncle Pete's. Brisket? Blue Ribbon.

            1. I happen to think that Redbones is EXCELLENT. On the nights that they hit it, it's among the best Barbecue I have had. I'll warn you to go on a busy night, however. Everything seems to be more fresh in that case.

              If beer is an important factor, you really shouldn't look anywhere else. Beer selection is spectacular and the food is excellent. In addition, the atmosphere at Redbones feels a little more...lived in to me. I always feel more comfortable to linger there than at places like Blue Ribbon where you order at the counter, cafeteria style. As DoubleMan said, Blue Ribbon is just not nearly as fun!

              1. I second the idea of the Midwest Grill. It's fun, a little different, tasty, and literally all the meat you can eat.

                I'll confess to not knowing much about their beer selection, though. Maybe someone else does?

                1 Reply
                1. re: LeoLioness

                  Just checked out their website.....small beer list, small but decent wine list....

                2. As with any bbq joint in the area (or bbq in general), Redbones is inconsistent. I've ordered the same thing as my wife on occassion, and one plate is usually better than the other. So not only is it inconsistent depending on day or time of day, but piece of meat to piece of meat also.

                  That being said, there are a few things that seem to be more consistent than others. Pork ribs rarely have any smoke flavor and at times seems baked in a oven, but the brisket, texas (beef) ribs, and sausage usually have smoke flavor and are usually good- although the brisket can range from dense and dry to moist and tender. Chicken gets overlooked here and is pretty decent.

                  Chris has done a great job this summer of keeping a wide variety of IPA's on tap.

                  1. I like Redbones. The pulled chicken is so yummy, and if you can stand the heat, the jerk beef is painfully addictive (I just can't stop!) Plus the cat fingers in the pepper vinegar are heavenly. And to be quite serious, the beer selection is so good (and fun, yippie for the wheel!) that after a few, everything tastes better anyway!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: emmie

                      Hmmm...I think I may end up going with Redbones, I'm definitely after atmosphere too (my brother is the apple that fell far from the foodie tree, so mostly hit sometimes miss food is fine). Any particular menu suggestions? I've heard good things about the corn fritters.

                      1. re: Food to the face

                        Catfish Fingers are excellent, collard greens likewise. If they have it, a piece of pecan pie goes down just fine with a glass of bourbon for dessert.

                        1. re: Food to the face

                          I'm another one not impressed by most of the barbeque at Redbones, but I think the sausage is outstanding.

                          1. re: Food to the face

                            I also don't like the BBQ there, but I do like the corn fritters, hush puppies, fried okra and catfish fingers. And the wheel of beer.

                        2. With all due respect to the barbeque fans among us, if you are looking to engage in your most carnivorous urges, Midwest Grill (or other Brazilian BBQ joints) are definitely the way to go.

                          You will think you're a T-rex.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                            Gotta say that the Midwest Grill pales in comparison to the Brazilian BBQ joints in many other cities, particular Texas de Brazil and Fogo de Chau, each of which seem to be omnipresent everywhere I go outside of New England. If it's your first or only exposure to Brazilian BBQ, you may be satisfied. If you've been to either of the aforementioned places elsewhere, don't bother.

                            I'll also add that on the BBQ tip, when I want the best BBQ around, particularly pork spareribs, brisket, pulled pork, or burnt ends, I get takeout from Blue Ribbon. But when I want to sit down for BBQ and have a few beers with it, it's Redbones all the way. If I lived closer to either Framingham or Marlboro, I might pick Firefly's over Redbones, but I don't.


                          2. Much as I love good barbecue, for the sake of variety I'll throw in a completely different suggestion: the prime rib at Durgin Park. It comes on the bone and is so big the bone extends beyond the edges of the plate. Makes you feel like you're getting a haunch of mastodon, straight out of The Flintstones. MAJOR meat!