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M&M Ribs - Report/Review

My husband and I are avid BBQ fans but find that the options in Boston are slim. Most have one part of the deal right but lack on the other items(ie. good meat, lousy sides or vice versa) .

This was my first time eating at M&M Rib Truck. It is located in a truck on the corner of Norfolk ave and Hampton Street in a little lot. It formerly was on Columbia road for about 25 years and then had a brief stint in Dorchester on Geneva ave.

Pulling in to the lot, I instantly smelled the sweet smoky meat being cooked that day. This is not a restaurant, but they do have a picnic table to eat at. The service is very friendly and the owner’s daughter is very knowledgeable about the food.

Now to the good part…I ordered a ½ slab of ribs, a large side of potatoes and onions, and the spicy rice and beans. They threw in a free side of chopped BBQ (aka pulled pork) to try. The total came to $17 and there was plenty of food for my husband and I.

I’ll start with the ribs. The meat was smoked to perfection, very moist and not overpowering. The sauce was sweet and vinegary, just the way I prefer. The sides were very good as well. Potatoes were mixed with onions that had a wonderful caramelized taste (which I could clearly taste but not see). I would not characterize this as mashed or smashed potatoes; it was more of a mashed potato with larger chunks of pre-mashed potatoes. This gave it a great texture. The beans were served over the spicy short grain rice. Again, very good. The chopped BBQ was excellent as well; tender, juicy – but not swimming in sauce. Since it is chopped and not pulled, there is more texture.

Over all, this is the best BBQ I have had up north. The flavors of the meat are highlighted by the great sauce and not overpowered by it. I highly recommend checking it out. They also do catering.

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  1. Do you know the hours or a ph #?

    Thx

    8 Replies
    1. re: 9lives

      M&Ms has consistently been one of the best in Dorchester.

      Since they are in a truck I doubt if they have a phone #, unless he is giving out his cell. I've never noticed posted hours, but when they were on Columbia Rd it was a safe bet to find them open from 12 - 6 on weekdays and Saturday.

      I normally get the pulled pork sandwich, but perhaps I need to order the rib dinner to see if I'll have the same luck as 2peas. :)

      1. re: 9lives

        Hours usually are Thursday - Sunday Lunch & Dinner and you can call (617) 306-0788 to verify.

        Great report/review. I need to get back theere soon.

        1. re: Infomaniac

          Thx..anxious to get over there and give them a try.

          1. re: 9lives

            I have no idea where they usually do business, but they've been to NH's rock'n ribfest (http://rotaryribfest.org/) the last two years (at least). I make it a point to go there. Last year I tried the pulled pork and BBQ chicken. This year I tried the Jerk chicken. They don't always have the jerk, but it is very good when they do.

          2. re: Infomaniac

            I belive they are also open on Wend during the "summer."

            1. re: 2peasinapod

              Really....I'm going to try stopping by this weekend and I'll ask. I'll post here what they say.

              1. re: Infomaniac

                Just called..hours according to man on phone

                Wed..11-6
                Thur..11-8
                Fri..11-10
                Sat..11-3AM Sun

                1. re: 9lives

                  Thanks...I wish i could get there today.

        2. Add me to the M&M fan club. Please don't tell my rabbi..:)

          http://flickr.com/photos/61246842@N00...

          12 Replies
          1. re: 9lives

            That picture of the pulled pork with the rib laying close by brought a tear to my eye.

            1. re: 9lives

              The pulled pork, rib and mac & cheese looked really good. Where exactly is the truck located? If you were coming from Rte 93 South how would you find them? How are their prices?

              1. re: buffet king

                Maybe it's just me but several years ago when M & M was still in a parking lot on Columbia Road, the first thing that I noticed when I pulled in was that he had the ribs cooking over a long open, uncovered grill in the parking lot and I did not see any semblance of a smoker nearby. This always struck me as odd since real Q is supposed to be smoked low and slow. I did get their ribs but I was not impressed. Maybe he smoked the ribs somewhere else and just finished them on the grill?? The Pit Stop, on the other hand, when you walk thru the door, the smoker is right in front of you.

                1. re: bakerboyz

                  They definatly have a smoker and a grill in the the lot.

                2. re: buffet king

                  if you take 93 south and get off at the Mass Ave exit, follow signs to Mass Ave (follow the "mass ave" connector). Once you get to the mass ave intersection, go straight onto first light onto Melnea Cass, make your first left onto Hampden Street. Go down a bit and you will see a big brick building that says "FIREPROOF" on the side, make a left onto Norfolk and pull into the first dirt lot you see. If you pass the car repair shop you have gone too far.
                  The prices are very reasonable.

                  1. re: 2peasinapod

                    Last Sunday I went to Ray's Soul Kitchen on Dudley Street in Roxbury. I took the Mass. Ave exit of 93 South onto Melnea Cass Blvd. I then took a left on Hampden Street and a right onto Dudley Street. I must have driven right past Norfolk Street and M&M Ribs? I guess I can use the same directions to find M&M Ribs? At Ray's Soul Kitchen I got an order of fried chicken wings with bbq sauce and 2 side orders of mac & cheese and corn bread. The chicken wings were very good and the mac & cheese was delicious. The corn bread was more like little corn muffins. They were very fresh and fell apart. I haven't had food from Ray's Soul Kitchen in about 3 years. I really like their mac & cheese.

                    1. re: buffet king

                      sounds like those directions will work..look for the truck on your left while you're on Hamden..it's where it intersects with Norfolk.

                      Remember..closed Sunday

                      1. re: 9lives

                        Got it closed on Sunday. Is the truck parked in the dirt lot on Norfolk Street or Hampden Street? Thanks again.

                        1. re: buffet king

                          both..it's at the intersection..if you're driving on Hamden from the xpwy, it will be on your left

                  2. re: buffet king

                    Prices are very reasonable..pork sandwich was a bargain at $4.50..mac$2.75..full rack $19.

                    I was on a bike..coming from S Boston...crossed the xpway at Southampton St..quick detour into Newmarket...then crossed Mass Ave. Rode a few blocks and hit Norfolk..then a right to Hamden..it's right on the corner..so a few block west of Mass. Hope that helps

                  3. re: 9lives

                    Keep providing the mouth-watering pics, and I'll keep my mouth shut. :)

                    L'Shana Tova, BTW.

                    1. re: Bostonbob3

                      Nothing like a big hunk of pork to ring in the new year. Nice pics, 9lives. I gotta get over there.

                  4. I just got home with my M&M rib order. 1/2 rack which was more like 3/4 rack. a small order of fried chicken wings(4), a small mac and cheese and a small sweet potato order. I lost track of them after they moved from Columbia Rd several years ago and saw this thread which helped me find them again. I have to make up for lost time. This is pure perfection!!! The woman that took my order was very pleasant . When I told her about this thread and how I found them again, she said I was the 4th person today to mention it!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: catsmeow

                      I was probably one of the four people who mentioned it. It took me close to an hour to get there from where I live, and I wish I ordered more then I did. I was hoping to save some pulled pork and ribs for tonights Patriots and Red Sox games but it's all gone.

                      1. re: Infomaniac

                        How was the pulled pork and ribs? Did you get anything else? I wanted to go yesterday but I wasn't sure if they would be there due to the rain we had yesterday morning. I'll have to try them another day.

                    2. [Here's a post I was writing for citysearch, but I went over the word limit. So, I just found this thread and decided to add to it]

                      I finally found this place! It's listed under many addresses, and you might have to ring M or M him/herself at 617-671-5542. It turns out they moved to 192 Hampden St. (tricky spelling...don't try to guess it) near Dudley St. Well, they said 192 but it looks closer to 150s...they're in a grungy lot, so the exact street number is meaningless. You can see the smoke curling up, which is how I found it, because I passed the lot where they were settled. Is it the lack of ambience and the huge smoker that made me excited before the first bite? Was it the truck where they take your money and give you a generous Southern-hospitality load of ribs, chicken and fixin's for $10? All I know is that if you don't need table service, and if you want to feel as if you turned off the interstate onto a backroad in North Carolina, then M&M is where you should go. I've tried almost every BBQ joint in the area (Soulfire and Jake's are the last ones on my hit list), and I would come back to M&M three times for each time I go anywhere else. It's not perfect: their hours are all over the place, closed on some weekdays, open until 3am on Sat. Their cornbread was inedible (like 75% of the cornbread out there). And their ribs are very fatty. Plus you have to inhale a ton of dust kicked up by dump trucks in the area. But if you demand that BBQ not be DRY, then this is the place. I've given up on having brisket like the stuff I tasted from Texas, or real St. Louis ribs, or pulled pork the way they make it in NC. All I ask is that the meat not be dry. I've been to Blue Ribbon and Redbones a bunch of times each, and they can't avoid half their meat being dry. I've only been to M&M once, but their ribs and chicken were deliciously moist (fatty ribs help!) and their yummy bbq sauce only added to the savory flavor, instead of being a post-cooking moisturizer the way most other joints use it. Their prices are awesome for BBQ. I can eat here both gastronomically and financially every day. Next time, I'll try some of their other interesting dishes, such as pig's feet (only Fri and Sat), jerked chicken, beef ribs, etc. For sides, I only had the collard greens (one of the best I've had, and totally rocks Blue Ribbon which I had last week) and candied yams (if you like sweet and mushy yams like me, you'll be in heaven here). As far as BBQ takeout, the main competition comes from Pit Stop, which I only had once some years ago. Pit Stop pork ribs were not bad, but their beef ribs were tough and dry. I can't recall their sides. One caveat with M&M: with such an outdoor/homey operation, I'm sure that quality might vary depending on the weather and who's manning the fire. BBQ in general is prone to varying quality. But at these prices, BBQ lovers owe themselves a try.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: NYA Joe

                        Well, I've been back to M&M again and again, trying different items from their menu. Their Jamaican jerk chicken was very good. I have only eaten jerk once before, at the old Rhythm & Spice. This jerk seemed totally authentic to someone who doesn't have a Jamaican cell in his body. You know what I'm talking about...there's something about homemade chicken dishes that unites cuisines all over the world: it's not pretty, the sauce is messy, the price is cheap, and when they say it's spicy, they're *serious*. These are all signs that they aren't aiming for the masses, but for the memory of momma. For about $4, you get a little tin of authentic-looking rice (dirty brown colored, messy and generous) covered with some tender chicken pieces with a semi-dry/pasty jerk rub over the top, and drippy jerk juices moistening everything. Keep the water nearby to put out the fire. I'm used to spicy Korean and Mexican food, and this jerk keeps up with them in terms of real fire. It's not the spiciest I've eaten, but it is the cheapest way to burn your tongue for lunch. It's not that big, but it was cheap and the portion was enough to give me food coma and incapacitate me for the afternoon.

                        I also tried the $5 brisket sandwich. M&M must stand for Mmmm & Mmmm, because this stuff just might be the best brisket I've had in Boston. I don't mean to get your hopes up too high. It's more of a chopped/pulled brisket and still can't compare to the stuff I had from Texas. But, keeping my yankee head bowed low in barbecue humility, I have to say that at least it ain't dry! I always try the brisket at every bbq joint I go to, because I'm trying to experience the magic of real brisket one more time, and because I'm a masochist. All the big names consistently disappoint with sliced pieces of half-cured jerky (OK, half joking...but they're all dry). This sandwich came in a Big Mac-like styrofoam, made with a good non-supermarket roll, and came in some kind of light juice/sauce which I was not familiar with. Was it the au jus of the brisket? Was it a very light vinegar bbq sauce? Both? Anyway, it was great. The bottom of the roll was soaked and made it hard to eat, adding to the authenticity of the experience. If you take it to go, I would ask for the roll on the side.