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Does the East Coast Grill Serve Great BBQ?

FACT 1: Friend of mine swears by the brisket, pulled pork, and ribs at East Coast Grill (used to patronize regularly when she lived in Cambridge).

FACT 2: Chris Schlesinger is reknown as a barbecue/grilling expert (nice feature in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend).

FACT 3: The East Coast Grill is rarely mentioned in the inevitable quarterly "Who has the best barbecue" post on Chowhound.

So my question is...does the East Coast Grill serve great bbq?

Thanks for your advice.

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  1. Great,,, no. Good to Very Good,,, yes.

    1. Its serviceable, not bad, etc. Great, no.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jgg13

        Although it ranks with the best in the area (which does not make it great), it does not make the "Best BBQ" threads because it is not a barbeque joint.

      2. East Coast Grill serves a great burnt ends sandwich - I like it better than the burnt ends at Blue Ribbon. Cannot comment on other dishes, but the Xiao Jianming's Wetbones are fantastic as well.

        5 Replies
        1. re: gini

          Second the wetbones rec. Sticky, tangy, tamarindy ribs.

          1. re: yumyum

            Third the Xiao Jianming's wetbones. I'll admit, I go to ECG for the seafood but I like to get a wetbone or 2 as an appetizer.

          2. re: gini

            I agree. Not "great classic bbq", but what they serve is great. CS's dry rubbed ribs are great, as are the Xiao Jianming's and the Hell bones.

            well smoked , nicely finished.


            1. re: raddoc

              add my vote to the "yes" contingent, with the caveat that we're talking about an area where very good barbecue is as good as it gets and great barbecue seems to be just over the horizon. Anybody know anything about the barbecue place that opened on Washington Street just before market in Brighton? Used to be a Korean restaurant?

            2. re: gini

              Totally with you on the burnt ends sandwich. Make sure to order a side of inner beauty hot sauce, and apply liberally.

            3. Personally, I'd put it in the "just OK' category. Certainly not a destination spot for BBQ in my book.

              1. Id say no..
                BBQ does not = grilling...

                3 Replies
                1. re: hargau

                  They do have things like pulled pork, brisket, etc that's not just grilled.

                  1. re: jgg13

                    Yes i know, i have tried them and wasnt impressed. Id take blue ribbon or even tennesees! over it anyday and thats saying something cause tenesees isnt all that good...

                  2. re: hargau

                    The stuff they call BBQ at the ECG is the real, low-temperature slow-smoked deal. I'm no connoisseur, but I'm a big fan, especially of the pulled pork.

                    Their grilled seafood, which is just plain grilling, is also exceptional.

                    The most offensive self-styled BBQ joint in town in my book is the Village Smokehouse, which doesn't appear to smoke anything, just grills stuff (and parboils its ribs) and burns on finishing sauce at the end. Blech.

                  3. I think their BBQ is just as good (or better) than any place in the area. Certainly better than Redbones, and I think just as good as Blue Ribbon.

                    That said, it's still northern bbq, so it's only so good.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: DoubleMan

                      I respectfully disagree. I think the ribs are on par with Redbones. The entrees are far and away, better.
                      The ribs at Blue Ribbon are much better. And if you're in Allston, the ribs at Soul Fire are on par with Blue Ribbon and much better than ECG and Redbones.
                      That's my $.02

                      1. re: DoubleMan

                        I'm with the "better than redbones" crowd, and I would add that a northerner can do great bbq just as a southerner can make a great chowder. Still, I haven't had any truly great bbq in Boston, although I had a killer meal somewhere in Hatfield, MA when I was in college.

                        1. re: almansa

                          was that at Holy Smokes? Lou Ekus' place in the remodeled chruch?

                          1. re: almansa

                            I have not had BBQ in any of the areas known for their q like Kansas City, Texas, Nashville, etc. That being said, I am a Pork Rib fan and I have loved the ribs at the Pit Stop in Mattapan on Morton Street (even though they sauce them and I prefer dry-rubbed without the sauce) and I also have always enjoyed the dry-rubbed Pork Ribs at Uncle Pete's. I live closer to the Blue Ribbon which I find to be good but not great only with respect to their Pork Ribs.

                          2. re: DoubleMan

                            The pulled pork plate is my favorite and Blue Ribbon and Redbones can't touch it in my book.

                          3. I have always loved their pulled pork. Very vinegary and wonderful.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Scruffy The Cat

                              The pulled pork plate is my favorite here. I have a hard time ordering anything else on the menu. I think it's better than Blue Ribbon and Redbones.

                            2. Their barbecue is excellent and Schlesinger has written some of the best bbq cookbooks. I've been going there since it was Jake and Earl's and I'd put it above Blue Ribbon (which happens to be much closer to my house). It's tough to order the bbq though, as the seafood is so excellent.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: 90c4

                                to me, the BBQ currently at ECG is Nothing At All like the BBQ that was at Jake & Earl's.
                                J&E was fantastic.