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New Restaurant in Quincy - Firefly BBQ

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Last night we had dinner at the newly opened Firefly BBQ in the old Redwood Tavern location (corner of Adams St/Furnace Brook Parkway).

The service was a little chaotic - the front of the house seemed frazzled and we had two waitresses which got a little confusing (I think one was training the other). Nothing too serious though considering it was only their third night open and they were very busy for early on a Thursday night.

For an appetizer we had the cracklin' bread which was basically like a cheese, onion and bacon pizza cut up and served with a cheese dipping sauce. It was tasty, but not outstanding. I probably would skip next time.
To drink we had iced tea which was house brewed and really good.

I should point out that I am not a BBQ expert so I cannot comment on how authentic the meat was. I can only tell you that the sauces were excellent (and varied, you got a choice of six and there is a sauce and condiment bar so you can try them all if you want before you order). They ranged from mild to spicy with hot sauce available if you wanted extra heat. Between us we had ribs, beef brisket and chicken. The chicken was the pick of the evening - very tender with a strong, smoky flavor. The beef was a hit too. The ribs were a little tough, but did have a great taste.
Sides were mixed - I had the grilled corn on the cob and BBQ baked beans which were great. The mac and cheese and corn bread on the other hand were nothing special.

Overall, I would give this place a thumbs up. They were definitely still working out some kinks with it being a new opening and the waitstaff were still finding their feet. I also felt it was a little bit "gimmicky" as opposed to being a nice, basic BBQ place like Redbones.
However, the food was solid, and prices were certainly reasonable. More importantly, for me at least, it adds something new and different to the dining scene in Quincy.

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  1. We frequent the Firefly's in Marlboro, MA quite often and it is always wonderful. I agree with you about the flatbread - we had it once and that was enough (nothing special). For an app that is really different, try the deep-fried pickles. They are delish! We've also found that their fried chicken dishes (especially their Southern fried chicken) were some of the best fried chicken we ever had. The sauces are unique. I think once they work the kinks out of their new location, you will really enjoy this place.

    1 Reply
    1. re: RandyL

      I went to the new Firefly's in Quincy yesterday for the Sunday all you can eat buffet. The price is now $16.99 per person not including drinks. Steve Uliss, the owner was there checking with the customers as to how their food was. I asked Steve when is he going to open up a Firefly's on the north shore? He stated that he's working on it. I hope this is true. I had diced beef brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken, mac & cheese and plenty of bbq ribs. I also had a fried chicken wing. The chicken wing was golden brown, juicy and not oily. Everything was hot, fresh and very good. The restaurant was busy for Mothers Day. They had to keep re-filling the food at the buffet station. I like the new Firefly's in Quincy on Adams Street and will return.

    2. We've been there twice already. LOVE IT! The first night we ordered their version of a pu-pu platter and had a great time playing around with all the sauces. I ordered a chicken po-boy. It was huge and succulent. Hubby , aka "The Brisket King", couldn't stop raving. BTW, he lived in Oklahoma for awhile, so I trust his BBQ expertise *wink*

      The second time around was on a busy Sunday. We sat in the lounge, watched the Sox, drank beer, and feasted on pulled chicken, catfish, and ribs. We took enough home for two entire meals.

      Service was a bit harried, but pleasant. I expect it'll work out.

      One thing I'm not crazy about are their hand-cut potato chips. But then again I'm not really a potato chip fan.

      2 Replies
      1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

        Do they have a decent beer selection? I would love to see it match Redbones, but I must have realistic expectations.

        1. re: mkel34

          nope, just your average stuff: bud and miller

      2. I don't get it, I don't think this place is all that great. I tried firefly's in framingham a few years ago and thought it tasted pretty crappy - too bad I can't remember what I had and my boyfriend agreed that his food was equally as bad.

        Then a new location opens up in quincy (literally down the street) so we had to give it another go. We got take out- I believe we ordered the appetizer that included: wings, ribs, and some pulled pork sliders. The wings were okay, nothing great, and the pulled pork was decent - but kind of dry, I did enjoy the ribs though. We also ordered a side of deep fried pickles which were pretty much the same as everything else - "okay"

        Then I went again last friday and had a better experience. I had the half order of chicken which was actually pretty damn tasty and very moist (even the breast). I had it basted with the n.carolina sauce (which I didn't really taste a lot of). My boyfriend ordered the pulled pork sliders (he only eats pulled pork at bbq joints) and they were just as dry as the last time. I had him go to the condiment station and grab some samples of the s.carolina sauce and thought it was pretty horrible.

        All in all, firefly's is "just okay" it's a new place to go to in the neighborhood, but if I want better bbq I'd rather go to blue ribbon, uncle pete's, or spitfire. FIrefly's reminds me of a national chain as well....kind of like an applebee's that serve's bbq.

        also, what is up with their mac n cheese? Why can't they serve good ol southern style mac n cheese? You know, the kind that you can slice with a knife and it stays together because it's binded really well.

        oh and sorry for the lame descriptions - I should've made this post right after I ate my food (;

        1. Always been a huge fan of Firefly's! Love their sauce selections, especially their spicy Beelzebar Sauce. Love the St. Louis style ribs. Steve knows his BBQ and has won many competitions. http://www.fireflysbbq.com/Awards.htm

          Saw some notes on the pulled pork being dry.. Well they give you plenty of sauce selections at the salad bar so add some more sauce to it! I'd rather have it on the dry side and add the amount of sauce I like to it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: mjg0725

            "Saw some notes on the pulled pork being dry.. Well they give you plenty of sauce selections at the salad bar so add some more sauce to it! I'd rather have it on the dry side and add the amount of sauce I like to it."

            my boyfriend said the same thing....but I still like it to be a little moist!!!!! I hate drenching pulled pork in bbq sauce, but hey everyone's different

            1. re: bitsubeats

              Pulled pork should NOT be dry. I would give their pulled pork major thumbs down if it were dry as I don't care for sauce drenched BBQ.

              I'm curious to try this place in the next couple weeks. Do customers have to go to the condiment station or are they provided with your meal if you ask for them? Does anyone recall whether or not they had vinegar? Anyone try the slaw or collards?

              1. re: kittychow

                I had the collards, they were kinda bland...not enough pork flavour and not enough salt.

          2. I went there with my family for Mother's Day and had a good meal. They were telling customer's the wait was 1.5 hours, but thankfully a call ahead allowed us to wait only about 10 minutes or so by the time we arrived.

            I'm no BBQ expert by any means, but I would say the food met our expectations. We had pulled pork, ribs, the chicken, steak, beef brisket, fried pickles, fried catfish, and the fried calamari. The 'classic' BBQ dishes were definitely better than the others. I thought the appetizers were good, but not great, as were the sides (anything from veggies, corn on the cob to the sweet potato pudding). Thought the ribs were fabulous, and the pulled pork I had was not dry at all, though I really wanted some bread with it.

            Didn't venture to try any of the sauces (as we were seated in the Dante's Lounge area). Service was decent, though sparse. Was surprised how long the wait was, given there were a number of open tables. It seemed like the hiccups were on the ratio of waitstaff to tables, and the take out was keeping them super busy all night. I like this as an additional option in Quincy, and the fact that's it only about 5 minutes away makes the take out an all-too-tempting option.

            1. Just came back from Firefly's in Quincy. Not sure what the fuss is about the place. First warning sign, get out of the car, no smell, no odor, nothing. For a bbq place i'm expecting the aroma of wood smoke, none of that here. Poked around the back of the building, no wood piles. Kinda a strange for a place that smokes their meat. Find a couple seats at the bar. Immediately spot a Redwood Tavern refugee behind the bar, he was a horrible bartender then, and just as bad now. Fortunately we got another bartender, friendly, enthusiatic happily describing items on the menu. I had a beer, spouse had a wine. Second warning sign, the Phantom Platter. The Phantom Gourmet has their own appetizer platter at Firefly's. Seeing the PG reviews of restaurants are dubious at best and fraudlent at worst, it makes me suspicious of the establishment. We decided to try the fried pickles. Pickles arrived with some sort of corn batter, fairly tasteless pieces of matter, the remoulade just as tasteless. For entrees, I had the half chicken, my spouse the shrimp. The chicken was moist in a few places (leg), but overall dry. It didn't appear to be smoked, no obvious pink tone that occurs with smoked chicken. The shrimp, rubbery and tasteless, I'm not a shrimp fan, but I tried a piece. Seemed to have been cooked earlier and then reheated. Very little flavor. The sauces, and we tried them all, have corn syrup as an ingredient. Really not a true BBQ sauce. Overall, we'll try it once more, but given the warning signs we won't be back after that. The place will most likely be gone in a year.

              13 Replies
              1. re: jjbourgeois

                I think you are the only other person that I know of (other than myself) that has declared to not love this place

                thank you, now I know that I'm officially NOT crazy

                1. re: bitsubeats

                  No, there are lots of people who feel the same way. It's not a bad place; we use the Framingham one as a good default when we have a lot of people or kids and need a place with a relatively innocuous menu. It's still pretty much chain barbeque though, nothing to write home about or wait in line for but perfectly fine for a quick lunch or dinner before a movie. I *wouldn't* recommend travelling for it and personally, I like the bbq at Tennesee's across Rte 30 better, though they lack the decor and the full bar.

                  At Firefly, I usually stick with the sandwiches or the fried chicken dishes which I've found to be consistently good.

                  If they smoke on premises at all (and I'm not even sure of that) odds are good they're using a gas smoker; it's not like they're running a wood pit in a Framingham shopping plaza.

                2. re: jjbourgeois

                  You seem to know a little too much about the bbq biz. Who looks in the back of a restaurant for wood? You were looking to find something bad. Do you have a bbq restaurant?

                  1. re: hoplover

                    I would hardly call myself a BBQ expert but I am a backyard BBQ enthusiast and even lil ole me knows that where's there's BBQ you smell smoke. A true enthusiast would wonder what's up if there were no smell from a smoker. My entire neighborhood smells my smoker or grill when I get down to business. I lived near ECG and ALWAYS smelled their smoker. Ditto for Redbones. I've even seen a wood pile at both places. Most BBQ joints I've been to make a point to make their technique a show to some degree. This is a no-brainer for even simple folks who don't own a BBQ restaurant.

                    1. re: kittychow

                      I agree with that, but how are you folks proposing they are cooking this bbq then? When i go to the Marlborough location i always smell smoke. I have not poked around back looking for wood though! How do you suggest they win so many of the huge national events? I have been to the Pig and Pepper and some of the other events they have won awards in and trust me there is plenty of smoke.

                      1. re: hargau

                        I suspect that the BBQ they put out for competition is not what shows up on your plate. Just a guess. Maybe they're smoking off-site. Would be pretty odd but could be a possibility.

                        1. re: kittychow

                          I would suspect that maybe they are not always smoking. You obviously cant smoke food 12 hours to order, people would get really iritated with the wait :) So perhaps a batch just came out of the smoker and it will be a few hours till the next batch is prepared to go in, and the fire is built, etc.. You can email the owner Steve with questions like this, I have before, and he write back in a few days.

                          1. re: kittychow

                            I think there is a smoker behind the restaurant because my boyfriend claimed that he saw it a few days before the place was open...back at the end of june

                            1. re: bitsubeats

                              They do all of the smoking at the marlborough location and ship the meats to the others. I enjoyed the ribs when I tried them. I thought that they we on par with blue ribbon. I didn't really care for the sides.

                    2. re: jjbourgeois

                      Fireflys i have found to be hit or miss lately. I have had a few orders of ribs at the Marlborough location that have been very dry. I found a secret is to ask for a middle section of the rack and not the end.

                      I certainly would not call it "tasteless" though. I always get one of the spicy sauces and find them quite good.

                      They win a lot of bbq competitions http://www.fireflysbbq.com/Awards.htm

                      Overall id say its much better then ECG on all levels. Hey you can even take a bottle of your choice of 50+ hot sauces and dump the whole thing on your meal and have your own "hell night" gimmick anytime you want.

                      Quote from their website "We smoke our meats for up to 12 hours, blending apple, cherry and hickory woods to create the signature red smoke ring that identifies the genuine low-fire, slow-cooking process of true bar-b-que. "

                      1. re: hargau

                        On my one visit to the one in Framinhgham, I thought the pulled was ok but not as good as ECG's by any means.

                        1. re: Dax

                          Just a few points:

                          1. Granted, most "chains" are mediocre at best but it should not be a stamp of such a label. It seems that many people write off any restaurant that has more than 3 locations.

                          2.BBQ (and pizza) seem to be the two most disputed food items (and for good reason). I suggest that anyone that truly enjoys BBQ buy a smoker and learn to do it themselves (perfect for Sunday all day cooking).

                          3. I fully agree that any BBQ restaurant should have a distinct and inviting aroma form not only the parking lot, but hopefully from several blocks away.

                          To me BBQ is the ultimate American cuisine.

                        2. re: hargau

                          The bbq competitions probably mean less than you'd think. How they treat their meat when it's 40-50lbs over the course of a weekend as opposed to the process necessary to service three restaurants daily is likely very different.

                          Real barbeque is labor-intensive; I suspect that's the main reason we don't have many of the kinds of places you find down south and in Texas. To do it right and make a profit, you need cheap rent and cheap labor and both are in short supply around here.

                      2. I just walked from my house to walgreen's, which is next to firefly's, and I didn't see a smoker outside, nor did I smell any smoke or hint of bbq

                        what's up with that?

                        oh and I think my boyfriend saw a smoker behind firefly's around the end of june, because they were having an invite-only opening party. I bet you they brought out the smoker for all the guests, but when it comes to us regular joes steve uliss ships the meat from somewhere else?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: bitsubeats

                          I believe you are correct. I saw the smoker earlier in the spring but it's gone now. I'm thinking they are taking the Smoky Bones method and cooking off-site and shipping the bbq to the Quincy location. It's pretty obvious what's coming out of the kitchen is not the same bbq that won awards. And a Phantom Gourmet endorsement doesn't help either. My opinion is if you can't do it right, don't do it at all.

                        2. My husband and I live off of Adams St, so we decided to get some takeout this past Wednesday night (we tried to go there last Saturday night with some family and there was a 2 hour wait just for 4 of us!). We tried the cracklin bread, even though it got mixed reviews here. He had the pulled pork plate with mac n cheese and red beans w/ dirty rice. I had a 3 side sampler: mac n cheese, garlic mashed potatoes and the cuc salad. We both got corn bread with our meals.

                          Here is our take:
                          Cracklin bread - actually really good, but the cheese "sauce" was disgusting...it reminded me of velveeta and not in a good way.
                          Pulled pork - He liked it. He said it wasn't the best, but not the worst either.
                          Mac n Cheese - It was not good and frankly, had that Velveeta thing going on again. It had NO flavor. I know my blood pressure must have shot up 20 points by eating it because of the amount of salt I had to add to give it flavor. He agreed.
                          Red Beans and Dirty Rice - He said it wasn't very good.
                          Garlic Mashed potatoes - Meh, they were ok. Not the best, but not the worst either.
                          Cuc salad - AWESOME! I could have had just a pint of this and been happy. Yummy sliced cucs in a slighty spicy vinegar dressing. Delish!
                          Corn bread - I thought it was a little dry, but very good. Had a nice sweetness to it that I really like in my corn bread (and I'm from the south1).

                          We'll probably get take out again from there when we're sick of the usual pizza, sub shop, chinese food, etc. But now that we know Fuji delivers, that will probably continue to be our take out staple!

                          15 Replies
                          1. re: bitsubeats

                            Thanks! We are definitely foodies, but don't mind eating at chains either...as long as the food is good! We've only lived in the area for about a year and we keep going back to Fuji, Acapulco's (admittedly not great, but we always sit in the same girl's section and she takes great care of us) The Fours and Grumpy Whites.

                            1. re: shepherdspie

                              Oh no...don't go to Acapulco's. Try El Sarape in Weymouth Landing. It's not far, and you will never be able to eat at Acapulco's again.

                              1. re: mwk

                                We've eaten there once and frankly, I kinda forgot about it! We'll have to go back, I do remember it was awesome!

                              2. re: shepherdspie

                                Te owners of Fuji have a nielittle place called Beni inN Quincy. Hancock and Billlings.
                                Sushi and teppanyaki, ramen, apps, etc.
                                Can't reccomend the sushi, I don't eat it, but everything else I've had there has been great and the prices are right.

                              3. re: bitsubeats

                                Ya mean you don't like the Villa Rosa? ;-)

                                1. re: jjbourgeois

                                  I live next door, and the smells coming from the place make me want to heave.

                                  Its worse in the summer time, it smells like rotten fishsticks ugh. That place is jampacked all the time too. I also love that everyone parks illegally and runs across the street to get to the villa from bank of america's parking lot. I have almost run over/hit people a few times bcause of that. There is a cross walk a few feet down, but everyone refuses to use it????

                                  my boyfriend and I call it "the thrilla"

                                  1. re: bitsubeats

                                    The Thrilla. That's awesome.

                                  2. re: jjbourgeois

                                    The Villa Rosa??? ICK...I went there once, because I drive by all the time, and it's always crowded. The worst Italian meal I've ever eaten. The Antipasto Salad? It was Iceberg lettuce with some canned olive slices and a can of tuna dumped on top. Now Gennaro's...THERE is some good Italian food.

                                    Getting back on topic, how do people think Firefly's rates in comparison to Famous Daves?

                                    1. re: mwk

                                      tastes the same to me!

                                    2. re: jjbourgeois

                                      Ha ha ha! We tried it once. It was more than bad. All I got was a cheese and mushroom pizza and it wasn't good. My husband got some scary meat thing...I can't remember. Too bad though because the prices are right!

                                      1. re: shepherdspie

                                        You have to remember, though, that there's a segment of the population who enjoys red-sauce Italian places like the Villa. That, plus the fact that it's been around forever in what I call a restaurant-desert area equals all those cars congesting the area on weekend nights.

                                        BTW, if you look on the side of the BoA building, you'll see there's a sign for Villa Rosa Parking ;)

                                        1. re: bitsubeats

                                          Not to wade back into the Firefly's smoker debate, but I did read in the local press that the reason they took a few months to open was due to the construction of a smoke stack. I have walked there and smelt the smoke from a distance, so perhaps they just run it at certain times? Just a thought...

                                          1. re: bellachow

                                            Firefly's Quincy smokes its meats on site. The smoker here is an Old Hickory, which is a different make from the smokers used in Framingham and Marlboro.

                                            Link to some photos of the smoker and the Firefly's kitchen: www.pigtrip.net/archive-2007-04.htm#FFQ

                                            1. re: GaryLovesFood

                                              "Could be.,,,,"

                                              Hey Gary, why bother, can't you see you're talkin' to the hand(s)?
                                              Steve Uliss is passionate about his 'Q, doesn't cut corners and does it as well as anyone in these parts. Just because the Andlemans like Firefly's, I wouldn't hold it against Uliss. I like my 'Q sans sauce and the many times I've been to both the Marlboro & Framingham locations its been spot-on. To be sure there's kinks to be worked out at any start-up. But also be assured, there'll be a steady waiting line before long and most of it will be repeat business from satisfied customers.

                                            2. re: bellachow

                                              Could be, but I we still won't be running back anytime soon. Food just didn't have the taste to justify the price.

                                    3. I got take-out from the Quincy Firefly's yesterday and had no complaints. I've been to the Marlborough and Framingham locations multiple times - but I admit I was a bit wary of the Quincy location after reading a few of theses posts. I usually give a new restaurant at least a couple of months to work the kinks out, but my wife and I had a craving for barbecue and decided to give their takeout a shot.

                                      I was told the order would be ready in 20-minutes and it was waiting for me when I arrived. I had a rack of St. Louis ribs with the Memphis sauce, BBQ beans, cole slaw, and cornbread. My wife had the pulled pork sandwich with the Memphis sauce, cucumber salad and cornbread. We were both pleased with our meals. The only criticism I have is that the cornbread pieces are small.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Roons

                                        It's funny that you mention the cornbread size. I ate at the Firefly's in Natick last weekend and my piece of cornbread was the size of a small child's head and my companions was the size of a postage stamp (or 4...maybe I'm exaggerating a bit). I think size is hit or miss. I traded my piece away though so I could eat more of my chicken.

                                        1. re: girlieerin

                                          Luckily, my wife doesn't eat cornbread so I have a built-in subsidy but they should give you more or bigger pieces. :-)

                                      2. We finally got over to the Firefly's in Quincy last night. I was really looking forward to it, but I have to say I was really disappointed. I ordered BBQ chicken and Baby back rib combo w/roasted corn and sweet potato pudding. My SO ordered pulled pork, chopped brisket and mac n' cheese along with rice and beans. The ribs were dry and crunchy - any meat that had once been on them was reduced to char. They tried to hide that fact by dousing them in a sickly sweet sauce. The chicken itself had no smokey flavor..again all I could taste was the sauce they drowned it in. My SO said the pulled pork was ok, flavor wise, but the brisket was tough and fatty. The roasted corn was good (but how much can you mess that up?) and the Mac and cheese was as bland as can be - I couldnt taste any cheese at all in that, and it was watery to boot. The sweet potato pudding was about the best bet on my plate. I think if I come back there again, I'll just head over to Dantes and catch some great music - to heck w/the food.