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Boston Area Barbecue Restaurants

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radwoodhaven Apr 12, 2012 10:52 AM

Just ate at Lester's BBQ in Burlington last weekend. While I usually go for Kansas City style 'Q', I must say that Lester's puts out a mighty fine meal. We shared chicken, brisket, sausage, and chopped meat. They were all nicely smoked, moist, and the portions were more than adequate. The sides worked, and the sweet tea topped it all off. It was still a little too cool to eat outside, but I imagine that tables get quite busy during the warmer months. I like the atmosphere and the wait staff/help were both friendly and knowledgeable. We will definitely be heading back to Lester's!

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  1. j
    Jenny Ondioline RE: radwoodhaven Apr 12, 2012 10:55 AM

    Lester's makes the only good brisket in the area. Nobody else even comes close.

    22 Replies
    1. re: Jenny Ondioline
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      radwoodhaven RE: Jenny Ondioline Apr 12, 2012 11:07 AM

      Absolutely - moist, flavorful. and not too fatty. They do a great job of carving it.

      1. re: Jenny Ondioline
        yumyum RE: Jenny Ondioline Apr 12, 2012 05:01 PM

        I stopped in to sweet cheeks last night to check on their brisket. Having just returned from a bucket list trip to Lockhart this past weekend the taste of Smittys Blacks and Kreutzs is fresh in my mind and the smell is still haunting me.

        I have to say the brisket was legit. It's sliced too thickly it's true. But Tiffani is taking her cue from Lockhart and I was not SORELY disappointed. I really feared I'd be ruined now.

        The biscuits are as good as the hype too. Washed down with a nice tea infused whiskey smash and I was happy to see that I don't need a plane ticket to scratch this itch.

        I know many of y'all will skewer me for this but Iiked it. A lot.

        1. re: yumyum
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          Northender RE: yumyum Apr 12, 2012 05:52 PM

          yumyum, so glad you finally got to Lockhart! Smitty's is my favorite but they are all great. I will have to get to Sweet cheeks although Smitty's and company have spoiled me as far as price and atmosphere go. However your insight is enlightening. I keep failing to add the cost of the plane ticket to the overall cost of lunch in Lockhart! (:

          1. re: yumyum
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            gourmaniac RE: yumyum Apr 13, 2012 05:36 AM

            OK, I'm finally convinced to give this place a try kicking and screaming in my self righteous way. Hope that the big three in Lockhart lived up to billing. I trust they haven't cleaned off the blackened walls at Kreutzs Market.

            1. re: gourmaniac
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              Northender RE: gourmaniac Apr 13, 2012 09:12 AM

              FYI: Smitty's is the original Kreuz Market ( some kind of divorce or family rift resulted in the change of name) and definitely has the blackened walls. You will see them when you purchase your meat. The new Kreuz is a large open place but you will also see the pits there. Black's is more like a restaurantt with counters and the pits are in the back. A visit to all will be a very cool experience for you. If you are in the area ofr more than a day, consider a drive to Taylor (which is not too far) and try Louis Mueller's as well.

              Keeping on topic though, I am still interested in trying the brisket at Sweet Cheeks.

            2. re: yumyum
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              bear RE: yumyum Apr 13, 2012 06:03 AM

              Hey, yumyum,

              Thanks for the report. With trepidation, I posted in the long Sweet Cheeks thread that the brisket may have been our favorite taste of the evening, although the biscuits were also killer. The brisket was thick for sure, but juicy and tender and beefy. We loved everything, with maybe the pulled chicken being our least favorite.

              I still have to give Lester's brisket a try. I'm a fan overall, and Jenny Ondioline doesn't give out praise lightly.

              1. re: bear
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                Northender RE: bear Apr 13, 2012 09:15 AM

                I agree that Jenny is a true maven which may be because, iir, she is a true Texan? I am hoping she tries BT's Smokehouse in Sturbridge which is my new favoriete NE b'que spot although too far for regular visits.

                1. re: Northender
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                  gourmaniac RE: Northender Apr 13, 2012 11:38 AM

                  agree on BT's. It's the best brisket I've had outside of Texas. It's even better than Arthur Bryants. Jenny by the way is male and is indeed Texan or at least spent time there. RE Kreuz's. I guess it has been that long since I've been as I remember the original (now Smitty's).

                  1. re: gourmaniac
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                    9lives RE: gourmaniac Apr 13, 2012 01:12 PM

                    I have a vist planned tomorrow to Ms 9's family tomorrow and it looks like BT's is only a few miles out of the way. Besides the brisket, any sides that stand out. I'm sure we'll back up the truck with takeout ribs, pulled pork, etc.

                    1. re: 9lives
                      hondodog RE: 9lives Apr 13, 2012 02:38 PM

                      Onion rings. Onion rings. Onion rings.

                      Did I say: onion rings?

                      1. re: hondodog
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                        9lives RE: hondodog Apr 13, 2012 03:26 PM

                        Thx..The whole menu looks great. Very psyched after reading the comments on the board.

                      2. re: 9lives
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                        CookieLee RE: 9lives Apr 13, 2012 04:24 PM

                        I'm a slave to the brisket reuben. And the fries. The sweet tea. The pecan pie square. Lordy!

                        1. re: 9lives
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                          Gabatta RE: 9lives Apr 13, 2012 06:35 PM

                          I always get a pound of the mild beef jerky to go.

                          1. re: 9lives
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                            9lives RE: 9lives Apr 14, 2012 04:02 PM

                            Made it to BT's today..wow! best brisket I've had including a long ago trip to Arthur Bryants, (haven't been to the TX greats)excellent pulled pork and mac n cheese. Got rack of ribs to go for later..just no stomach space for a lot of sides, Saw the spare ribs on another table and looked great. Also shared a beef rib bone..girl said they were $10.75 and worth it. She was right..fantastic!

                            Hounds nailed this one...exceeded my already high expectations.

                            Keep this one to yourselves..:) but the young woman at the counter told us they are looking into a Boston food truck..there may be lots of larger clothes in my future.

                            Cambridgedoc, it should all hold up well for an hour. .though I packed in in a cooler.Pulled pork I usually microwave..something with a bark/crust, like ribs, I like to finish in the broiler. Brisket, not sure yet, but probably mw unless someone has another idea.

                            1. re: 9lives
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                              cambridgedoctpr RE: 9lives Apr 14, 2012 04:30 PM

                              wow, thank you 9; great news for my q 2 weeks red meat allotment.

                              i looked at the best BBQ places at boston.com; this was the closest, I believe, to Boston/Cambridge

                              1. re: cambridgedoctpr
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                                9lives RE: cambridgedoctpr Apr 15, 2012 12:09 PM

                                Broiler made for dry ribs. MW worked well for everything else. Fortunately, plenty of leftovers to experiment with..:) BTW, brisket far better than the original Sonny Bryant's in TX.

                                I'm not a newbie to bbq, just most of my experience is in SC; Sweatman's, Dreamland, Wilburs..and home done. Never gotten the beautiful texture/flavor that BT's gets on brisket. Carolina's is pork not beef.

                                BT's really excels across the board..

                                O rings and more sides next trip.

                                1. re: 9lives
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                                  gourmaniac RE: 9lives Apr 16, 2012 06:05 AM

                                  Glad you made it there 9lives. I agree that BT's is much better than both Arthur Bryants and my memory of Sonny Bryants (from 1986) but not up to the one Lockhart place I've tried. That is high praise indeed for on New England joint. I've not tried any of the deep south places (Dreamland Sweatmans) so can't compare. BT's also smokes it's own sausage and bacon in case you were interested. I thought the sides I've had were pretty good but not game changers. I didn't try any of the fried things figuring I'd hit the threshold on aorta blockage with the meats.

                                  1. re: gourmaniac
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                                    chuck s RE: gourmaniac May 27, 2012 07:04 AM

                                    9, I went to Arthur Bryants in 1980 after reading about it from Calvin Trillin, long before Boston had any barbecue. Got there around noon time, stood in line, and met Arthur himself. I told him what brought me there. He smiled and gave me an Arthur Bryant mechanical pencil with a cow on top. Had delicious barbecue, brought ribs and sauce back to Boston. I got to show the pencil to Calvin Trillin some twenty years later and it brought back fond memories for both of us.

                              2. re: 9lives
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                                Northender RE: 9lives Apr 15, 2012 02:11 PM

                                Wow glad you agree about the brisket. it was smokey and delicious and I wish I had some right now!

                                1. re: 9lives
                                  nsenada RE: 9lives May 26, 2012 01:58 PM

                                  Just had a three meat plate at B.T.'s and it was meh...ticulously prepared, and had possibly the best brisket I've ever had. Nice bark on the short rib and brisket, and the rubs really penetrated all the meats (I've had some perfectly smoked meats before that didn't have a lot of flavor). Sides were all excellent, we had the mac n' cheese (pretty sure I tasted gruyere in there) the potato salad, and cole slaw. We had the andouille bites for an appetizer - damns, they were good. Next time will take advantage of the byob. I get the sense from the other posts I've seen about bt's that they are consistent, so I will definitely be back.

                              3. re: gourmaniac
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                                Jenny Ondioline RE: gourmaniac Apr 13, 2012 01:48 PM

                                Yep, both a boy and a native Texan (family from HC, born and mostly raised in panhandle). And yeah, the reason I don't include BTs as "Boston-area" is that it's just too much of a trek out to Sturbridge to use it to fulfill a sudden brisket craving.

                                1. re: Jenny Ondioline
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                                  Northender RE: Jenny Ondioline Apr 13, 2012 07:34 PM

                                  Sorry for the gender confusion but not sorry for BT's rec great brisket!

                                  Love your posts so keep them coming.

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                        Foodie_BBQ RE: radwoodhaven Apr 13, 2012 06:33 AM

                        Love Lesters. I regularly choose it over Blue Ribbon Arlington - I'm halfway between the two in Burlington. If you go, you must try the collards. They are the tastiest, best cooked I've ever had including time living in Coastal North Carolina where collards are on every menu. I get Lester's brisket every time, and usually the pulled pork as well. The pulled chicken is sometimes dry/light on flavor and the ribs are consistently good, but not great. Don't bother with the spicy sausage.

                        Guess I know where lunch is coming from today.

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                          powerfulpierre RE: radwoodhaven Apr 13, 2012 06:45 AM

                          Glad to hear some good words for Lester's. It's on my way home from work so take-home is pretty frequent. Waiting is not so bad with a frosty $2 PBR, either.
                          Gotta mention their side of homemade pickles. Mmmmmm.
                          Also, on Friday evenings they have a small show 'n shine for local rods in their lot.

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                            AngerHeSmiles RE: radwoodhaven Apr 13, 2012 10:52 AM

                            While I suppose Sturbridge doesn't count as Boston Area, BT's Smokehouse down there is absolutely phenomenal.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: AngerHeSmiles
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                              CookieLee RE: AngerHeSmiles Apr 13, 2012 12:33 PM

                              +1, and then some!!

                              1. re: CookieLee
                                Msample RE: CookieLee Apr 14, 2012 08:03 AM

                                Just stopped at BT's last night , getting enough for both dinner and a lunch today. At about a minute off the intersection of the MA Pike and 84, it's easy on/off it you're in the neighborhood.

                                Nice deeply smokey flavor brisket, mmmm.

                                1. re: Msample
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                                  cambridgedoctpr RE: Msample Apr 14, 2012 01:05 PM

                                  i go to nyc frequently; i wonder about stopping and bringing some BTs home; how to reheat? what will be fine after a 1 hour trip home?

                                  1. re: cambridgedoctpr
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                                    CookieLee RE: cambridgedoctpr Apr 15, 2012 02:32 PM

                                    We also make the trip. In the winter, we just put the food in the trunk, and it's totally fine. In warmer weather, you just need a cooler and some ice. The ribs are easily reheated in the oven, at 350 degrees, for about 15 minutes. The brisket, I've done in the oven and microwave. We also try to time the trip home so we can have dinner at BT's, and bring some home.

                                    1. re: CookieLee
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                                      cambridgedoctpr RE: CookieLee Apr 22, 2012 01:43 PM

                                      Cookie, how long do you heat the brisket; should i get both the ribs and the brisket?

                            2. c
                              cherrytomato RE: radwoodhaven Apr 13, 2012 11:27 AM

                              Had two great meals at Sweet Cheeks. The bloody mary's are ridiculously delicious. I love their ribs. The first time I had sandwiches, pulled pork and brisket and our waiter told us to each get a rib just to try them and they were awesome. Fun place.

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                                hargau RE: radwoodhaven Apr 16, 2012 05:37 AM

                                I agree with people who say BTs is very good. I have not tried Lesters. I never hear anyone on this forum mention Smoken Joes in Brighton. I have had some really good pulled pork there. Have not tried much else. Thoughts?

                                16 Replies
                                1. re: hargau
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                                  gourmaniac RE: hargau Apr 16, 2012 06:06 AM

                                  Good enough and thrilled to have it in my old neighborhood but i like Soulfire a little better. Agree that the pulled pork is good.

                                  1. re: gourmaniac
                                    Msample RE: gourmaniac Apr 16, 2012 01:02 PM

                                    The early Pigtrip review ( a source I trust ) of Smoken Joes was not inspiring:

                                    http://www.pigtrip.net/review-SmokenJ...

                                    The reason it might not be mentioned on this forum may be related to the quality. If it's been open that long and still under the radar that much, I'd venture there's a good reason.

                                    1. re: Msample
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                                      hargau RE: Msample Apr 16, 2012 02:21 PM

                                      Curiously that same source that went there a few times for takeout and on opening day 5 years ago? also gives ok reviews to fireflys which they have visited dozens of times. I cant stand fireflys! So not sure how much i trust it..

                                      1. re: hargau
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                                        GaryLovesFood RE: hargau Apr 21, 2012 06:35 PM

                                        Hargau, I'm the author of PigTrip. The review for Firefly's attributes the high number of visits to geographic proximity and is a very mixed review. You like BT's and so do I; it's one of the most positive reviews on the site. Right now the two best barbecue joints in Boston are SoulFire and Sweet Cheeks; I'd add BT's if looking further out and agree with the original poster that Lester's is good, though I'd like to see more consistency.

                                        1. re: GaryLovesFood
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                                          gourmaniac RE: GaryLovesFood Apr 23, 2012 07:10 AM

                                          Went back to Soulfire on Thur and continue to be pleased with their ribs. Portions are huge and good value. Sides are very good (beans and collards) but perhaps not best in show.

                                    2. re: gourmaniac
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                                      lergnom RE: gourmaniac Apr 16, 2012 04:17 PM

                                      I've been surprised in a good way by Soulfire my last few trips. The sides are better. The food has been more uniform in quality. And it's been really good. The atmosphere with the freaking giant tv still annoys but the food has been good.

                                      1. re: gourmaniac
                                        yumyum RE: gourmaniac Apr 16, 2012 06:22 PM

                                        Heard good praise of Soulfure again from the barkeep at sweet cheeks. Thus guy knows his stuff. I do Like you can get a single rib there When the mood strikes.

                                        1. re: yumyum
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                                          nightsky RE: yumyum Apr 22, 2012 08:55 AM

                                          Soulfire has been most consistenly good in my opinion. Been to Sweet Cheeks twice and the negatives outweigh the positives. I respect Tiffani for avoiding factory-farmed animals, and i like the idea of taking some creative license with traditional barbecue. But to me the flavors just aren't there. I guess the Wonder Bread (yes) is ironic but really brings down the experience of the food if you actually eat it. Jelly jars are sort of fun, but not when you charge customers standard pint prices for 12 oz. of beer. Soulfire, OTOH, is pretty straightforward/traditional, and has always been memorably tasty. I agree the mega TV can be offputting though.

                                          Has anyone had M&M Ribs? I know it's a truck, not a restaurant, but I'm curious how the food is.

                                          1. re: nightsky
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                                            Jenny Ondioline RE: nightsky Apr 22, 2012 09:25 AM

                                            The pulled pork will do at Soulfire, and it's handy that it's within walking distance, but their brisket is an insult to the state of Texas, and I've yet to find an edible side dish there. We just buy a pound of pulled pork to go and make the rest of the meal ourselves.

                                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline
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                                              nightsky RE: Jenny Ondioline Apr 22, 2012 10:02 AM

                                              Jenny, what is the ideal brisket? Haven't had Lester's, but the Sweet Cheeks version was gag-inducingly fatty. I should have been more careful before eating I guess. They might have been rushing out the meat to keep up with demand. My preference is to have the fat cap and other line of fat removed before serving, but is that the standard?

                                              (Off-topic, would you happen to know the lyrics to your eponymous song?)

                                              1. re: nightsky
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                                                Jenny Ondioline RE: nightsky Apr 22, 2012 11:14 AM

                                                How much of the fat cap to leave -- both during the smoking and for serving -- is one of those questions that everybody has an opinion on. Personally, I trim the fat cap to somewhere between a quarter- and a half-inch before smoking and leave it on when I slice the finished brisket so folks can either eat it or remove it according to personal preference.

                                                Overtrim the fat cap -- which in my experience is what Soulfire does -- and the meat stays dry and stringy no matter how long you smoke it. (The other issue is that I don't think they smoke it long enough.) But conversely, if you leave the fat cap untrimmed a la Sweet Cheeks, not enough smoke penetrates into the meat for my tastes, plus you're left with a ring of unrendered fat, and that's just nasty.

                                                Lester's trims the fat cap roughly to my specs, which goes a long way, plus it's smoked neither too long (where it falls apart and turns mushy like oversmoked ribs) nor too short, and crucially, they cut the slices nor more than about a half-inch thick, which again is as it should be. So basically, I like Lester's the best because it's closest to the way I smoke brisket, and it means I don't have to stay up all night tending the smoker.

                                                (Yes, but unlike some of their other songs -- the thematically-similar "Ping-Pong," for example -- it's never been a particularly lyrics-driven song for me. It's more about that extended breakdown-and-rebuild in the 18-minute LP version and the "ooooooooooooooooo..." chorus.)

                                                1. re: Jenny Ondioline
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                                                  bizkat RE: Jenny Ondioline Apr 22, 2012 02:51 PM

                                                  Jenny,
                                                  Slightly OT but where do you buy the brisket you smoke? I've had the best luck with an untrimmed cryovac from Costco. You need to ask for it.

                                                  1. re: bizkat
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                                                    Jenny Ondioline RE: bizkat Apr 22, 2012 06:05 PM

                                                    BJs often overtrims their brisket, but you can find good ones there.

                                                    1. re: bizkat
                                                      nsenada RE: bizkat Apr 22, 2012 08:25 PM

                                                      Asked for one a couple days ago at Costco in Dedham, and they were out, so I went to Restaurant Depot in Needham. Got a really nicely marbled one with a fat cap that didn't need a whole lot of trimming. You do have to have a membership, which is not difficult to get (there are some posts related to RD memberships).

                                              2. re: nightsky
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                                                9lives RE: nightsky Apr 22, 2012 10:02 AM

                                                I like the ribs and pulled pork at M&M. I think I recall reading that they wee going to have a truck in downtown 1 or 2 days/week, but I haven't seen it.

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

                                                I haven't been for a while but I used to like the Pit Stop on Mattapan. They've been around a long time, mostly takeout. It was owned by a retired Bostom firefighter who had moved here from SC. I've only had their pork not beef

                                                http://thepitbbq.net/

                                                I've personally found brisket to be far more difficult than pork butt or ribs to smoke properly, or to find it in a restaurant East of the MS River

                                          2. re: hargau
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                                            hargau RE: hargau Jul 12, 2012 10:15 AM

                                            update on this.. We went back to Smoken Joes about 2 months ago and it was horrible! Pulled pork was really dry and gross.. AC was broken. Service stunk!

                                          3. opinionatedchef RE: radwoodhaven Apr 22, 2012 10:41 PM

                                            this might interest you:

                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/845448

                                            12 Replies
                                            1. re: opinionatedchef
                                              Infomaniac RE: opinionatedchef Apr 23, 2012 05:39 AM

                                              Here is a Red Eyed Pig post with some more info.
                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/822767

                                              1. re: Infomaniac
                                                opinionatedchef RE: Infomaniac Apr 24, 2012 12:17 AM

                                                thnx, info; v thoughtful of you.

                                              2. re: opinionatedchef
                                                opinionatedchef RE: opinionatedchef Jul 7, 2012 07:41 PM

                                                i just finished reading about Blackstrap in Winthrop and other bbq threads. Just fyi, my thread, linked above, is my review of Red Eyed Pig in W Roxbury. We have not had the bbq but i was very impressed with the hushpuppies and the cheesy spinach. Smoked fried chicken i hope they discontinue some day; seems like an idea that failed> dry dry dry. Now I gotta try Blackstrap. I can't figure out- are people not mentioning East Coast Grill because it's been around so long? And what about Andy HUsbands/'BBQ contest king' and his Tremont 647 bbq-same thing as ECG- i.e. too old news? Just curious..........

                                                1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                  jgg13 RE: opinionatedchef Jul 7, 2012 07:49 PM

                                                  People aren't mentioning ECG because it isn't very good BBQ ....

                                                  1. re: jgg13
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                                                    FoodDabbler RE: jgg13 Jul 7, 2012 08:37 PM

                                                    But it has A LOT of unusual non-vegetarian options, pulled pork included.

                                                    1. re: FoodDabbler
                                                      Infomaniac RE: FoodDabbler Jul 8, 2012 03:17 AM

                                                      hehehe.....I'm not a big fan of ECG's bbq, but I've had some really good grilled seafood there over the years, and I really like the way they do their chicken livers.

                                                      1. re: FoodDabbler
                                                        jgg13 RE: FoodDabbler Jul 8, 2012 07:00 AM

                                                        Don't get me wrong, I like ECG. I just wouldn't ever list it if someone was seeking a BBQ joint.

                                                        1. re: jgg13
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                                                          FoodDabbler RE: jgg13 Jul 8, 2012 08:32 AM

                                                          I agree with both you and Infomaniac. I'm a fan of most of what they offer.

                                                      2. re: jgg13
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                                                        Madrid RE: jgg13 Jul 8, 2012 07:04 AM

                                                        I'm from NC and I think their pulled pork is good. I wish they had it on the brunch menu but it is now available at their newish Sat. lunch.

                                                      3. re: opinionatedchef
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                                                        lergnom RE: opinionatedchef Jul 8, 2012 01:57 PM

                                                        I am very mixed on Blackstrap. They clearly care about their food. It is well crafted. But it is very sweet. Their sauces are sweet. Their entire conception of food is sweet. I don't much care for sweet.

                                                        1. re: lergnom
                                                          opinionatedchef RE: lergnom Jul 8, 2012 06:59 PM

                                                          hmmm, this is very disconcerting. i wonder why the pigblog guy, as detailed as are his reviews, did not mention that. I am also NOT a sweet fan with my proteins. If we go there, your advice will be kept in mind. Looks like we may try this Soulfire place tomorr night- All you can eat wings will give us a chance to sample other things while we're there.
                                                          thx,mon.

                                                          1. re: lergnom
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                                                            Madrid RE: lergnom Jul 9, 2012 11:52 AM

                                                            me either, which is why I do not do not do not like and returned the Andy Husband's BBQ cookbook. like most southerners, I don't like sweet in my barbecue, my cole slaw, or my cornbread. Unlike most southerners, I don't like sweet much elsewhere either except in uncooked fruit!

                                                      4. c
                                                        cambridgedoctpr RE: radwoodhaven Apr 30, 2012 08:11 AM

                                                        thanks to chowhound, i stopped off and got the beef brisket at BT's Smokehouse on my way back from New York; it was a short detour from 84 and it was easy to get back onto I 90. I brought it home and steamed it for a few minutes; the best that i ever tried. The sides were good, too. But for those hoping for a BT's truck; dream on. When i spoke to the waitress about that; she did not think that it was in the works.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: cambridgedoctpr
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                                                          lc02139 RE: cambridgedoctpr Apr 30, 2012 09:01 AM

                                                          I had one of the last PBJ's (porky beans and jowl) orders a little while ago and it was out of this world, Brian is quite the BBQ master. He said he thinks it won't be until fall went it hits his specials board again, make the trip out there for it.
                                                          I guess we will have to settle for the events when he has his new bbq rig in tow.

                                                          1. re: cambridgedoctpr
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                                                            9lives RE: cambridgedoctpr Apr 30, 2012 09:37 AM

                                                            Glad you enjoyed it. That's really some great brisket. Steaming is probably the best way to reheat. I use that method for Katz's pastrami.

                                                            1. re: 9lives
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                                                              cambridgedoctpr RE: 9lives Apr 30, 2012 02:44 PM

                                                              My BT's waitress suggested cooking at 350 for 10 minutes in the oven; I thought that steaming would be best.

                                                          2. L2k RE: radwoodhaven Apr 30, 2012 10:53 AM

                                                            Had lunch at SoulFire on Saturday and WOW.

                                                            At least our 4th or 5th time there, and had a half rack of the Spare Ribs, which I've had before, but never quite like this. I got the most amazing portion I've ever had there -- great ratio of meat to fat, tons of meat on the bone, and the flavor was outstanding. I've loved ribs from BT's to Hill Country to Arthur Bryants, and these were up there with my best of all time. Even took 3 ribs home, heated in the toaster over for 15 minutes at 300 and still outstanding the next day.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: L2k
                                                              L2k RE: L2k May 7, 2012 09:28 AM

                                                              I'm having a great week!

                                                              Stopped at BT's yesterday for dinner. Cup of pulled pork and "one bone" (spare rib) and some Mac & Cheese

                                                              There was one bone there, but so much extra meat that I couldn't finish the pulled pork (supper tonight, along with some smoked turkey). And it was even better than the ribs I had last weekend at SoulFire. Un-frickin-believeable.

                                                            2. m
                                                              Madrid RE: radwoodhaven May 26, 2012 02:17 PM

                                                              Just had lunch at the new Sat. lunch opening at East Coast Grill. Had the north carolina pulled pork sandwich for the first time in years. As a native North Carolinian, I loved it. Huge amount for the price $9.50, with two small sides. I couldn't finish it so brought it home.

                                                              1. k
                                                                kimfair1 RE: radwoodhaven Jul 6, 2012 03:06 PM

                                                                Was out at a postcard show in Brimfield today, and had to pull a quick right turn to double back and get some BT's on the way back. The wife didn't want to stop, she wasn't really hungry, but no way was I going to pass up the opportunity. She had the "mini" brisket sandwich ($3.50) which easily had 4-6 oz of brisket on it. She got a side of bbq beans. She also ate one of my ribs. I had the brisket and pork spare rib combo with collards and black eyed peas. The meat was incredible, great smokiness on the brisket with really moist meat. the rack of ribs were the best ribs I have had since my last trip to St Louis, and had a ton of extra meat on the ends to rip through. The bark on both the brisket and ribs was sublime. All the sides were uniformly good. I hope they get a Boston based truck, cause this is the real deal. If not, I will drive there to get it. It's that good. Outside of the place in St Louis, and a couple other places down south, it's the best barbeque I've eaten. I was sniffing my smoky fingers all the way down the highway!

                                                                10 Replies
                                                                1. re: kimfair1
                                                                  opinionatedchef RE: kimfair1 Jul 7, 2012 03:17 AM

                                                                  did yall happen to see the Globe G section piece this past Wed. about Hungry Mother's 'Back Door BBQ' ?Take out Pulled pork sandwiches Thurs and Fri. 11:30-1:30 or when they sell out.Sounded right up a Chowpig's alley.
                                                                  http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

                                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                    jgg13 RE: opinionatedchef Jul 7, 2012 06:14 AM

                                                                    I've only managed to get over there once (despite my statement that I'd be going there every Th and Fri!). It's a neat little setup they have there. It has been a while now but I remember liking it but not as much as I thought I would. I think a lot of it wasn't their fault though, my coworkers insisted on eating on benches and of course mine started to fall apart immediately so I was a bit irritated :)

                                                                    It was definitely on the sour side (good thing, IMO), light smoke to it IIRC. I'd have to have another one to test my theory that it wasn't the food that bugged me but I think it might have been the slaw that I wasn't completely digging.

                                                                    Still, when you consider that $9-10 gets you far crappier lunches in that area, I wish I had lived up to my original plan of going there 2x/week

                                                                    1. re: jgg13
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                                                                      Madrid RE: jgg13 Jul 7, 2012 02:11 PM

                                                                      ok I'm going to have to try this. I like the sour side big time, being from NC and preferring eastern style, maybe ask for the slaw on the side. I also like picking at it with the bun pieces on the side, but that's my possibly unique opinion.

                                                                      1. re: Madrid
                                                                        jgg13 RE: Madrid Jul 7, 2012 07:50 PM

                                                                        Yeah, when I think of carolina pulled pork I obv think of the vinegar and that was definitely dominant. I just don't recall it being *great*, but like I said there were extenuating circumstances. And really, at that price point and in that area it doesn't have to be *great* anyways.

                                                                    2. re: opinionatedchef
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                                                                      Madrid RE: opinionatedchef Jul 7, 2012 06:30 AM

                                                                      If anybody's tried the Hungry Mother take out pulled pork, please report...

                                                                    3. re: kimfair1
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                                                                      teezeetoo RE: kimfair1 Jul 7, 2012 05:22 AM

                                                                      they moved my BT post to the south of boston board, but frankly I just don't bother with Boston barbecue -rather drive to sturbridge and have the real deal.

                                                                      1. re: teezeetoo
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                                                                        CookieLee RE: teezeetoo Jul 8, 2012 05:50 PM

                                                                        +1 all the way!

                                                                      2. re: kimfair1
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                                                                        hyde RE: kimfair1 Jul 7, 2012 01:48 PM

                                                                        @kimfair1 ..good thing she wasnt hungry!

                                                                        1. re: hyde
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                                                                          kimfair1 RE: hyde Jul 10, 2012 01:37 PM

                                                                          No kidding! First she asked for a piece of rib, then kept asking for another piece until I broke one off and gave it to her (yes the one she'd eaten half of already!). Even she said it would be worth the drive out to Sturbridge to get this BBQ.

                                                                        2. re: kimfair1
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                                                                          cambridgedoctpr RE: kimfair1 Jul 10, 2012 11:47 AM

                                                                          i asked about the truck; the waitress looked at me as if I had two heads. This is not going to happen any time soon. Sorry.

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                                                                          LStaff RE: radwoodhaven Jul 7, 2012 09:41 AM

                                                                          Pigtrip.org just released his Boston area (inside 495) bbq rankings.

                                                                          http://www.pigtrip.net/rankings-Bosto...

                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                          1. re: LStaff
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                                                                            rlee21 RE: LStaff Jul 7, 2012 01:41 PM

                                                                            This ranking is more or less matches my experiences. Second the ribs at Soulfire and the pork belly and brisket at Sweet Cheeks.

                                                                            1. re: rlee21
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                                                                              hyde RE: rlee21 Jul 7, 2012 02:18 PM

                                                                              i like blackstrap more than this and think sweet cheeks is grossly overpriced, otherwise pretty fair listings.

                                                                              1. re: rlee21
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                                                                                Jenny Ondioline RE: rlee21 Jul 7, 2012 02:42 PM

                                                                                Even though he ranks SoulFire at #1, he exactly nails the problem there: gross inconsistency. Even the best item there (the pulled pork) can be adequate-at-best if you hit them on the wrong night, and I've never been able to figure out how to improve my chances of making sure I get decent food. (Other than never ordering the brisket again, but I've banged that drum more than enough times here.)

                                                                                1. re: Jenny Ondioline
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                                                                                  FoodDabbler RE: Jenny Ondioline Jul 7, 2012 02:49 PM

                                                                                  Is there anything there, even if it's never their best item, that's less inconsistent (other than the brisket, which you seem to suggest is consistently not good)?

                                                                                  1. re: FoodDabbler
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                                                                                    Jenny Ondioline RE: FoodDabbler Jul 7, 2012 03:06 PM

                                                                                    Probably the pulled pork. The ribs can be even more wildly inconsistent than the pulled. I've never had any of the chicken things, though, so I can't speak to those.

                                                                                    1. re: Jenny Ondioline
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                                                                                      hyde RE: Jenny Ondioline Jul 7, 2012 06:26 PM

                                                                                      full disclosure would indicate that i nearly always go for the chicken at blackstrap and their wednesday special of 4lbs. of chicken cut into 8 pieces, 2lbs. of mashed potatoes, garden salad, 4 biscuits + gravy on the side for 20usd before 6p is an astounding deal.

                                                                                      1. re: hyde
                                                                                        opinionatedchef RE: hyde Jul 7, 2012 07:09 PM

                                                                                        WOW! that IS something. now i'm interested. and you did say that magic word- biscuits- yes? are the biscuits just O.K. or really tender and wonderful? and what is their fried chicken like?Thx!

                                                                                        http://blackstrapbbq.com/

                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/825951

                                                                                        http://www.pigtrip.net/review-Blackst...

                                                                                        1. re: hyde
                                                                                          opinionatedchef RE: hyde Jul 7, 2012 10:01 PM

                                                                                          btw, hyde et al- i've never explored winthrop; are there any nice park-with-trees-and-benches(bbq-eating benches, that is!) with ocean views(not of the airport) that anyone knows of? thx.

                                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                            L2k RE: opinionatedchef Jul 9, 2012 11:36 AM

                                                                                            Go back to 145 and take a left, and keep towards your right, and you'll hit a lengthy beach, and, eventually, the "Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant", which isn't nearly as nasty as it sounds. And it has amazing ocean views and usually (but not yesterday) cooling breezes on the hottest days.

                                                                                            Truly you need to print out a map as some of the turns are confusing as described, but it isn't 10 minutes from Blackstrap to the beach and well worth the trip.

                                                                              2. opinionatedchef RE: radwoodhaven Jul 10, 2012 01:43 AM

                                                                                finally made it to Soulfire tonight:

                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/857942

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: opinionatedchef
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                                                                                  nightsky RE: opinionatedchef Jul 12, 2012 06:03 AM

                                                                                  Anyone tried the new Soulfire in Mission Hill? Just opened a few days ago.

                                                                                  1. re: nightsky
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                                                                                    rlee21 RE: nightsky Jul 18, 2012 07:46 PM

                                                                                    I grab some ribs there a couple days ago as its on my walk home. From the look of it, the Brigham Circle location is simply designed to reheat food made elsewhere. The ribs I got were not quite as good as what I've had at Allston: not enough smoke with only the faintest of smoke rings. I have had more consistency at the other location for ribs, so I'll give it another chance soon and hope it was just a one off.

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                                                                                  nightsky RE: radwoodhaven Jul 13, 2012 08:10 PM

                                                                                  Finally got to try BT's in Sturbridge. Thank you chowhound. It totally lived up to the hype. Only disappointment was no burnt ends, but I guess they don't always have them so that's forgiveable.

                                                                                  1. Boston Strangler RE: radwoodhaven Jul 17, 2012 11:03 AM

                                                                                    All Boston area BBQ that I've had over the years can be summed up as inconsistent at best.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Boston Strangler
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                                                                                      cambridgedoctpr RE: Boston Strangler Jul 17, 2012 12:46 PM

                                                                                      including BTs? If you have not had it; the food has always been 1st rate; i will be back this sunday.

                                                                                      But best to call ahead of time; there can be a long wait.

                                                                                      1. re: cambridgedoctpr
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                                                                                        FoodDabbler RE: cambridgedoctpr Jul 17, 2012 03:59 PM

                                                                                        Do you call to order food so you can skip the line, pay, and get your food on arrival, or do you call to ask if there is a wait?

                                                                                        1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                                                                                          jgg13 RE: cambridgedoctpr Jul 17, 2012 04:04 PM

                                                                                          BTs is in western mass, not "boston area", so your comment doesn't have much to do with Boston Strangler's post.

                                                                                          1. re: cambridgedoctpr
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                                                                                            Gabatta RE: cambridgedoctpr Jul 17, 2012 04:22 PM

                                                                                            For frame of reference, "has always been 1st rate" refers to the less than 3 months since your first visit described in this thread?

                                                                                            I've never waited more than 10 minutes for my food at BTs, though I tend to be by there on weekday evenings, not weekends.

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