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Has Blue Ribbon BBQ gone downhill?

s
suepea Nov 11, 2010 09:39 AM

Blue Ribbon BBQ had been an extremely reliable "go to" place for us -- great BBQ, food always good, and portions generous. A Godsend on weeknights when we were too busy too cook. Unfortunately, for the last year or so, it seems to be on a downhill slide. Has anyone else noticed? The folks behind the counter don't seem to be as friendly or as consistent as in the past. On Weds night, my husband (a big guy) ordered a pork rib and beef brisket duo, and got just two ribs (he usually gets 3-4), and the brisket was a skimpy portion too (and a bit dry). I know his portion was skimpy because mine seemed huge in comparison. The coleslaw had no flavor, like it was missing key ingredients (salt? vinegar?). It's a shame I recently bought 3 groupons (forgetting about the downhill slide we've been noticing). In the recent past, I've noticed the meats being less tasty, or carelessly served up (lots of fat and nonedible stuff...)

Having achieved some level of success have the owners become a little too hands off? I hope they start paying more attention before we all lose what was once a very good thing.

-----
Blue Ribbon BBQ
910 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

  1. StriperGuy Nov 11, 2010 09:50 AM

    I posted about a similar experience not too long ago.

    Overall feeling was that the passion (so necessary for top notch cue) was gone.

    1. lipoff Nov 11, 2010 10:09 AM

      Are you guys going to Newton or Arlington? I ask because although I used to go mostly to the Arlington location I've had BBQ (specifically beef brisket) from the Newton location twice in the last few weeks and it was top-notch with excellent sides, including the new honey jalapeño carrots. The new mint limeade was not so much of a hit though.

      2 Replies
      1. re: lipoff
        StriperGuy Nov 11, 2010 10:13 AM

        Arlington for me...

        1. re: lipoff
          s
          suepea Nov 11, 2010 10:33 AM

          Newton for me.

        2. l
          LStaff Nov 11, 2010 11:13 AM

          BBQ is not consistent by nature due to different temps/humidity/size and quality of meat/where its placed in the smoker/how fresh it is/etc. Even one plate can differ greatly from the next when you order the same thing - the expeditor should be paying enough attention to try to mitigate that though, but things slip through - especially when you're putting out as much bbq as BR does.

          Brisket has always been up and down at BR ever since I started going about 5+ years ago. Ribs too - but I saw a big decline when they stopped smoking meat at Arlington - and coming back a little in the last year or so. Pulled pork has a little better consistency, seems to always be a similar range of quality, but when its really smoky, its soooo good - just wish it was that smoky all the time. Coleslaw has always lacked a vinegary component imo - easily fixed by adding a bit of vinegar sauce. I haven't noticed a change in friendliness, but the only friendly thing I look for in a bbq joint is an introduction of smoked meat to my stomach.

          I had them cater my 40th birthday party and decided against brisket due to its extreme variability and went with pulled pork, ribs, and chicken. The ribs were gray, no smoke ring, and a little overcooked, but the chicken was very nice and the pulled pork was some of the best I ever had which to me made up for the subpar ribs - to me that exemplified my experiences at BR - some things are variable, but overall a good experience.

          3 Replies
          1. re: LStaff
            StriperGuy Nov 11, 2010 11:40 AM

            In spite of the GREAT difficulty of smoking consistent cue day after day, and year after year, the truly great BBQ places manager to deliver. It takes a very strong commitment to quality, and lots of hard work.

            Until the last year or so I had always had excellent pork ribs at Blue Ribbon.

            I don't deny the difficulty of making large quantities of good barbecue, I'm just a bit disappointed when my favorite place slips a notch or two.

            1. re: StriperGuy
              l
              LStaff Nov 11, 2010 12:14 PM

              Where are the truly great BBQ places in Boston then. ;)

              I noticed the slip of a notch or two (at the Arlington location at least) when they moved all the smoking to the commissary- since then, I think they have been holding fairly steady.

              1. re: LStaff
                StriperGuy Nov 11, 2010 12:31 PM

                The only one that formerly met that high bar in my book was Blue Ribbon. Certainly not Redbones.

          2. Bob MacAdoo Nov 11, 2010 12:58 PM

            I went last Friday for lunch in Newton - tremendous brisket sandwich, arguably the best I've had since the old Kenton "Jake" Jacobs Jake's Boss BBQ days. It was moist, meaty, perfect smoke ring color. I gave it my version of the five star rating - no sauce. It was that good. Sides were decent collards and black eyed peas.

            My DC had a pulled pork plate, and declared the meat to be in keeping with Carolina quality. 'Nuff sed.

            Could have been a bad day at the smoker. As a backyard 'que man (BGE is my cooker), I know how difficult it is to get things just right. In terms of portions, you may be correct. That said, in this economy, the choice for an operator often is less on the plater instead of more on the cash register.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Bob MacAdoo
              s
              suepea Nov 11, 2010 03:03 PM

              I have to say, we have been diehard Blue Ribbon BBQ'ers for a while; I've had them cater 3-4 big parties for crying out loud! I can forgive some occasional inconsistency or the vagaries of BBQ. I still maintain they are going downhill; there has been a noticeable decline in quality of food and service. I don't think we are so persnickety. I think the owners are resting on their laurels, and they are risking their future business, and that's depressing.

              1. re: suepea
                v
                Velda Mae Nov 12, 2010 03:31 AM

                Here's another possibility -- they sold 16,000 Groupons a few weeks ago and have been swamped every since. I can't help but wonder if they're having trouble meeting demand. I went in a couple of weeks ago and they were sold out of BBQ chicken but let me substitute anything I wanted to compensate for the inconvenience. There was a new counter guy that night and he couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. Last night, Reuben, who's been there for about 10 years, was managing.

                1. re: Velda Mae
                  s
                  suepea Nov 12, 2010 03:38 AM

                  Yeah, I'm one of those people holding a few groupons. But we've been noticing the decline for at least 6 months or so; it just seems to be gradually sinking in that the quality of the product and the service are not as good. Not basing this on just the last visit ,it's just that that that's my most recent memory for supplying detail.

                  1. re: Velda Mae
                    StriperGuy Nov 12, 2010 10:07 AM

                    Nope, the issues they are having pre-date the Groupon.

              2. b
                bakerboyz Nov 12, 2010 06:07 AM

                I have been twice in the past 3 weeks and I can tell you I will never be back. The 1st time I was there at approx. 4:30 and got a 1/2 rack rib plate with 2 sides. The sides seemed very old and the ribs were dried out and lacked any taste. I went back about 2 weeks later around 6:30 pm and got a combination of bbq white meat chicken and ribs with 2 sides. This time the sides were a bit better, fresher mashed potatoes and decent cole slaw but the chicken was dried out with no smoke flavor and the ribs were too "fall of the bone" tender, no discernible dry rub or smoke flavor, no discernible smoke ring...the ribs actually tasted boiled not slow-cooked and smoked. Extremely disappointing!

                1. c
                  catspercapita Nov 12, 2010 01:28 PM

                  Maybe it's the time you go. I think by evening the food gets a little tired. I'm there (Newton) frequently for Friday lunch (arrive early) and if it's not too crowded we can get served quickly and get a seat. I haven't noticed any decline in the food as such, but there have been new counter people who took awhile to get the portions right. BTW - last Friday it was too jammed so my buddy and I went to Paddy O's around the corner. It was terrific. Good pub food and service, despite being crowded. I'll be back there again soon.

                  -----
                  Paddy's Pub
                  95 Elm St, Newton, MA 02465

                  1. Boston_Otter Nov 13, 2010 08:44 AM

                    I went to Blue Ribbon (Arlington) for the first time about 6 months ago, and posted at the time that I wish I'd gone sooner --- it seemed miles better than ol' Redbones.

                    When I went last week to cash in some Groupons, my housemates and I kept saying "is this the same place?" ...dry, chewy ribs, soggy chicken, and greasy burnt ends with chunks of gristle and fat.

                    I'll try them again mid-day sometime -- heck, I've still got a Groupon to use -- but I'm back at Redbones for baby back ribs as my go-to BBQ.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Boston_Otter
                      g
                      Gabatta Nov 13, 2010 12:34 PM

                      Have you tried the St. Louis ribs at Redbones? That is my favorite cut? there.

                      M&M is still my favorite for ribs and chicken though.

                      -----
                      Redbones
                      55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                    2. b
                      blink617 Nov 14, 2010 08:48 AM

                      I should have heeded the warnings on this thread. Inspired by the arrival of a Redbones takeout menu in our mailbox, we stopped by the Arlington location around 6:30 on Saturday night - it was more packed than we've ever seen it and the crowd looked a bit more Groupon-y than usual. We didn't stick around to see if the food had gone downhill, we bailed and wound up at Golden Garden in Belmont instead.

                      Where do y'all recommend for good brisket or chicken, preferably with takeout and not too far from Somerville? Redbones is okay, but is there anything better out there?

                      -----
                      Redbones
                      55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                      Golden Garden
                      63 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: blink617
                        c
                        celeriac Nov 14, 2010 09:00 AM

                        Not super close to Somerville, but... Soulfire has been my go-to for BBQ over the past year. I've found the brisket to be consistently very good.

                        I'll be brief since I've already written about my experiences, as have several others. See here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/732199
                        and here
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/662948

                      2. j
                        Jenny Ondioline Nov 21, 2010 06:41 PM

                        Just to add a data point, the burnt ends purchased in Arlington at around 3:30 this afternoon were excellent, as they usually are. Specifically, there was strong evidence of a good deep smoke ring, and some good hunks of bark as well. Solid beans and collards as well.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                          L2k Nov 22, 2010 06:21 AM

                          I was at Newton for the burnt ends around 2:30PM on Saturday, and they were delicious.

                          1. re: L2k
                            peregrine Nov 22, 2010 05:43 PM

                            The only meat I ever get at the Arlington BR is the burnt ends - well-made and a large portion. One dinner feeds two of us. I'm glad they're rolling out some new sides.

                        2. nsenada Nov 22, 2010 05:07 AM

                          Had some Blue Ribbon at a catered event over the weekend, and I hadn't had their food in a year or so. I thought it was excellent, reminded me that I should get back there more often (and mind you, the food was out of chafing dishes). The brisket was perfect, maybe a little leaner than I like it, but moist, with discernable smoke ring. Black eyed corn was awesome, and pulled pork and chicken as good as I remembered.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: nsenada
                            c
                            catspercapita Nov 22, 2010 07:06 PM

                            I also had lunch this past Friday and everything was good. Same as always.

                          2. c
                            celeriac Dec 2, 2010 04:56 PM

                            Just to give a little bit more input - I stopped by tonight for a pulled pork sandwich. I found the pork to be about on par with previous visits, which is to say pretty good. On the plus side it was quite smoky, very tender, and pulled into nicely sized shreds and chunks--that's an aspect of texture that they always get right. On the downside I'd say that it was a little bit overcooked and lean for my taste, but not dry either. The sides were quite good as usual - I always like their slaw, and the red beans and rice were delicious. In general I'd give it a solid B+, not quite as good as what I've had at Soulfire this year, but perfectly nice.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: celeriac
                              StriperGuy Dec 3, 2010 06:27 AM

                              Pulled pork is MUCH harder to mess up than say ribs, so for me not the ultimate test.

                              1. re: StriperGuy
                                c
                                celeriac Dec 3, 2010 06:43 AM

                                I'm fully in agreement, Striper, which is partly why I ordered it. I was more interested in having a good dinner than in judging! At any rate, figured it was worth mentioning that I found the quality to be roughly on par with previous visits.

                            2. a
                              Allston78 Dec 3, 2010 06:31 AM

                              I used one of my three Groupons for Redbones this week, and got my usual burnt ends sandwich with cole slaw and beans. It was wonderful, and my husband said his pulled pork was great, too. Redbones for me has always been a disappointment. I send the brisket back EVERY time. Always, always dry.

                              -----
                              Redbones
                              55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Allston78
                                KWagle Dec 4, 2010 03:23 AM

                                I've learned to always ask for a sample of brisket at Redbones, since it (like a lot of their meats) is often far too dry.

                                -----
                                Redbones
                                55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                1. re: Allston78
                                  l
                                  LStaff Dec 13, 2010 05:31 AM

                                  Burnt ends at Redbones? Is this an off menu thing, or are you talking about the chopped beef sandwich? Or maybe you got your sandwich at Blue Ribbon?

                                  -----
                                  Redbones
                                  55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                2. j
                                  joechristo Dec 4, 2010 08:07 AM

                                  I went to Blue Ribbon 2 weeks ago for lunch everything seemed great
                                  I always thought the combo plate only came with 2 ribs you can order an extra few for a couple of bucks. You may have caught it on a bad day or something

                                  Last time I went to RedBones the portion was weak the food wasnt hot, or I should say almost cold.

                                  Has it gotten any better?

                                  I sure hope so because I love their brisket. You just have to add the BBQ sauce.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: joechristo
                                    g
                                    Gabatta Dec 4, 2010 12:04 PM

                                    What menu item did Redbones give you a weak portion of? That is something I haven't experienced or heard of before.

                                  2. k
                                    knclouse Dec 11, 2010 10:01 AM

                                    I'm from Tennessee, my parents are from Tennessee, my parents' parents are from Tennessee, my parents' parents' parents are from Tennessee, and so on (you get the picture).

                                    BBQ is a lifestyle where I come from. We don't insult BBQ by inviting people over to a "BBQ" when all we're doing is grilling burgers and dogs. Burgers + dogs = "a cookout." When we invite people over for a BBQ, we serve BBQ. And we spend a whole week making it.

                                    I moved here 16 years ago when I started college. And I'm going to be blunt here because this discussion (which is repeated almost verbatim every couple of months on this board) annoys me. This is the consensus I have consistently observed (admittedly, with a few exceptions):

                                    People who come from the South prefer Redbones. People who come from Not-The-South (e.g., New England) prefer BR. And here's what's annoying: people who pride themselves as being "ahead of the trends" (no matter where they're from) prefer BR to Redbones (you know the type - the ones who always have to tell you "I was into that band WAY before they became popular. Their new stuff just isn't as good as their old stuff.")

                                    Personally, I've never been impressed with BR. They don't clean up the gristle out of their pulled pork. Gross. Anyone knows that you should cook the meat with all of the fat, pull it, and then painstakingly pull out the fat before you serve it. BR just doesn't take the time. And ribs should fall off the bone, and you shouldn't have to break a sweat to chew when you eat them.

                                    I'm not saying that Redbones is as good as my Dad's pulled pork or my brother-in-law's ribs. It's not even as good as my favorite Middle and Eastern Tennessee BBQ joints. But it is certainly better than BR. Feel free to disagree with my opinion and take issue with my attitude, but realize that (with a few exceptions, of course) I'm most likely more qualified than you to make this assessment.

                                    -----
                                    Redbones
                                    55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                    25 Replies
                                    1. re: knclouse
                                      h
                                      hckybg Dec 11, 2010 10:43 AM

                                      I'll leave the question of qualification by birthplace aside--I think that is its own discussion and one that really doesn't interest me much. I also haven't had Redbones for several years, but do enjoy Blue Ribbon. I just wanted to offer a data point, which is that Blue Ribbon's proprietor's brother runs an extremely similar, and much-liked barbecue place in northern Virginia, near Dulles Airport, called Willard's. I am only offering this to suggest that perhaps Blue Ribbon can't simply be cast as "unauthentically northern," which seems to be your implication. As far as taste goes, "chacun a son gout."

                                      P.S. Mario Batali was born in Yakima, Washington. But man can he cook Italian!

                                      1. re: knclouse
                                        j
                                        Jenny Ondioline Dec 11, 2010 10:54 AM

                                        Bless your heart. As someone whose roots in the Texas Hill Country go at least as far back as your own in Tennessee, I daresay I have more than enough barbecue knowledge to have some credibility on the subject. Not to mention enough confidence not to have to brag about said credibility, and, crucially, enough class not to openly insult others whose roots are different from my own.

                                        That said, for me, you lost your credibility exactly here: "ribs should fall off the bone."

                                        Any true pitmaster knows that "fall off the bone" ribs are overdone ribs best fed to the dogs, and setting up a false dichotomy between fall-off-the-bone ribs and chewy ribs ignores that the perfect rib lands between those two points, with just enough resistance that when you take a bite, the rest of the meat doesn't slide off the bone like a melting Popsicle.

                                        This person from the south thinks that both Blue Ribbon and Redbones have strengths and weaknesses, but on general strength and consistency of the barbecue, I would give the nod to Blue Ribbon. Redbone's wins on sides, however.

                                        -----
                                        Redbones
                                        55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                        1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                                          n
                                          Northender Dec 21, 2010 11:40 AM

                                          But no one up this way can smoke brisket the way they do at Smitty's and City Market!

                                          1. re: Northender
                                            j
                                            Jenny Ondioline Dec 21, 2010 03:12 PM

                                            It's true, there's little in the way of decent brisket hereabouts. But give me a packer, several hours in the backyard and a six-pack of Modelo, and I can turn out a decent approximation of my uncle Elwood's brisket when I have to.

                                        2. re: knclouse
                                          k
                                          knclouse Dec 11, 2010 12:05 PM

                                          As I plainly said, feel free to disagree with me and take issue with my attitude. It's just my opinion, as you all have your own. Mine just happens not to be a popular or "cool" one to have - love this board for the most part, but it can sure get snobby sometimes.

                                          1. re: knclouse
                                            PinchOfSalt Dec 11, 2010 12:14 PM

                                            As with wine, or any food or drink for that matter, there are two ways to judge barbecue

                                            1) what someone enjoys eating, and

                                            2) how closely a particular preparation matches a given standard of excellence

                                            Regarding number 1, that means people who prefer BL are right to eat BL's barbecue, and the same for people who prefer and eat Redbones'. It matters now what anyone else prefers.

                                            Regarding number 2, what constitutes excellent barbecue varies by region and what you ate when you were growing up. There's no possibility of achieving agreement or consensus. The best we can all try to achieve as a group is for people to say what they personally are looking for in barbecue, and perhaps where you can buy barbecue like that. We can all learn from each others' experiences and perspectives.

                                            Peace.

                                            1. re: knclouse
                                              StriperGuy Dec 11, 2010 02:34 PM

                                              Hmmmm, wonder if I'm one of those opinionated folks you hold in such low esteem...

                                              I spent 6 years of my life traveling 60% of the time in the deep south.

                                              I hit every cue joint I could find from Memphis (Rendezvous sucks I'm drawing a blank on the two places I liked) to Atlanta, to Arkansas to Americus Georgia, to MS, to LA, to Galveston. I have eaten in literally dozens and dozens of by the side of the road BBQ places, too many to remember all of them.

                                              Many were good, many were not.

                                              Year after year Redbones has been INCONSISTENT, which is of course the bane of good cue.

                                              Sometimes it is in fact very good, sometimes it is dried out, reheated muck.

                                              I disagree that ribs should fall of the bone. That's stew not cue. In fact that joint in Americus
                                              GA with no name, had perfectly done cue, that was perfectly cooked, but clung to the bone a good bit.

                                              Of late I think Blue Ribbon has slipped a notch or two, but me, and some southern boys I know here in Boston have found that Redbones just can't consistenly deliver the goods...

                                              -----
                                              Redbones
                                              55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                              1. re: StriperGuy
                                                StriperGuy Dec 13, 2010 07:45 AM

                                                Aaaah, it came to me in a dream, for anyone hitting Memphis, the GOOD BBQ is Neely's:

                                                www.neelysbbq.com

                                                1. re: StriperGuy
                                                  Msample Dec 13, 2010 08:00 AM

                                                  A bit closer to Boston, a place that doesn't come up often is BT Smokehouse in Sturbridge.
                                                  There is an updated review of it on the PigTrip website.

                                                  http://www.pigtrip.net/review-BTSHR.htm

                                                  It is a bit of a haul, but well worth it IMO and better than anything discussed here.

                                                  1. re: Msample
                                                    nsenada Dec 13, 2010 08:07 AM

                                                    Dear God, that looks good - if the pics are any indication (nice bark and smoke rings) it must be amazing. Plus, deep fried andouille bites? I think I know where we're hitting on the way out to Western Mass.

                                                    1. re: nsenada
                                                      Msample Dec 13, 2010 03:27 PM

                                                      It is as good as it looks. Some people I have taken there claim it is a bit TOO smokey, but I don't mind that at all.

                                                    2. re: Msample
                                                      Alcachofa Dec 22, 2010 09:40 AM

                                                      Dadgum, I wish I was there now. Sturbridge is not that far. ROADTRIP!

                                                      I come from a long generational line of functioning taste buds, so I think I may be qualified to report.

                                                      1. re: Msample
                                                        c
                                                        CookieLee Dec 22, 2010 02:06 PM

                                                        BT's is da bomb!! Their brisket is downright dangerous!!! Awesome.

                                                        We ate at Redbones last Saturday night. There were only 2 things I can recommend: the onion strings and the service. Just awful 'cue. The grilled veggies appeared to have been boiled, and then maybe heating up on a grill. ugh.

                                                        -----
                                                        Redbones
                                                        55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                        1. re: CookieLee
                                                          StriperGuy Dec 23, 2010 05:57 AM

                                                          Yah, when Blue Ribbon drops the ball they really drop it with a SPLAT.

                                                        2. re: Msample
                                                          p
                                                          pedxing Jan 6, 2011 11:03 AM

                                                          Yes to BT!!! BT has become my favorite food stop on the way back from NYC.

                                                          Having done my pilgrimage to the Hill Country not long ago (Smitty's, Black's, Kreuz, Salt Lick, Mann's), BT smokehouse is the one+ place in Mass I've tried that would hold its own. With Blue Ribbon slipping a little, Soul Fire is now my favorite in the area. Redbones is fun, and they have improved in recent years. I've been enjoying their beef ribs, but they don't some close to what Uncle Pete served. I still miss him and his food.

                                                          -----
                                                          Redbones
                                                          55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                    3. re: knclouse
                                                      crowdingthepan Dec 11, 2010 04:51 PM

                                                      I grew up in New Hampshire, my father grew up in New Hampshire, my great grandfather was born and raised in New Hampshire as was his father. Oddly, none of us are qualified to discuss the geological properties of granite.
                                                      There has actually been good bit of criticism of some of the old school Southern Barbecue techniques lately. Not the least of these is that the practice of "pulling" pork is a fundamentally flawed process. Your ripping a piece of meat apart with the grain instead of cutting it against the grain, which is learned in meat cutting 101. A lot of the hard core barbecue nerds will go out of their way to point out that what they are serving is chopped pork, not pulled (and yes, I know that it's only referred to as pulled pork by northerners. The technique remains the same.)

                                                      1. re: crowdingthepan
                                                        t
                                                        teezeetoo Dec 11, 2010 05:15 PM

                                                        i have no idea about the authenticity of any style of barbecue. I love it and try it wherever I can find it when I'm travelling and it differs dramatically in style by region, etc. I'm not sure if we include in "barbecue" the great Asian cookers of ribs and pork: are fabulous Asian sticky ribs barbecue? I found a lot of southern places (tennessee, georgia for example) particularly where the cooks where Black, did seem to cook ribs till they were falling of the bone tender. In Texas, this didn't seem so prevalent, and the meat seemed more dense, but then brisket seemed much more "texas" than ribs. I've had them dry-rubbed, sauced, compared baby back ribs to St. louis style ribs, and I've enjoyed all of them, more or less. In the end, my preference is for dry-rubbed full sized ribs and I'm not a huge fan of baby back ribs. But that's purely personal and I couldn't tell you one thing about authenticity. Locally, I simply haven't found great barbecue (or lets just say barbecue that seems great to me). Frankly, I like Golden Temple's special ribs better than BR or Redbones. I do like Blue Ribbon's burnt ends.

                                                        -----
                                                        Redbones
                                                        55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                        1. re: teezeetoo
                                                          h
                                                          hckybg Dec 11, 2010 08:14 PM

                                                          I also like East Coast Grill's burnt ends a lot--a very good deal, too. Have you tried them yet?

                                                          -----
                                                          East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
                                                          1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                                          1. re: hckybg
                                                            9
                                                            9lives Dec 12, 2010 03:03 AM

                                                            I'm also a fan of ECG burnt ends and Blue Ribbon's.

                                                            1. re: hckybg
                                                              t
                                                              teezeetoo Dec 12, 2010 04:53 AM

                                                              yes, i like them and I'm a general fan of East Coast Grill. They catered my daughter's wedding in a snow storm, cooking under a tent outside, and they were brilliant, funny, generous and a joy to work with.

                                                              -----
                                                              East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
                                                              1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                                              1. re: teezeetoo
                                                                h
                                                                hckybg Dec 12, 2010 10:02 AM

                                                                I'm a big fan in general too. I also like their pork BBQ and the attitude they take--not making a fetish of "authenticity" and working hard. And working harder if the customers buy you beer.

                                                        2. re: knclouse
                                                          9
                                                          9lives Dec 11, 2010 05:34 PM

                                                          "anyone knows you should pull out all the fat before serving" I didn't know that; maybe it's a Tennessee thing.

                                                          I had some great pulled pork today in a little town outside of Charleston,SC and there were plenty of little bits of fat and crispy skin.

                                                          Just for fun, here's a real small time bbq contest from Bluffton, SC with photos from a few years ago. Though small, it was sponsored by the SC BBQ Assn..and winners of these types of things go on to big events like Memphis. There are many styles, whole hog, ribs, shoulder..many different sauces, mustard, vinegar, tomato, etc from different regions. There were "professional teams" like Jack Daniels, local restaurantss, and just hobbyists who like to participate.

                                                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/61246842@N00/sets/72157600189540042/with/449438311/

                                                          then you have real small time operations that are open 1 or 2 days a week..

                                                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/61246842...

                                                          I haven't been to BR or RB for a while but I preferred BR..at least before this downhill alert. I preferred the ambience of Redbones but always wished their Q was better..

                                                          I don't get the part where Northerners or trendsetters prefer BR and Southerners prefer Redbones.

                                                          Both places seem to get plenty of thumbs up or down here..like a lot of places.

                                                          1. re: knclouse
                                                            c
                                                            cambridgedoctpr Dec 12, 2010 04:20 AM

                                                            Memphis is not the only standard for BBQ (though it is my favorite); there is cue from Kansas City, from the Carolina's, and from Texas which are quite different and each have their own fans. Coming from Memphis and making and eating Memphis Barbecue does not make one an expert on these other areas.

                                                            1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                                                              jgg13 Dec 12, 2010 05:52 AM

                                                              For instance, something tells me that hailing from Memphis wouldn't make one anywhere near expert in Alabama White BBQ

                                                            2. re: knclouse
                                                              m
                                                              Madrid Dec 13, 2010 07:32 AM

                                                              Is it possible Tenn. and NC are never in agreement? I only lived in NC for about 20 years, but tastes are formed in childhood. Blue Ribbon pulled pork is not Eastern NC barbecue, but it sure comes a lot closer than Redbones does.

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                                                              Redbones
                                                              55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                            3. d
                                                              dparis Dec 13, 2010 09:19 AM

                                                              The answer is fairly simple. You need to move to Shelby, North Carolina for the pork bbq or Llano, Texas for the brisket.

                                                              1. s
                                                                snippet Dec 21, 2010 09:05 AM

                                                                I've never understood the attraction of BR. I haven't been there in a long time (and it was usually Arlington for lunch, because other people wanted to go.) But pretty much everything I ever had there was either really greasy, or burnt. I don't know if I was always unlucky or my taste in BBQ didn't match theirs, but not my thing,

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: snippet
                                                                  StriperGuy Dec 21, 2010 09:14 AM

                                                                  Prior to going downhill a bit recently I had eaten their more then 2 dozen times each of which was excellent.

                                                                  1. re: snippet
                                                                    Ferrari328 Dec 21, 2010 01:13 PM

                                                                    Having used a groupon at Lester's recently I paid a visit to Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington the other day and had the 3 meat combo, ribs brisket and jerk chicken. Ribs was excellent, glad to see that they have gone back to the original cut (I haven been there recently..) brisket was moist and very tender with a good smoke flavor. The jerk chicken was moist and tender but not very spicy. Sides of mashed potatoes and collared greens was also very good and compared to Lester's portions, enormous! Looking forward to use my next groupon there soon.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Blue Ribbon BBQ
                                                                    910 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                                                                    1. re: Ferrari328
                                                                      l
                                                                      LStaff Dec 22, 2010 05:35 AM

                                                                      Been going to Lester's since they opened and always had good to great bbq - and the 2 meat combo was always enough for two meals. Last time I went, it was a measly portion - could have been just a one-time thing, but it was enough to keep me from going back.

                                                                  2. l
                                                                    Lou G Jan 8, 2011 01:18 PM

                                                                    Blue Ribbon Arlington: Still good, perhaps not quite so.
                                                                    I have eaten BBQ everywhere. It is a highly variable dish, as reading these comments will attest. My all time favorite is central North Carolina, and indeed the pork is chopped, not pulled. Blue Ribbon makes the best local version of that. Vinegar only!!
                                                                    My major complaint hasn't been mentioned and that is Yankee Corn Bread. Ug! Corn bread with sugar in it, made from yellow corn meal, etc. is some kind of cake and inedible, even though the Yankees seem to love it. My white corn meal no flour no sugar Arkansas product is way better. Way way better.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Lou G
                                                                      r
                                                                      Ralphie_in_Boston Jan 10, 2011 10:13 AM

                                                                      In addition to cornbread that ain't sweet, I prefer southern style 'corn sticks' as well. If prepared properly, they're slightly crispy on the outside and spicy. Yum.

                                                                    2. StriperGuy Jun 15, 2011 10:31 AM

                                                                      This topic was discussed on another thread (mostly about Redbones.)

                                                                      Hit it today for lunch. Was feeling virtuous and had the "Three Sides" plate and then got a single spare rib:

                                                                      - The good: cabbage side was excellent, the corn bread, (insert endless, what is the definition of good cornbread debate here) was same as it ever was and very good in my book, the black eyed corn lacked a little luster as did the collards. Not bad, good to get an interesting veggie fix, but somehow lacking. The rib was actually two ribs, and honestly a lot of rib for $2.99

                                                                      - The problematic: the rib tasted like it was smoked somewhere else, and held on steam, etc for too long. The bark looked good, but had lost all barky (did he bark you?) texture. The meat had begun to get flabby from being too long strayed from the flame, and having been kept under moist heat for too long.

                                                                      This is just one in many data points.

                                                                      Blue Ribbon has jumped the shark.

                                                                      As a coda, NONE of the original employees were there.

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                                                                      Redbones
                                                                      55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                        s
                                                                        suepea Jun 15, 2011 11:25 AM

                                                                        "As a coda, NONE of the original employees were there."

                                                                        That's what I noticed too. All the same, we've been back to BR a few times (due to the Groupons) and the food, portions, etc. seemed a little better than reported, so perhaps we had some off experiences. Can't speak to whether RedBones or other places are or aren't better, more passionate, etc. - wasn't comparing BR to other BBQ joints, just to its former self. It has been years since I have been to RedBones. I remember they had excellent pecan pie. I always thought the BBQ was good too, but perhaps not.

                                                                      2. l
                                                                        LStaff Jun 15, 2011 11:36 AM

                                                                        I think jump the shark might be a bit premature. Their ribs went south before and then came back, so I am sure they will again at some point. Seems like its still the same owners, so I am sure they will look at the negative feedback and make adjustments - after talking with some of the people who run BR at their open house earlier this year, they seem to be genuinely interested in their customer's experience.

                                                                        I am wondering if nearly 17,000 groupons sold last fall has had an impact?

                                                                        I have had so many great meals there that I am willing to give them the benefit of doubt until things turn around. Until then, the pulled pork is still tops in the area.

                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                        1. re: LStaff
                                                                          StriperGuy Jun 15, 2011 12:00 PM

                                                                          Yah, I'm just not a pulled pork fan. And the ribs have been marginal for at least the last year.

                                                                          Pulled pork is easy to make, ribs, not so much.

                                                                          1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                            justbeingpolite Jun 15, 2011 12:06 PM

                                                                            I hope you're wrong, guys, though I tend to agree with SG, and don't love pulled pork as much as great ribs, myself. BR is catering for me in a week or so, I'll chime in then, I guess. Thought it's perhaps not fair to judge on catered stuff shipped out in boxes and not finished on the grill.

                                                                            1. re: justbeingpolite
                                                                              StriperGuy Jun 15, 2011 12:21 PM

                                                                              I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

                                                                              1. re: justbeingpolite
                                                                                SeaSide Tomato Aug 4, 2011 01:02 PM

                                                                                JBP--Can you tell me how the catering was for you? I am about to use them for a birthday party fo rabout 50 people and would love to know how your experience was.

                                                                                Many thanks!

                                                                                SeaSide

                                                                                1. re: SeaSide Tomato
                                                                                  justbeingpolite Aug 4, 2011 01:14 PM

                                                                                  Very good, perhaps not great. We didn't have them grill finish on site, and ribs that sit in the steamer trays are never perfect, but they were still very good and a hit with the guests. The chicken was fine as well. The sides were a big hit: excellent flavor and texture to the baked beans, and the garlicky mashed potatoes were raved over by guests, some of whom took home doggy bags! No complaints, I thought worth the money. We didn't use their servers, hired a couple of women from an event staff place ( Simply Serving). They were great, cleaned up as they went, and did a lot more than the servers from BRBBQ would have for about the same price. I didn't get beef ribs, but have been at other events using Redbones where the beef ribs were magnificent. I liked Blue Ribbons pork ribs better, however.
                                                                                  Hope that helps.

                                                                                  1. re: justbeingpolite
                                                                                    SeaSide Tomato Aug 4, 2011 01:41 PM

                                                                                    ooh-that does help, thanks!!

                                                                                    We plan to have them grill on site. I was going to go with their servers, but will look at simply serving.

                                                                                    Many thanks!!

                                                                              2. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                l
                                                                                LStaff Jun 15, 2011 01:20 PM

                                                                                Maybe that's why I'm not so concerned. I find ribs much easier to make at home than pulled pork (but I do realize with commercial smoker, its easy enough to leave it in for the required amount of time). So when I'm craving really good ribs, I fire up the smoker - and for pulled pork I just go to BR.

                                                                                I've had some nice ribs at BR over the last year - so its not like they have been consistently bad or jumped the shark.

                                                                                You seem quick to want to declare BR's demise and write them off completely.

                                                                                1. re: LStaff
                                                                                  StriperGuy Jun 15, 2011 01:51 PM

                                                                                  Yah, it's just the last 5 times I went, every single time the ribs were off one way or another. That's a pretty decent sample size.

                                                                                  1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                    g
                                                                                    gourmaniac Aug 4, 2011 01:29 PM

                                                                                    I'm with you on this one. I was given a possible explanation on the inconsistency issue with the ribs by a competing BBQ chef. Now that BR uses a central commissary, the extent of smoking depends on where in the giant smokers the ribs are located. At the branch sites, the ribs are simply warmed up. This makes some sense to me and i've had ribs recently that had virtually no smoke ring or flavor and will not be returning to BR.

                                                                                    1. re: gourmaniac
                                                                                      justbeingpolite Aug 4, 2011 01:43 PM

                                                                                      There definitely was good smoke flavor and a ring on our catered ribs. Just not a good crisp bark, as one would expect from ribs sent in a steamer box. Had we had them finished on a grill, I'm sure they would have been better. As an aside, I've been to events catered by Firebox BBQ from Bedford, where they brought their own grill and finished the ribs, and they were excellent. I probably would have used them for our event, but they weren't available.

                                                                                      1. re: justbeingpolite
                                                                                        g
                                                                                        Gabatta Aug 4, 2011 03:02 PM

                                                                                        I attended an event catered by Blue Ribbon last year and there had a grill and cook on site finishing bbq items. The food was much better than what I have had at the BR store lately. They do offer grill finishing with their catering, you just didn't choose to utilize it. I have never personally used them for an event, opting for Redbones instead which definitely grilled on site.

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                                                                                        Redbones
                                                                                        55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                                                        1. re: Gabatta
                                                                                          justbeingpolite Aug 5, 2011 07:40 AM

                                                                                          That's what I said: We didn't have them finish them on the grill, and I'm sure that would have made the bark better. I'm still a fan, though, definitely.

                                                                                          1. re: justbeingpolite
                                                                                            dojemi Aug 10, 2011 07:15 AM

                                                                                            Oh Jeeze.......now I don't know what to do. Haven't been there in a long time (W.Newton) and everytime we pass it we say we are going there soon. Now, with all the nay reviews I don't know. :(

                                                                                            1. re: dojemi
                                                                                              yumyum Aug 10, 2011 07:56 AM

                                                                                              Do what a hound would do... go check it out for yourself and then report back! It's just one meal after all.

                                                                            2. Ferrari328 Apr 24, 2012 10:33 AM

                                                                              Stopped by today with a groupon and had the 1/2 slab ribs platter, mashed potatoes and baked beans. Sides was very good and the ribs are outstanding, tender, nice smokey flavor and a really nice crust. Haven't had the baked beans for a long time and had forgotten how good they are.

                                                                              http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                                               
                                                                              1. Ferrari328 Aug 11, 2012 10:13 AM

                                                                                There is a few things that shouldn't be missed here. First, the soups, all of which are excellent but look out for the Kale Soup served over mashed potatoes.The other one is the Spicy Chicken Rollup that has been on the specials board since they opened but have finally made it onto the sandwich list. Lettuce, tomato, finely cut cabbage and some diced celery complement the chicken salad. Not very spicy but very very good. Tons of chicken salad and with two sides it's a fairly substantial meal or (for me) two.

                                                                                http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                                                 
                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Ferrari328
                                                                                  StriperGuy Aug 12, 2012 10:09 AM

                                                                                  Not to be a trouble maker, but NOTHING you mentioned has anything even remotely to do with BBQ, and after all this is a BBQ joint.

                                                                                  1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                    Science Chick Aug 13, 2012 11:49 AM

                                                                                    haha.....haven't been there since they stopped routinely carrying the smoked fish sandwiches. Anyone know if they have them again?

                                                                                2. q
                                                                                  QuakerInBoston Aug 29, 2012 01:31 PM

                                                                                  I was at the Newton one the other day. I thought the BBQ was about as good as it ever is (which isn't amazing, in my mind, but serviceable) - the sides were gross, though. Overcooked, underseasoned. That's a change from what I'm used to from BR.

                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: QuakerInBoston
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    suepea Aug 30, 2012 02:40 AM

                                                                                    What sides did you get?

                                                                                    1. re: suepea
                                                                                      q
                                                                                      QuakerInBoston Aug 30, 2012 05:10 AM

                                                                                      Green beans, corn with black eyed peas, and I tried a few others from my girlfriend's plate. I never expect much from a BBQ place in terms of sides but these were way overdone (the green beans mushy, the corn likewise). I assumed they came from a can but I swear I remember them having at least somewhat fresh tasting green beans the last time I was there.

                                                                                      1. re: QuakerInBoston
                                                                                        g
                                                                                        Gabatta Aug 30, 2012 05:30 AM

                                                                                        That's how I felt about the green beans the last time I ate at Blue Ribbon. They reminded me of canned watery green beans from my youth. People freaked when I suggested they might be canned, but I know they at least were highly disappointing.

                                                                                        1. re: Gabatta
                                                                                          s
                                                                                          suepea Aug 30, 2012 05:32 AM

                                                                                          I stick with coleslaw and baked beans. They're pretty consistent and good (IMHO). Every time I've had anything else - green beans, greens, corn, mashed potatoes, etc. I've been disappointed. My husband likes the collard greens. I'm not a fan.

                                                                                          1. re: suepea
                                                                                            k
                                                                                            kimfair1 Aug 30, 2012 07:42 AM

                                                                                            I'm also not a fan of their collards, not enough pork flavor. The garlic smashed potatoes aren't bad, but I;m not a fan of their baked beans either. I like the burnt ends, and that's about it from there.

                                                                                            1. re: suepea
                                                                                              f
                                                                                              Foodie_BBQ Aug 30, 2012 02:04 PM

                                                                                              I had good baked beans and collards at BR in Arlington a few weeks back and good baked beans at the trailer in Needham the other day. Can't remember what my other side was. Never thought their sides were the best, but no noticible decline lately. Meats - brisket sandy in Arl; pulled pork and burnt ends in Needham - were as good as ever. Nothing earth-shattering, but BR is still solid all around. Not a cooked green bean guy - I prefer them crunchy from garden or farm - so I'll leave that debate to others.

                                                                                          2. re: QuakerInBoston
                                                                                            l
                                                                                            LStaff Aug 30, 2012 06:22 AM

                                                                                            Oh no, I hope they haven't changed the green beans as it is my favorite side at BR. They were always soft, but still held their shape - If they were canned, they would be falling apart after cooking/stirring.

                                                                                      2. c
                                                                                        chuck s Dec 4, 2012 12:49 PM

                                                                                        Did take out the other night. The Memphis ribs, neither my wife nor I could eat them. Threw them out. My burtn ends were as good as ever. Will not be back like we used to.

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: chuck s
                                                                                          c
                                                                                          CookieLee Jan 6, 2013 08:10 AM

                                                                                          chuck s, I wish I had read up before we went last night. The ribs were ghastly. The meat at the ends were tough, and shreddy, like the ribs had been frozen too long. Blobs, of fat, not marbled. My dc noted the lack of flavor. Three of us had the ribs, and they were all bad. My other dc had the burnt ends, she said they were very dry. I spoke to the manager. I expressed my concern, and gave him my experience. He offered me, 1. more ribs, 2. brisket, 3. dessert, 4. cash. I declined everything. I wasn't looking to be comped. I did eat the middle of the ribs. The sides I had were flavorless, I had the cornbread stuffing, and the hoppin' john. I explained to him that I'm concerned because the food wasn't good. He didn't seem to acknowledge what I said, he said everything was fresh. Oh well, it was a nice run while it lasted.

                                                                                          1. re: CookieLee
                                                                                            StriperGuy Jan 6, 2013 09:02 AM

                                                                                            Yah, they have officially gone downhill!

                                                                                            1. re: CookieLee
                                                                                              l
                                                                                              lc02139 Jan 7, 2013 06:46 AM

                                                                                              Not that it should matter since they have a central commissary where they smoke everything, but which location did you visit?

                                                                                              1. re: lc02139
                                                                                                c
                                                                                                CookieLee Jan 7, 2013 08:28 AM

                                                                                                W. Newton.

                                                                                          2. BuffaloJill Jan 6, 2013 10:37 AM

                                                                                            Yes, I'd say the BBQ itself has declined, but I still love their sauce selection. Too bad, with all the new competition.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: BuffaloJill
                                                                                              c
                                                                                              CookieLee Jan 6, 2013 01:45 PM

                                                                                              You could go in, fill a few little containers with sauce. Offer to pay for them, and leave and have bbq somewhere else. I've yet to try Blackstrap in Winthrop, but I hear it's good.

                                                                                            2. k
                                                                                              katzzz Jan 6, 2013 03:56 PM

                                                                                              I have to say I think Blue Ribbon hasn't changed very much, if at all, over the years. Same as it ever was. Which means it's pretty good, but not great. Not close to great. Nothing on the menu blows you away, but it will do when you're in the mood for Q. For me, the sauces are the weakest part of the experience.

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: katzzz
                                                                                                c
                                                                                                CookieLee Jan 6, 2013 07:21 PM

                                                                                                I have to respectfully disagree, as would all my dc's the other night. We've been going there for many years, and it has changed dramatically, for the worse. I don't know when you were last there, but is no longer "pretty good". I agree, the sauces are nothing to get excited about.

                                                                                                1. re: CookieLee
                                                                                                  k
                                                                                                  katzzz Jan 7, 2013 06:06 AM

                                                                                                  Sounds like you hit it on a bad night. Come to think of it, some years ago I got an order of ribs that was so soggy and fatty I swore off Blue Ribbon for a while. When I returned months later it was back to normal.
                                                                                                  I got take out in Arlington a couple of weeks ago (I have rarely gotten food from the Newton spot since the Arlington location opened, but I never noticed any difference between the two) and, really, the food seemed the same as it did when the joint first opened.

                                                                                                  1. re: katzzz
                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                    CookieLee Jan 7, 2013 08:30 AM

                                                                                                    Hit it on a bad night? I think you're being v. generous. I'm sorry, there is really no excuse for such inferior ribs.

                                                                                              2. h
                                                                                                hlerm2 Jan 10, 2013 05:20 AM

                                                                                                going down / yes it is the brisket on 2 visits in newton had no taste at all. Have eaten here for years, as i have in cambridge, the food all tastes the same, bland, no flavor or taste/ they should shut down the central kitchen and cook on site like they did years ago

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: hlerm2
                                                                                                  StriperGuy Jan 10, 2013 06:41 AM

                                                                                                  Totally agree!

                                                                                                2. Ferrari328 Jan 12, 2013 10:21 AM

                                                                                                  I had lunch there again today and the ribs were fine as usual, not sure what people are complaining about. They might not be as smokey as when they were done in-house but otherwise they were fine as were the mashed potatoes and the baked beans. Got the green beans by mistake instead of the baked and as expected they were way too overcooked for me but had a very interesting vinegary taste and was surprisingly tasty. When I asked to have them swapped out for the baked beans, I just got a container of the baked beans on the side.

                                                                                                  http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                                                                  1. Ferrari328 May 8, 2013 10:22 AM

                                                                                                    I just realized that I had 4 groupons that will expire in a month so I guess I have to force myself to eat here every week for a month, not that it's going to be hard. I saw on their facebook page that one of todays specials was Asian Style Pork Belly Slider's. This was really outstandingly delicious! Tender pork belly slowly cooked in the smoker with a really nice crust on the outside and nicely spiced. Served with an Asian Slaw and drizzled with hot sauce (Sriracha?). The presentation could be improved. Putting three buns down and then heaping stuff on them makes it really hard to eat not to mentioning that the slaw and belly go everywhere when you try to bite into them. I rather see them individually wrapped so that the contents are contained.
                                                                                                    The rest of the groupon I spent on a Smoked Meatloaf Sandwich. The trick here is to ask for the sandwich as a wrap, makes it so much easier to eat and the tortillas are delicious as well. This is another favorite item of mine that has been on the daily specials menu since they opened. Tasty smoked meatloaf, lettuce, tomato, onions and a chipotle mayo with some finely sliced cabbage throw in for a nice crunch. Delicious!

                                                                                                    http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Ferrari328
                                                                                                      Ferrari328 May 10, 2013 08:24 AM

                                                                                                      Sorry, misremembered about the cabbage, it's in the spicy chicken salad rollup.

                                                                                                    2. rossheiney Aug 17, 2013 09:38 AM

                                                                                                      Blue Ribbon BBQ is living on a reputation. I stopped going there in February 2013 for the same two issues that occurred during repeated visits: Tons of attitude from all the staff who serve tough, very dry, days-old barbecue. In fact, on the last visit he smothered it with barbecue sauce trying to hide it, which was a first. They also serve a pile of mushy pulled beef and call it burnt ends. One thing that remains consistent, though: their barbecue sauce is quite literally the best in New England. Now my Saturdays are ridiculous: Drive to East Coast Grill for a pint of Grandma's Baked Beans to go. Drive to Soul Fire BBQ for a full slab of spareribs and cornbread to go. Drive to Sweet Cheeks for pulled chicken, mac n' cheese, and cole slaw to go. Go home, heat up the Blue Ribbon BBQ sauce from the fridge, and spend a day in heaven with some jazz playing in the background.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: rossheiney
                                                                                                        jgg13 Aug 17, 2013 09:40 AM

                                                                                                        You could save a little gas money by buying a smoker.

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