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Sweet Cheeks

I was walking down to Citizen last night when I happened to see that Sweet Cheeks seemed to be open. Upon entering, I learned that I had stumbled upon an informal soft open in preparation for their official opening this Friday. Despite already having dinner, I couldn't resist the chance to try some barbecue. As a born and bred Tennessean and having frequented 17th Street in my college years, good barbecue is one of the things I have missed the most since moving to Boston. Having tried Blue Ribbon, Redbones and Soulfire multiple times each, only the latter was even worth reconsidering (granted, I have not been out to BT's). As a result, I had somewhat low expectations of Sweet Cheeks.

I didn't have the appetite for an entire meal, but I did want to try various offerings on their menu. In the end, I decided to split a pulled pork sandwich, a quarter lb of brisket and a couple pork ribs. Lo and behold, I was actually pleasantly surprised. My favorite was perhaps the pork ribs, which turned out to be short ribs instead of the baby back ribs I was expecting. Although the ribs were rather thin, the ribs were deeply smoked and had a good texture. The pulled pork was perhaps a bit on the dry side, but tasted pretty decent after a good dousing of sauce. The brisket was just barely falling apart, with the fatty bit being the most flavorful. All in all, textures were good and smoke was evident.

There were 3 sauces: something close to a Memphis-style vinegar and tomato-based sauce, a spicy version thereof, and a Western Carolina vinegar sauce. The only one I didn't try last night was the spicy sauce, but the other two were pretty tasty. Notably, there was not a KC style sauce, which I personally find too sweet, but which seems popular at the other barbecue joints in town.

One big point was what seemed to be the lack of any dry rub, or a very minimal rub. For my tastes, I like my barbecue to have a rub on it, but I do understand that there are some regional styles that are rub-free. Back home, we just don't call those styles barbecue ;). I would personally prefer to see some Memphis-style dry rubbed baby backs on the menu, but for now, I'll take what I can get.

In addition to the meats I tried, there is also chicken, beef short ribs and pork belly on the menu. I didn't have any stomach space for sides, but the menu had a wide variety of both traditional sides (collards, beans, fried green tomatoes, etc.) and some sides you would never see down South (ie. a farm salad that was Brussels sprouts based). One notable omission was the lack of cornbread.

They didn't have any sweet tea last night, so I had a Porkslap instead. The drink menu is very American centric, with a focus on beers and spirits. The bartender mentioned that all the offerings are brewed or distilled in the US, with the exception of a couple tequilas. There is even moonshine.

Again, in my humble opinion, barbecue needs a healthy bit of rub to be the most flavorful. All in all, though, I was pleasantly surprised by how well-smoked the meat was, and I look forward to trying it more fully in the near future.

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  1. have you tried East Coast Grill? Too bad about the cornbread which is quite good at ECG.

    That said, you have convinced me to give it a whirl.

    -----
    East Coast Restaurant
    1456 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02122

    1 Reply
    1. re: cambridgedoctpr

      During several happy visits to ECG throughout the years, I've found their cornbread to be terribly bland, dry, and overall barely edible. Oh well, different strokes...

    2. Great report. Definitely sounds promising.

      1. In a boston.com video, she, and I quote, "...rubs the dickens out of it...", although, maybe you had something different last night?

        In any case, I look forward to trying it out for myself. If you don't mind me asking, how would you say it is priced (seeing as there is no menu on the site yet)?

        4 Replies
          1. re: Msample

            Sandwiches are $10 and don't include sides. Meat can be bought by the lb for around $18/lb. Trays with one meat and 2 sides are around $18, two meat combos are $24, and three meats are $28. Sides are $7 for small, $12 for large. It certainly is not cheap.

            In reading the Pigtrip review, I am glad i'm not the only one that would have liked the cue to be more heavily rubbed. Perhaps she does rub the meat, but it just was not as spiced and flavorful as I am accustomed to. Perhaps the idea is to let the pure flavor of only the meat and smoke shine.

            1. re: Msample

              $26 for four ribs, one slice of brisket, and a turkey leg, served on butcher paper on a plastic tray? Yikes.

          2. it'd be nice if they had their menu online...

            10 Replies
            1. re: CambridgeFoodie

              When I went, the hostess said they were still tinkering with the menu and would finalize it soon

              1. re: rlee21

                No carryout until Monday - is the parking situation bad over there?

                1. re: CambridgeFoodie

                  Plentiful meter parking and several garages in the area. Parking is easy when the Sox aren't in season.

                  1. re: Gabatta

                    I read the review online at pigtrip and the food sounds very good but when I saw the photo of the plate of 3 ribs and 1 slice of brisket with a couple sides for $24, I was floored. A little too pricey in my opinion for a small plate of bbq.

                    1. re: bakerboyz

                      Gotta love the slogan on their website "IF YOU LEAVE HERE HUNGRY, IT'S NOBODY'S FAULT BUT YOUR OWN"....that you are unwilling to pay nearly $50 for two meals.

                    2. re: Gabatta

                      I have to disagree. Unless you're there at an offtime, Boylston St. parking is usually pretty full and 95% of the Fenway is resident. I guess the lots are an option, I refuse to pay unless a last resort. That said, the place has looked quite crowded when I've driven by several times. WAY more than Cambridge 1 ever was.

                      1. re: total13

                        Other than during a Sox game I have never failed to find a meter, particularly since I am willing to walk a few blocks. I'm just lucky I guess. My time is limited, so I will pay if necessary, just not the gouge rates during a Sox game.

                        1. re: Gabatta

                          Landmark Center around the corner has a totally jacked parking garage but I think the rates are generally pretty reasonable.

                          1. re: Gabatta

                            I'm always willing to walk so a few blocks away is fine. In general though these days, it seems the Boylston St. spaces are pretty full.

                            Still no menu on their web site but the prices don't sound promising.

                          2. re: total13

                            If you don't mind an easy 6 block walk, you can always find parking around St Mary's St

                    1. re: CambridgeFoodie

                      Menu is now available here: http://www.sweetcheeksq.com/

                      We did lunch there yesterday. "Natural Chicken Thighs" are nowhere to be seen on the menu at the joint, so I'm guessing we had the Main Menu, not the lunch menu, although there were sandwich options. We chose not to do sandwiches or trays, but to order the meat and a couple sides. You can get their meats by the quarter pound (or more), for $4-5 a 1/4 pound.

                      We got 1/4 each of the pulled chicken (really smoky and good), the pulled pork (also very good), and the pork belly (like bacon, but very thick -- 1/4 pound = 3 3/4" slabs of delicious, fatty, meat. We added a side of fried green tomatoes ($7 got you 5 THICK slabs, quite yummy), and a small hot scoop of Mac & Cheese, which came in a large coffee mug, which kept it hot all the way to the bottom. Very good M&C, best I've had in the area, second only to Hill Country, in NYC, which we kept comparing this place to, as that's the best Texas BBQ we've had in the past.

                      Service was very attentive, the place was nicely decorated, the big screens had both early NFL games on (but no satellite it appeared, as over the bar the same game was on 2 sets).

                      Noise level was good, and overall, this may be the best BBQ inside 495 (I also haven't been to Blackstrap yet, and this was (obviously) different from BT's in Sturbridge, which we love, but pretty damn good.

                      If you love Hill Country, though, I think that's better. Will have to come back to try the ribs and brisket to make sure.

                      1. re: L2k

                        Thanks for reminding me I had meant to post about this place (and many others). I tried it a few weeks ago and really enjoyed the quality of the BBQ here. I had the trio combo so I tried the brisket, the pulled pork and the pork belly. My friend had ribs, chicken and also the belly. We both really enjoyed our meals. Yes, it's a little spendy, but the quality was there and the flavor was really good. I actually think Jenny would like the brisket -- best I've had around here and appropriately fatty. I also had the mac n cheese and collards to round out my tray and took home enough leftovers for another couple of meals, so it's not THAT bad a deal. It was also nice that Tiffani was in the house, clearly in charge of her kitchen and FOH staff.

                        A picture below, to tempt you who crave meat.

                         
                        1. re: yumyum

                          Forgot to mention, we had the homemade Nutter Butter cookie, and it is HUGE and better than the original. Probably 6-7" in diameter (for $8 it better be huge), and half of it is dessert for us tonight at home.

                          1. re: L2k

                            Ironic, as I've been called a nutterbutter on more than one occasion.

                            We couldn't even look at the dessert menu, but my friend enjoyed her beer and I liked the house red well enough (they have two wines, red and white). Rough and ready and served in a juice glass like I like, even before it got trendy and ironically "homespun".

                          2. re: yumyum

                            My husband and I have been twice in two weeks. Love this place and I intend to enjoy it until we begin our annual Fenway avoidance in the Spring.

                            I loved the farm salad with Brussel spouts, the collards were wonderful, the BBQ beans were great and I may be addicted to the ribs. The pulled pork was also a hit.

                            Photos here: http://www.bostonzest.com/2011/12/swe...

                            On our first visit the couple next to had the half chicken and raved about it. Second visit the guy next to us at the bar was completely enjoying the pork belly. That goes to the top of the list for the next visit.

                            I'm hoping to fill one of those hightop tables with friends and try a big part of the menu right after the holidays.

                            Penny
                            http://www.bostonzest.com/

                            1. re: yumyum

                              The brisket does look promising, though that picture suggests a couple worrisome flaws. I'll definitely go give it a try eventually.

                              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                I'd love to hear what flaws you noticed. I can debunk them or verify them.

                                1. re: yumyum

                                  It may be a trick of perception based on the angle in the photo, but based on that pic, I would have trimmed away at least half that fat cap (it doesn't all render properly if it's too thick) and that slice looks to be about twice as thick as you'd find in a place in the hill country: the whole point of cutting brisket against the grain is to shorten the fibers, so thick cuts against the grain don't have the proper effect.

                                  Again, it looks promising, and neither of those things are dealbreakers.

                                  1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                    Like others in this string, I am a huge fan of Hill Country in New York - the best barbecue that I have ever had...by far.

                                    We tried Sweet Cheeks tonight and it was pretty good. I was disappointed with the much hyped short rib - not very flavorful.

                                    The brisket, however, I thought was outstanding. Salt andpPepper rub was flavorful but as Jenny Ondioline mentioned, there's a lot of fat on their brisket - even too much fat for me (and I like my brisket on the fatty side). And yes, the brisket was sliced thickly...which did not bother me.

                                    Sides - farm salad & brocolli caserole - were outstanding.

                                    Bottom line: the best barbecue in Boston and I'll be a regular for the brisket. That said, not a transcendental experience as Hill Country is for me.

                                    1. re: CambridgeFoodie

                                      If I told my Texan friends that Hill Country up here meant NYC, they'd shoot me.

                                      Jenny, I guess I thought we were lucky there was a fat-cap at all (apparently they're cutting deckle). Either way, not sure I'm a fan of their stylistic preference for thick-slicing either.

                                      I sampled some pulled pork and a slice of belly and would say that was some excellent barbecue - the po-po chockful of bark with good texture and smoke flavour. The belly, though, is maybe what might actually get me in the door (I'd only sampled a friend's takeout). Having lived in both Eastern NC and Central TX, it's gonna be hard to swallow a $30 plate of barbecue, but my small samplings suggest it may be worth it to fulfill that jones if you can't smoke at home.

                                      1. re: Nab

                                        Yeah, I gotta give it up for them for leaving the fat cap on, but it's gotta be trimmed properly. (They wouldn't be wasting it if they did: a good barbecue restaurant grinds the trimmed brisket fat and adds it to the sausage mix.)

                                        Hill Country is the best barbecue I've had in the northeast for sure, but back home it would be, to paraphrase a favorite Calvin Trillin line, almost as good as the place I go to when I don't feel like going all the way out to the place I really like.

                                    2. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                      I like the fatty brisket which is not all that fatty when smoked correctly. Will have to try Sweet Cheeks since so many raves and I think Tina Faison is from Texas. You are reminidng me that a vist to Lockhart is coming up at the end of January and the usual battle of Smitty's vs, Kreuz will come up. I am partial to Smitty's although the extra drive to Luling for City Market is also a possibility (:-

                                      1. re: Northender

                                        her name is Tiffani and she is mostly from around Boston

                                        I agree with Jenny about properly trimming a fat cap and slicing it thinly ...

                          3. 4 of us split a mountain of food at Sweet Cheeks last night. The dirt:

                            Bucket of Biscuits: oh heck yeah. Big, buttery, excellent crust.

                            Fried Green Tomatoes: one of only two complaints from me - the crust to tomato ratio was too heavily on the crust side.

                            Big Cheeks Tray: pulled chicken, brisket, beans, and slaw. The pulled chicken was smokey and awesome. Not as tender as some I've had, but so flavorful. Brisket was a bit fatty and a little too thickly cut for my tastes. For comparison's sake: Sweet Cheek's brisket is more tender and had a similar smokey taste to Black's in Lockhart's. Slaw is not shredded, but rather squarely cut pieces of cabbage - dressing is nice. Beans were a big hit with the table.

                            Fat Cheeks Tray: Pork Belly was fatty and tender - I only had half a slice, but the others at the table seemed to really enjoy it. Pulled pork was well prepared, but not as flavorful as the pulled chicken. Brisket (see above). Broccoli cheese gratin was ridiculously cheesy and delightful. Potato salad in a vinegar-sour cream dressing stood up.

                            Sauces - my favorite was the straight up BBQ. The hot was definitely astringent. Western Carolina vinegar sauce is just not my thing. I'm more of an Eastern fan myself.

                            I didn't actually think it was that spendy. The trays are huge and one of them could easily feed myself, my man, and provide leftovers the next day (that's only about $10 each). I cannot wait to go back and try out the ribs and a couple other dishes. Or just order a biscuit and some brisket and chow down.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: gini

                              Went the other night and two of us also split a mountain of food. We just got a bunch of meats a la cart and some other stuff:

                              - Hush puppies: I thought they were overdone but nice on the inside. She liked them. I loved the sauce it came with (buttermilk & maple?), she didn't.
                              - Biscuits: All that and a bag of chips.
                              - Ribs: Mild flavor, hints of apple. Extremely succulent. These were awesome, but w/ the mild flavor if the texture wasn't so good it could easily have gone the other way.
                              - Pork belly: Ditto.
                              - Pulled pork: I liked it, she didn't as much. Not "fantastic", just good. I used their vinegar sauce on this.
                              - Pulled chicken: I thought it was a bit dry, as BBQ chicken often is. When I used their house sauce on it, it became very good.
                              - Brisket: This is the first brisket I've had since a pilgrimage to Lockhart a year ago, and now I remember why I've been avoiding brisket up here. It had a decent flavor and I liked the fattiness/succulent-ness but it was served extremely thick for brisket (our neighbors had 2 slices to our 1 and it was the same amount of meat) and had an odd texture. It almost looked like a cube steak. The combination of the two led to us not enjoying it so much.

                              Speaking of lockhart, the food came out just like I remember from there - butcher paper, white bread (no saltines though!), pickles, etc.

                              Overall, whether intentionally or not they're letting the meat & smoke speak for itself instead of covering it in a metric ton of rub & seasonings. I say "or not" as she implied in an interview that they were heavily seasoning it, that doesn't seem to be the case.

                              Sauces: I liked the house sauce, although I'm not much of a sauce guy beyond vinegar sauce for pulled pork. The hot sauce had an habanero type base to it.

                              Prices: It was very expensive for BBQ, but I try to not be one of those people who says things like "chinese food should never be $$$". It's hard to disassociate the fact that I've had much better BBQ for much less money, but I've also never had said BBQ in the heart of the Fenway. After a couple of drinks each we spent about $100 for 2 people and gorged ourselves so much that neither of us ate until dinner the next day (we were not going home directly so didn't want to take leftovers w/ us). Comparing that to general dining of similar happiness on our part, that's not a bad deal, we'd have probably spent that sort of cash at the Citizen across the street for instance.

                              1. re: jgg13

                                Nice and helpful review. Thanks!

                            2. We were at Sweet Cheeks last night. I had the short rib tray, with mac 'n' cheese and the carrot raisin salad. And, a biscuit, and a ginger beer. I loved all of it. I had a lot of leftovers. However, in my party of 4, I was the only one happy with my meal. The brisket got a huge thumbs down compared to BT's. People who ordered the farm salad don't like brussel sprouts, and wouldn't have ordered it if they'd known. The butterscotch pudding came with an apple cider salted top. You couldn't see anything, but when you took a spoonful, you tasted a mouthful of salt. There was no description on the menu of this occurring, and the server didn't mention it when we ordered it.

                              1. I haven't been yet but very much look forward to it. Just want to comment on the comments on the pricing. The meats used all seem to be special in some way, more humanely raised, heritage breeds (berkshire pigs), perhaps smaller producers and more time on pasture. Not saying it's from happy pigs running in fields ten miles away. But better. It's my experience that this would at least double the food cost (you can go to Restaurant Depot and get standard spareribs from confinement pigs for under $2/pound. I don't think this product would come close in price.) Sourcing means little if the food, service, atmosphere etc. doesn't deliver. But I appreciate the effort to resist the urge to go cheap with ingredients, especially if it's only to live up to romantic notions of "true" bbq from "authentic" locales. I'm currently fairly conflicted with my restaurant going. I want pasture raised, humanely raised etc., but that essentially wipes out all restaurants except the top tier and some more activist-y places on the casual end like City Feed. Particularly painful to me: all Asian, all Latin, all subs and, until now, all bbq. (well actually I think BBQSmith (on hiatus) had some more careful sourcing. And of course I don't count Hungry Mother and others that occasionally incorporate bbq in a different type of place.) So based on that I'm going in expecting it to be at least $20 head for a good feed before drinks and tip. That's what it costs.

                                1. Went last night with a group of eleven and we ordered what I think is called "The Big Rig," only we modified to remove some items including; pulled chicken, the short ribs and a few sides. Given all the chatter about conservative portions size and my fairly healthy appetite I was nervous about downsizing a meal that was designed to feed "No more than 10." So let me say this, if you felt cheated put together a group and order this family meal, you will not finish it.

                                  Overall food was excellent.
                                  Started with biscuits which are huge and moist and when paired with the honey butter they bring out they are fantastic. Fried Okra was also a big high point for me. I tried the black eyed peas which I liked well enough but not the much derided beans. Also pretty fantastic were the mac and cheese and the broccoli, though the broc may have been over salted.

                                  Meats:
                                  Brisket: This was the low point and I though i was predisposed to believe this going in many of the other dinners, including one big time brisket lover, were disappointed. I tried to take the thinnest cut on the plate as the cuts did look to be thicker than any brisket I'd seen.

                                  Smoked Chicken: Wow! best chicken I've ever had in out to dinner. Smokey and succulent, well after I'd decided I was full this was the plate I kept picking from. This was a shocking nice surprise. I love chicken and don't understand people who refuse to order chicken when they go out. I would order this in a hearbeat.

                                  Pulled Pork: I thought this was incredible as well. Smokey, moist with some nice chunks of barky pieces. I love a good bark on BBQ and the PP had some really nice pieces like this. The Carolina sauce on the table, in my mind the only sauce you put on PP, was a little think and gloopy for my tastes but the flavor was decent.

                                  Ribs: While I like a little more bark on my ribs the flavor of these was spot on. They were excellent. Not fall of the bone, as they shouldn't be, but tender none the less. They were very good. As a side note, Red Bones takes a lot of flack on this board and much of it is deserved but their baby back and St. Louis ribs still hold up and the ribs at Sweet Cheeks hold up nicely to those.

                                  Pork Belly: Fatty, as it should be, but really amazing. I only ate on piece as it seemed really decadent and rich. The piece I had was fantastic, if you love BBQ'd pork belly than I'm guessing this is pretty close to as good as it gets.

                                  Other stuff: I'm fired up that they have a very good beer list and good cocktails. $6 seems fair for a craft draft just realize that it's coming in a 12 oz. jelly jar.

                                  The service was attentive and friendly though it did often take a while to get drinks to the table.

                                  Didn't get the nutter butter as we had a Bday cake from flower, which was very good. I'll be back for the Nutter Butter cookie someday.
                                  Overall I give the experience an A/A- and will be returning for sure. I no longer have to cross the river for BBQ, so Blue Ribbon, Redbones and even East Coast Grill take this as a shot across the bow. Step up your game as there is a new kid in town and she is getting after it.

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: ChickenBrocandZiti

                                    Wow CBZ, you just made me want to go with a big group! Next time my parents are in town for one of my siblings birthdays this will be a great place to go.

                                    MR and I went on New Years Day. We had the biscuits (knowing we'd take some home), brisket, pulled pork, baked beans and slaw.

                                    I guess I've never had "real" brisket. I really liked the what I was eating here. The pulled pork was excellent although I had most of it as leftovers the next day. The biscuits were so good, if not the best I've ever had, that I pretty much spoiled my appetite and had to take most of my food to go.

                                    The flavor of the coleslaw was good but I wish it was the shredded cabbage kind and not just cubed cabbage. That was weird to eat.

                                    Regarding the prices I actually didn't think the meat was too expensive but the sides are ridiculously expensive when ordering a la carte. I mean $7 for a mug of beans? They were delicious but they really should be more like $3-4 tops. Four biscuits the size of a baby's head were definitely worth the $10 price tag BUT it would have been nice if you could just order one biscuit.

                                    Finally, the music they were playing there on New Year's Day was just grating. I love rap and hip-hop but not while I'm eating, especially when its super-aggressive rap as oppose to say,De La Soul or even some dancey-er Kanye. The staff was really nice there but I almost felt unwelcome... like someone wanted to fight me when I walked in there.

                                    1. re: heypielady

                                      regarding the brisket, I thought that it was really odd brisket. One friend of mine, an accomplished BBQer herself, question if what she received (on a different night) was brisket at all. I have trouble believing that a chef on the level of Faison would even attempt to pull a fast one like that on customers but I know that what we were served certainly did not resemble any BBQ brisket that I'd ever seen. It tasted alright, but that was about all I can say.

                                      Considering they bill themselves as representing the hill country it's odd that many people rate their brisket as being their worst item, not to mention they are lacking the smoked sausages.

                                      1. re: jgg13

                                        It doesn't look like brisket. My dc said it didn't taste like brisket. I thought it was so unappetizing looking, I couldn't even bring myself to taste it. The cabbage in the slaw was oversized pieces, also v. strange. I didn't like the baked beans, too vinegary.

                                        I was there the night of New Year's Day. I don't recall the music's composers, but maybe they changed it from what they played during the day, as I don't recall being bothered by it. That's too bad, as that can ruin your dinner.

                                        1. re: CookieLee

                                          My DC made the comment that it looked like a chuck pot roast when we were talking about it being very odd. I couldn't fathom that they'd do that and just chalked it up to an odd preparation. When my BBQer friend made nearly the identical comment it gave it more credence, although I still can't imagine they'd do such a thing - seems more likely to be an odd/crappy preparation.

                                          FWIW our brisket looked *nothing* like the picture on the pigtrip site: http://pigtrip.net/photos/SC/SC2011-0...

                                          1. re: jgg13

                                            jgg13, neither did ours. It was just this gray thick cut slab.

                                          2. re: CookieLee

                                            No, I was there the night of New Year's Day as well. I must be super-sensative to music... in fact, I know I am.

                                            Anecdotally, my husband is a huge Steely Dan fan and while I respect that they are talented musicians but I simply cannot listen to them...It's not a choice. The Dan comes on and I get nauseated (which leads to an uncanny ability to know when they are playing even though I don't "know" the songs.)

                                      2. re: ChickenBrocandZiti

                                        Sounds like quite a spread.

                                        Looking at the menu on their website, $450 sounds like a lot of dough for what you get (if the website is accurate). Not to be a broken record, but that spread could be had for less than half as much at other bbq places in the area.

                                        1. re: Gabatta

                                          Link

                                          -----
                                          Sweet Cheeks Q
                                          1381 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215

                                          1. re: Gabatta

                                            In allowing us to modify the order they also dropped the price. It was either $360 or $390 total, I don't remember exactly. I didn't feel cheated that's for sure.

                                        2. Went there with friends last time, only our second visit (I don't count the quick run ins for a nutter butter). Got there at 6:15, told "hour to an hour and a quarter", but were seated in 30 minutes.

                                          Were told they were out of pork belly (damn) and Mac & Cheese (possible dealbreaker as our friends don't eat pork and this severely limited the hot side options). When we expressed our displeasure (gently) about the M&C, the waitress said she'd check, came back and told us they'd have more in a few minutes, thank goodness.

                                          Started off with the biscuits. Holy $4it! These were huge and amazing, and by the time we were done we realized we were in trouble, what with an order of Fried Green Tomatoes and the Salt & Pepper potatoes coming AND our meals.

                                          Both apps were excellent, which resulted in 90% of our entrees (half rack plus 1/4 pound of pulled pork for me, half chicken for DW, brisket and pulled chicken trays for our friends) being boxed up and taken home.

                                          Very happy with our meals. Very very happy.

                                          1. Only had the brisket (which was oddly firm and unstriated, I agree) and the pulled pork so far, but quite enjoyed both of them. Great BBQ baked beans, maybe my new favorite in town. Quite liked the broccoli cheese casserole, too, not something I expected to be wowed by. Good carrot/raisin salad. Out of the famed biscuits, alas. Butterscotch pudding and giant Nutter Butter both seemed worth the indulgence. Decent cocktails, good beer. Seemed like a pretty good deal to me, a lot of food on the plate for $20 or so. Will definitely give it a return bout.

                                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                              I dumbed that broccoli cheese, "great quiche in a cup!" and one of these days will do the "Lunch Lady Tray" with my choice of any 4 sides. The sides are outstanding.

                                              Penny
                                              http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                Were the baked beans cooked more thoroughly? They were quite firm to hard when we went which is a deal breaker for me, though we did like the flavor.

                                                1. re: kimfair1

                                                  I find the 'al dente' beans very tough to digest. BT's beans, while tasty, are cooked the same way.

                                                  1. re: kimfair1

                                                    I hate undercooked legumes, too -- a big kitchen mistake, in my book. These did not exhibit that problem.

                                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                  2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                    How could I forget the desserts? We shared two, the pudding, and the brownie/marshmallow/peppermint confection. I love butterscotch pudding, and loved the saltiness of their offering, but thought it was too sweet. Not a marshmallow fan myself, but our friends thoroughly enjoyed that dish.

                                                  3. The Mrs and I had a terribly disappointing experience ordering takeout from Sweet Cheeks the other night.
                                                    We called in our takeout order around 7pm and were told that it would be ready in an hour and a half, by the very polite hostess. I thought it was strange that a takeout order consisting of food that's being hot-held, would take an hour and a half to bag up, but we just figured they were getting crushed for dinner service.
                                                    It made a lot more sense when we arrived, as the doors were locked with notes claiming they were closed for a private party. The girls at the host station just stared at me outside until someone walked out for a smoke, and I made my way in. I was told they were closed for a private party and when I told them I had placed a takeout order, I was told that they weren't taking take out orders ...because of the private party. Finally the girl with whom I placed the order with, walked over with my food and I headed home.
                                                    We were bummed to see every item crammed into very small Chinese food boxes. Half a slab of ribs were jammed into these containers and 2 sandwiches as well. I had just spent $70 on all this food, and here it was, crammed into the smallest takeout containers that it could possibly fit into.
                                                    The food itself was ...not awesome. The ribs were unevenly seasoned and way overcooked. When I say overcooked, I mean that when I tried to take the ribs out of the hilariously small Chinese food takeout box, I needed to use a spoon to scoop the bone-in meat paste out, and on the our plates.
                                                    We also got a brisket sandwich and a pulled pork sandwich (the were out of the pork belly sandwich that I had wanted). Both sandwiches that were claimed to be served on texas toast, were served on plain-old pain de mie. Both meats were terribly overcooked. Overcooked brisket is a lot easier to get away with if it's not sliced over an inch thick, but here we were.
                                                    And no sauce came with our order, so there was no giving this tired meat a drink, either.
                                                    Sides we got were: potato salad, farm salad, brocolli casserole and the bbq beans. The best of these was the potato salad which tasted like a ...big surprise ...potato salad.
                                                    The farm salad was comprised of raw brussel leaves and some grapes. It was pretty refreshing after all the dry meat and rib puree.
                                                    The broccoli casserole looked like a box full of water and broccoli scrambled eggs. It tasted as it looked.
                                                    The BBQ beans where far from being cooked, but well seasoned and flavorful.
                                                    Our favorite part of the meal, by far, was the delicious nutter butter knockoff they do there. I could eat that everyday for the rest of my life and die a very happy, very diabetic man.
                                                    I'm willing to chalk this all up to a miscommunication. I can't imagine they intended to take takeout orders while they were closed for a private event. If we had been told that they couldn't take our order, it would have been much preferred to the unpleasant food we were served.
                                                    Oh well ...I don't hold a grudge. I'll gladly go back to Sweet Cheeks and eat in the dining room. Hopefully we'll have a much different experience then.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: sluglife

                                                      i still think 70usd worth of barbeque should feed 8.

                                                      say, "Pint Pork & Brisket, Rack of
                                                      Spares, Wings, 3 Pints o’ fixins, Corn Bread = $65!" or

                                                      "Fried OR BBQ Chicken Family Four Pack ($19.99 before 6:00PM, $24.99 after 6:00PM)
                                                      4lbs of Fried Chicken cut in 4, 2lbs Mashed Potatoes, Garden Salad, 4 Biscuits + Gravy on the side". or even...

                                                      "Feedbag for 4 - $64.99

                                                      (1) slab of Memphis Dry-Rubbed Ribs
                                                      (1) pint of Pulled Pork, Burnt Ends, Pulled Chicken, Beef Brisket or Hot Sausage.
                                                      (1) Barbecued or Jamaican Jerked ½ Chicken
                                                      (1) pint of Baked Beans
                                                      (1) pint of Cole Slaw
                                                      (4) pieces of Cornbread
                                                      (4) Sandwich Rolls "

                                                    2. We returned here last night with a hankering for 'que. Splitting the Big Cheeks tray netted us pulled chicken and a couple of pieces of brisket. The brisket is definitely stringier (in a good way) without the big cap of fat on top than the last time around - it also looks much darker. The server confirmed that they've changed the potato salad recipe to be less vinegary. That was really sad. Broccoli casserole seems less cheesy and more like a deconstructed quiche. You can get a single biscuit on the side - I think one day I might just eat a bucket of biscuits and call it a day. They are awesome.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: gini

                                                        Splash a bit of the Carolina BBQ sauce on the tater salad to get back to the vinegar level you like. We used it on the salt & pepper potatoes last time.

                                                        Penny
                                                        http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                                      2. Five of us went last night and had a great meal. Between the four meat eaters, we ordered three Big Cheeks combo trays which offer two meats and one hot and one cold side each. We also got a bucket of biscuits, which were fabulous and enormous, and some really nice hush puppies.

                                                        We shared ribs, pulled pork, pork belly, pulled chicken, and brisket. As stated, the meats are dry-rubbed and sauces are on the table. We actually only used the sauces on the pulled chicken, which was tasty but probably my least favorite of the night. The rest of the meats were top notch, with the bites o f brisket (yes, it's thick but really tender and juicy) being everyone's favorite.

                                                        The mac and cheese and broccoli casserole were delicious comfort sides. Cole slaw and potato salad (with bacon on top...heads up vegetarians) were also solid.

                                                        The vegetarian in the group had plenty of goey, rich carbs between the biscuits, hush puppies, broccoli, slaw and mac and cheese so he "pigged out" like the rest of us. He's a dessert guy, so the huge nutter butter and butterscotch pudding made him quite happy, too. All in all, a really fun and tasty night out.

                                                        1. My little family (2 adults, 2 kids) ate a bang-up meal there on July 4 (because what is more American than BBQ?). Pulled pork for Mr Mag, short rib for me and brisket for the Maglettes. This was enough food for like 6 people, when you include the starter of biscuits. We are still eating the leftovers and vowing that we have to return, despite the fact that it is a bit on the pricy side. Of course, if we just ordered what we'd eat at one sitting it would be more reasonable. We're thinking one entree and a couple extra sides would probably do in the future.
                                                          Can't wait to go back, those biscuits and collard greens are calling to me.