Bub's BBQ Sunderland Ma
I have driven by Bub's BBQ for years because it has such a mixed reputaion, but I stopped in last night and loved the place. The atmosphere is great,lots of memorabilia on the walls,things are clean, and the people are super friendly. Prices are very reasonable, so much so that I heard several people ask the woman running the register if she had added the check incorrectly. There is an unlimited side dish buffet that was great, cole slaw, beets, beans potatoe salad,bread etc.. My pulled pork was good not great, but I was very happy with my overall experience.
I like Bub's BBQ and went there a lot as a kid, the atmosphere is the most outstanding part of the experience though. The best BBQ in New England is in Maine at Buck's Naked BBQ in Freeport. They served dry rubbed BBQ (naked) and have three different sauces. We LOVE the baby back ribs, but they also have pulled pork, brisket sausages and even hickory smoke Prime Ribs on the weekend and catfish and chili rellenos for non meat eaters. The atmosphere is great, kind of a roadhouse feel, flavorful sides and amazing corm bread. It's worth a trip
I'm the same one that was looking for BBQ in Southern NH and yet I have (literally) driven past tobacco farms (they have em in MA! Who knew??) to Bub's (but not Holy Smokes yet, go figure, I'll get to them all...) Anyway, I wanted it to be better than it was. The service was quick and, for the side dish hot/cold buffet being where it was (right near the door, and near where you order), things moved amazingly smoothly. I liked the ribs, but the pulled pork was disappointing. The texture was there on the pork, but the taste was lacking and the bread the sandwich was served on was just eh.
Look folks, all I can tell you is that glob of slimy stuff that they put on my plate and called Pulled Pork has no relation what so ever to what you get in even the worst places in North Carolina. A regular at Lexington Number 1 or Stameys or Wilburs wouldn't recognize it. I was blown away by how bad it was. You can not be serious. I don't care how good the baked beans are. This is New England, the baked beans at least, should be good!!!
At Holy Smokes the pork is OK. When good they are beautifully carmelized. Beef comes at least two ways as short ribs and as long (Texas style) long ribs. Both are quite good and smokey. The bbq vegetables are excellent, full of flavor, though some might find them with a bit too much oil.
Two disadvantages. As I recall they offer no brisket or collard greens and I do not remember seeing mashed potatoes on the menu.
Since the place is about 8 minutes from home, I try to go there regularly, though my family tend to be veggie-obsessed so my visits are fewer than I would like.
In terms of price and the absence of brisket, I still prefer Blue Ribbon BBQ in West Newton and Arlington, but they are about 100 miles to the East.
Forget Bub's. One visit was enough to dismiss that place. Would never go again.
The veggies at Holy Smokes are supposedly seasonal, and last night I had excellent collards there. i was very impressed with both of the sides I had (the greens and spocy mac'n'cheese) but the beans were pretty weird.
I thought all the meat (I tried beef and pork ribs and pulled brisket) was quite tasty and cooked to a good level of tenderness without falling apart, but the seasoning was a little too gentle for my taste--not enough salt or spice--and the smoke flavor was a little too mild.
I checked it (Holy Smokes) out and wasn't thoroughly impressed.
The upsides is that it is better than Bubs. The ribs (I got pork - wished I tried beef) were much more flavourful. I personally thought Bubs were slightly more tender/fall off the bone - but it was close.
The baked beans were good but had an extreme overload of what seemed to be rosemary (which came close to ruining the side). The corn bread was pretty bad. The fries were good, and it was a novel idea to have homemade ketchup.
They gave me a whole speech about how they make everything from scratch all the way to the ketchup, and then bring out Cabot-package butter for the corn bread. So, I'd personally prefer not to get the speech. I don't care if everything is homemade if you don't totally know what you are doing, and I especially don't want the speech if its not true - but it was a nice try to inflate ones opinion of the joint.
The dessert special which was a lemon pudding cake dessert (served in a creme brulee type dish) tasted like egg yolks more than anything else...not terrible, but not great.
Sweet Tea is very good.
I don't think I'll return to HolySmokes. If I do, I'll definately try out the beef ribs.
Another thing I didn't like was that they don't give you anything to wipe your hands with until completion of the meal - which gets quite messy. I'm sure you could request otherwise, and I'd recommend so if you eat the ribs with your hands, and don't like mucking up your glass and silverware.
Cool location in an old church, great idea making most things from scratch, but the execution doesnt fire on all cylinders. Better than Bubs, but still not a great place in my opinion.
Service was excellent.
re: GG Mora
Well they don't really need to give a big talk about how they make EVERYTHING from scratch; rather perhaps it would be better to say "we make as many things as we can from scratch". When I go to restaurants, I'm not there for marketing gimmicks and boastful rambling. If you are going to ramble like that, you better back it up 100%. I have never discounted a restaurant for not making their own butter - but I will discount a restaurant that tells me they do everything from scratch, and doesn't.
However, that said, making butter is very easy (its actually a fun project for children to do) and I would love to read the regulations and licensing concerns that go along with doing such; I am not aware of any and would love to learn. But this is all besides the point because I don't have a problem with a place not making their own butter.
So perhaps next time, you should read and comprehend. It says no where in my post that they should be avoided cause they don't make their own butter. I'd suggest you focus on reading comprehension before criticizing informational posts of others.
Stopped in tonight. Found a hair in the potato side - but that could happen anywhere I suppose...in any case, I found the spare ribs to be flavourless in taste, and fair on the tenderness. I found the babyback ribs to be flavourless in taste, and slightly above fair on the tenderness. It certainly was much better than the hardened leather found at Curtis BBQ - but I think BBQ chains do a better job than Curtis.
The pulled pork I found to be fair - somewhat chewier than I like, not loaded with flavour - but once again, not bad.
The sides I found to be lackluster - but it was a nice touch that they are included on just about every meal.
Overall I think the spirit of the place is pointed in the right direction. I think the atmosphere is decent. I thought the food was fair. Nothing great, nothing terrible. For me, I will not visit it again, even if I'm in the area as it was not a memorable experience at all.
Seems to me there used to be (maybe 2 yrs ago) a Bistro further up north on 116 near the current-Subway franchise (on the left if headed north) that served a great tuna steak sandwich - but it appears it is no longer, which was unfortunate.
In any case, if someone wanted to go there, I wouldnt warn them against it (as would be the case with the Curtis BBQ sham), but I also wouldn't highly tout it.
Yes, for the price, bubs is very good.
Definitely not the best BBQ, but if you're in the area, and you're interested in BBQ, it's definitely not a bad place to go.
As for the atmosphere -- it's quite hmm.. rustic I guess I'd say -- very dark interior, but it is indeed clean.
There's a Neo Geo in the back corner for the kids, and picnic tables out front.
You can get Ostritch Burgers there too -- For the price, they're quite good.