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Best BBQ in Boston Area? Need Rec.

My husband's birthday is on Monday and he loves good BBQ. We are still relatively new to the area and live in Milton. I need a recommendation for a place for dinner for Sunday night. Anywhere within an hour's drive is fine. Thanks in advance.

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  1. If he likes Dry Rubbed Pork Ribs, I recommend Uncle Pete's in Revere; website is unclepetes.com if you want to see their menu.

    1. You might get some more suitable answers if you have a specific idea about BBQ. Is his preference for pulled pork? Pork spareribs? Beef ribs? Beef brisket? Burnt ends? I am assuming he means real BBQ (rubbed and then slow cooked for many hours at low temperatures), not faux BBQ, where the meat is parboiled, thrown on a grill and slatered in a sauce.

      The reason I note this is that there are a handful of places that are well regarded -- like Blue Ribbon BBQ and Uncle Pete's, for example -- that are better in certain types of BBQ than others. As has been hotly debated on this board many times in the past (if you search it for BBQ, you will see).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Karl S

        He definitely knows really BBQ. Prefers pulled pork then pork spareribs with brisket at the end. His preference is Kansas City style over Carolina style sauces. I am looking for something that will also be a nice sit down as well. Someone mentioned Fireflies...what is the general opinion? Thanks.

      2. If you're looking for a festive sit-down meal, I recommend East Coast Grill in Cambridge, which has great barbecue but also great non-barbecue options, with an emphasis on seafood. (It's hard to imagine someone who loves barbecue not loving East Coast Grill.)

        Blue Ribbon and Uncle Pete's both offer great barbecue -- perhaps the two best in the city -- but they're not really full service restaurants in the same way the ECG is. If you want to throw a great party at home, get take out from Blue Ribbon, but if you're looking for a festive meal in a restaurant, ECG is the place for you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Blumie

          I love East Coast Grill as well (and I agree that it has the most festive atmosphere of the local places), but with one caveat re the OP's specifics (posted after Blumie's response). ECG's pulled pork is great, but it's distinctly Eastern NC-style with a pepper and vinegar sauce. I love the burnt ends, which have ranged from very good to smack-the-table transcendent -- those might be more in the KC-style requested. I'm a northerner, so I'm pretty happy with any style as long as it's good, but I know southerners who are pretty strong in their regional preferences.

          I agree that Blue Ribbon is definitely best for take-out or very casual meals; Uncle Pete's has a very casual-dining vibe, but they do have plenty of seating. It's quite friendly and could be considered festive, though certainly more downmarket than ECG.

        2. Spitfires BBQ in Canton is great-more for takeout than sit down, restaurant, but its close to you and delish!

          1. Try, Fireflys BBQ, locations in Framingham & Marlboro. So far I like the Steak Tips, Ribs, Fried Chicken, like the pulled pork although sometimes they sauce too much. They catered our wedding and were great !!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Archimedic

              Their chicken wings are awesome. Avoid the fish, especially on Monday. I could smell my mahi halfway down the bar.Sides can be hit or miss. The brisket is one of the best around.There is a pickle and sauce bar. Nice touch. Memphis BBQ is my fave .

            2. I love Uncle Pete's - LOVE IT - but it's all about pork spare ribs there. Anything else, including pulled pork, you may want to choose another place. (Blue Ribbon has really good pulled pork IMO.)

              1. I am a fan of Redbones in Somerville, but I love beer and this place has an incredible selection. Especially during the next couple of weeks during their North West beer offerings. The buffalo shrimp is a great appetizer and the have a really good pulled pork. This is a no frills type of place, its all about the food and beer. Soulfire in Allston is new to the scene and have some fans.

                1. Funny to me how noone mentions the place that is probably the consistently best que in town. Blue Ribbon.

                  No liquor license. Modest seating arrangement, but definitely, consistently best BBQ, sides, and desserts of any place in town.

                  Rebones has great beer, inconsistent BBQ. Pete's, I'm just not a fan.

                  East Coast Grill is excellent I must admit, and has liquor license and more then BBQ. Their pork ribs are as good as Blue Ribbon in my book. For the non BBQ eater, it is also my favorite seafood place in town.

                  Blue Ribbon rocks. If you don't believe me, just read through past posts on the board.

                  Also, here is their website:


                  5 Replies
                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    StriperGuy, I DID mention Blue Ribbon for pulled pork.

                    However, for pork spare ribs, they can't hold a hickory-smoked candle to Uncle Pete's. (As always, IMO.)

                    1. re: Bostonbob3

                      I referenced Blue Ribbon early on in the discussion too.

                        1. re: Karl S

                          Guess I am getting sloppy. I just read all these hard core plugs about other places and noone was putting in a full fledged rant for Blue Ribbon.

                          1. re: StriperGuy

                            I think that's because as good as Blue Ribbon is (and it really is), it's probably not the right place for a birthday dinner!

                  2. I would recommend Firefly's on Old Connecticut Path in Framingham. I have never had a bad meal at Firefly's. I like their ribs, pulled chicken, diced beef brisket and fried chicken. I think that Redbones has gone downhill. The last time I went to Redbones the food was fair at best. Firefly's is better than Redbones in my opinion.

                    1. Blue Ribbon, Blue Ribbon, Blue Ribbon. Meats are deeply smokey and the sides are terrific. I'm having my b-day party catered from there.

                      Redbone--blech. The pulled pork I had there was like a mop head drenched in BBQ sauce. The brisket--was it boiled?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: raj1

                        Again, I think the key to any BBQ, especially in New England, is to pick-and-choose the place depending on their specialty. I like Blue Ribbon's pulled pork a lot better than Uncle Pete's, but Pete's pork spare ribs are head-and-shoulders above Blue Ribbon's.

                        Anybody have a fav for brisket?

                        1. re: raj1

                          For catering or takeout, I agree that Blue Ribbon is the way to go.

                        2. So how come no one mentioned Soulfire? DChow and I had some great fatty brisket there - although she had to send her first order back on account of being lean!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: pastrytroll

                            Soulfire has been very hit-or-miss, not consistent enough to count on for a special event, and even at its best not that great.