PigTrip is Nine Years Old Today
Today PigTrip turns nine. As intended, the content got sparser over the past year, with 20 new barbecue reviews and 10 new burger reviews, down from 28 and 14 the year before. The 10 review updates—much more difficult than a new review—were a nice increase from the previous year. Oh, and if you follow along on Facebook or Twitter, you saw a donut review last week.
The tenth and final year of PigTrip starts now.
Boston 'Burbs BBQ: Rock 'n' Roll Rib Joint Reviewed
The site's 335th barbecue review is for Rock 'n' Roll Rib Joint (Medfield MA), a newcomer with a musical theme. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Rock 'n' Roll Rib Joint
Boston BBQ: SoulFire Re-reviewed
Here's a fresh look at SoulFire (Allston MA), a 9 year old Boston joint with a devoted following. The 80+ photos are a roller coaster ride of barbecue there from 2010 to the present. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review update for SoulFire
Boston BBQ: Larry J's BBQ Cafe Reviewed
The site's 334th barbecue review is for Larry J's BBQ Cafe (Boston MA), that rare Seaport eatery that's not a big time chain. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Larry J's BBQ Cafe
Connecticut Burgers: Mama's Boy Reviewed
The last installment of the Fourth of July burger trilogy is my burger review of Mama's Boy Southern Table and Refuge (South Norwalk CT), a restaurant with a Southern farmhouse pretense.
See my review of Mama's Boy Southern Table and Refuge
Joints Directory Madness
Here's the latest batch of barbecue Joints directory activity, spanning four states. This time there are 18 new joints (or new to the site) and 12 closings.
NEW JOINTS and/or NEW TO THE DIRECTORY
Blujeen (NYC) is a Harlem comfort food restaurant "inspired by the generations of home cooks, 'the ladies' who understood the importance of maintaining tradition while growing from your roots." Chef Lance Knowling's ambitious meny combines southern, soul and barbecue; according to a recent New York Daily News piece, there's a smoker behind the Kansas City ribs. Thanks to Chuck for the lead. www.blujeennyc.com
Pig Beach (Brooklyn NY) is an outdoor, weather-permitting, multi-cheffed Gowanus barbecue popup ajacent to a "pungent canal," according to one published piece. The unusual menu includes ribs, Wagyu beef pastrami, Yankee red hot links, pork shoulder, turkey breast and tri tip, with burgers and dogs for the less barbecue inclined. Thanks to Chuck, Robbie and "TF" for separate leads. www.pigbeachnyc.com
The Shop (Brooklyn NY) is a barbecue and entertainment complex in Bushwick that recently opened after a 2-year delay. The compact menu features ribs, beef shoulder, chicken drumsticks, two kinds of sausage and all-vegetarian sides. www.theshopbrooklyn.com
Terlingua (Portland ME) calls itself "a boutique BBQ restaurant combining house-smoked meats with Latin American fare." The interesting menu has two kinds of smoked meat chili, smoked beef tongue and cheek tacos, pork belly chicharrones, a cold smoked fish dip, several vegetarian options, a daily ceviche and daily barbecue specials. Thanks to Bill for alerting me to this several months back. Scroll down a few posts for my "First Look" review. www.terlingua.me
Moe's Original Bar-B-Que (South Portland ME) is a chain (I know, I know) serving Alabama style barbecue. As mentioned in my recent review, they serve some surprisingly good brisket. Thanks to Brian for the lead.Scroll down a few posts for my recent review.
Hog Wild Smokin' Cue (Westbrook CT) is a beachside joint with a Myron Mixon smoker. Thanks to "TF" for the lead. www.hogwildsmokingcue
Beachland Tavern (West Hartford CT) is a watering hole with smoked items such as wings, smoked-then-fried ribs, burnt ends and brisket. Thanks to Jeff, who recommends the wings and brisket highly, for the lead. www.beachlandtavern.com
Smoke Not Just BBQ (Manchester CT) is a new barbecue operation that's the third to go into the same space vacated by Rockhouse BBQ and Hilltop BBQ Downtown. While the first of the three leaned toward the down 'n' doity, this one seems more hoity toity. Burnt ends, smoked wings and candied bacon will all receive a try when I hit it soon. Thanks to Michelle for the lead. www.smokenotjustbbq.com
Local Burgy (Williamsburg MA) is an expansion of the popular Local Burger in a trailer setup that offers burgers and barbecue. Thanks to both Mark and Bill for separate leads. Facebook
2 Jerks BBQ (Raynham MA) is month-old joint serviong the standards plus house made sausage, house smoked candied bacon, fried chicken and a few different seafood dishes. Thanks to Mark and Brian for separate leads. Facebook
Rock 'n' Roll Rib Joint (Medfield MA) is another month-old joint with a compact barbecue menu and live entertainment. Thanks to Emily for the lead. www.rockandrollribjoint.com
American Glory (Tannersville NY) is an expansion of the original in Hudson NY. www.americanglory.com
Smoky Rock BBQ (Rhinebeck NY) is a new Hudson Valley BBQ addition with an unusual menu featuring cured meats, smoked meats, many vegetarian items, pork rinds with BBQ sauce, pastrami, turkey, tongue, wet and dry ribs, beef burgers, lamb burgers and much more. Thanks to "TF" for the lead. www.smokyrockbbq.com
Grandpa Val's BBQ (Queens NY) is a catering outfit that'll be a regular vendor at the all new Smorgasburg Queens, which kicks off tomorrow. Facebook
Redneck Bistro (Lake Placid NY) is a no-bells-and-whistles joint in upstate NY featuring burgers, dogs, ribs, chicken, brisket and pulled pork. Thanks to Joe for the lead. Facebook
Smoke Signals (Lake Placid NY) is perhaps the most modern of that area's stable of barbecue joints. There's live musical entertainment and an ambitious menu that beyond the barbecue basics has burnt ends, tandoori salmon, a brisket Reuben and vegetarian dishes galore. Thanks again to Joe for the lead. www.smokesignalsq.com
Tail o' the Pup (Ray Brook NY) is a fleet of tent-covered outdoor picnic tables that's been around since the Yankees were at their greatest. No, not Jeter's Yankees; I'm talking about The Babe. Though the name stems from its hot dog roots, the menu includes wood smoked barbecue. Thanks again to Joe for the lead. www.tailofthepupbbq.com
Wyatt's BBQ (Lake Placid NY) is where "Tex meets Mex" and where barbecue (smoked pork, brisket and chicken; no ribs) make their way into burritos and such. Thanks again to Joe for the lead. www.wyattsburrito.com
Antonina's Kitchen (Orange MA) has closed. Thanks to Mark for the info.
Port Royal Grille (Islip NY) has closed. Thanks to Sledneck for the info.
Cody's BBQ (Riverhead NY) is another Long Island BBQ joint to bite the proverbial dust. Thanks again to Sledneck for the info.
Memphis Hustle (Coxsackie NY) has closed.
Route 22 Restaurant (Armonk NY) has closed.
Pig Out BBQ (Schenectady NY) has probably closed.
Minny Vinny's (Redding CT or Georgetown CT) no longer exists. It was the predecessor of Wire Mill BBQ that I announced over a year ago.
Q Smokin' Good Food (Springfield MA) has closed, as announced on its Facebook page.
Bobby Spur's BBQ (Wallingford CT) has closed.
Twins Barbecue (Wappingers Falls NY) has closed. That's two closed barbecue operations in the same space within a 2-year span.
Bubba Bean BBQ (Hudson NY) has closed. Thanks to Sledneck for the info.
Jenny's BBQ (Stanfordville NY) is no more. Thanks to "TF" for the lead.
Boston Burgers: Townsman Reviewed
One more burger review before switching back to barbecue, this one by chef Matt Jennings at the recently opened Townsman (Boston MA) on the Rose Kennedy Greenway near Chinatown.
See my review of Townsman
Boston Burgers: Blue Dragon Reviewed
Time for another burger review, this one an East-West creation by telegenic chef Ming Tsai at his Asian gastropub Blue Dragon in Fort Point Channel.
See my review of Blue Dragon
Maine BBQ: First Look at Terlingua
A full fledged review with a deeper look at the menu will follow, but for now here's a first look at Terlingua (Portland ME), a two-week old Latin-barbecue mashup where I tried four dishes. Here's my report.
See my First Look at Terlingua
Brooklyn BBQ: Northern Bell Reviewed
Back to back reviews? Believe it. The site's 333rd barbecue review is for Northern Bell (Brooklyn NY), a lesser known Williamsburg joint on the opposite side of the BQE from the more familiar ones. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Northern Bell
Maine BBQ: Moe's Original Reviewed
The site's 332nd barbecue review is for Moe's Original Bar-B-Que (South Portland ME), a Colorado-based chain serving Alabama style barbecue. I don't want to get into the habit of listing and reviewing chains, but this one has only two outposts in the Northeast (the other is Bangor), so consider this a rare exception. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Moe's Original Bar-B-Que
Maine BBQ: Elsmere BBQ Reviewed
The site's 331st barbecue review is for Elsmere BBQ & Wood Grill (South Portland ME), a two year old joint with a neighborhood feel. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Elsmere BBQ & Wood Grill
Boston BBQ: My Top 8 "Boston" BBQ Joints
A few weeks ago, Phantom Gourmet announced its annual Great 8 for barbecue; last week Eater Boston posted their list of the 8 Boston barbecue joints to try. So, even though I'm still working on an updated Boston rankings list in which I slot a few dozen joints into tiers, I'll halt that research to quickly submit an unranked Top 8 for comparison with those other lists.
Like my counterparts, I'm stretching the definition of "Boston" to include anything within an hour's drive of Boston proper.
See my Top 8 Barbecue Joints within an hour of Boston
Boston BBQ Events: New England Country Market and Smokehouse Reviewed
Most of you are still planning this weekend's eats, but it's never too early to start thinking about maximizing the summer enjoyment by combining barbecue with local brewers, live music and a great view. For Boston barbecue fans, that's possible at the Riverside BBQ Series, a four-part event presenting barbecue by non-barbecue restaurants at the Harry Parker Boathouse (Brighton MA) overlooking the Charles River. Participants include West Bridge, The Sinclair, Brass Union, Tavern Road, Puritan & Company and more.
DISCOUNT: PigTrip readers can get a $5 discount to the first two sessions by using the promo code "sweetcorn".
Massachusetts BBQ: New England Country Market and Smokehouse Reviewed
The site's 330th review is for New England Country Market & Smokehouse (Haverhill MA), a north-of-Boston upstart that's an offshoot of Boston Chowda. A Groupon ad alerted me to their existence and (along with butter and a crowbar) got me in the door. But will their food get me back? Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of New England Country Market & Smokehouse
Reading: Four Northeast BBQ Joints Make One Author's Top 100
I received a complimentary copy of "The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America," by Johnny Fugitt, a freelance writer from Missouri who in 365 days visited 365 barbecue joints in 48 states. The top 27% of the restaurants he visited fall into a ranked Top 25 and an unranked additional 75 arranged by region. I like that there's some ballsiness to the selections—not every barbecue icon ranked as highly as you'd think—and that he similarly did not feel compelled to neatly include a joint from each state for balance. It starts with barbecue background, rants, theories and storytelling—which I found more compelling than the restaurant listings—and ends with an awards section crowning a handful of restaurants with individual awards.
Barbecue restaurants from the Northeast included:
- Hometown BBQ, Brooklyn NY (#2 overall)
- BT's Smokehouse, Sturbridge MA (#20 overall)
- Blackstrap BBQ, Winthrop MA
- Hill Country, Washington DC (and also NYC)
- Salvage BBQ, Portland ME
“I was unsatisfied with the Top 10 lists that recycle the same historic or well-marketed restaurants,” said Fugitt, “so I loaded up the car and drove over 31,000 miles in search of America’s best barbecue. I found some hidden gems along the way and left off a few famous names because they no longer make barbecue that lives up to their reputations. I even saw one of the most historic restaurants in America microwaving ribs before service.”
Fugitt's favorite? It's in Austin, but not the one you'd guess (though that one made the top 10). “My favorite barbecue joint in America is a little mom-and-pop trailer in Austin, Texas, called Kerlin BBQ,” said Fugitt. “After sampling hundreds of ribs, briskets, pork sandwiches, sauces and sides, Kerlin stood out as my favorite.” Restaurants from Kansas City, Memphis, North Carolina, Arkansas, New York, Florida and two more from Texas also made the Top 10.
Available for purchase on Amazon:
Worcester Burgers: The Fix Reviewed
I not only should have reviewed them by May for National Burger Month, I should have reviewed them last year for burger month. But sometimes it takes a while to render a verdict. With verdict in hand, my review for The Fix (Worcester MA) is in.
See my review of The Fix
Joints Directory Madness
Here's the latest batch of barbecue Joints directory activity, spanning seven states. This time there are six new joints (or new to the site), one seasonal expansion, six closings, one move, one temporary move and one that's still serving beer but no longer serving food.
NEW JOINTS and/or NEW TO THE DIRECTORY
HooDoo Brown BBQ (Ridgefield CT) is a recently-opened barbecue joint that marks the Connecticut debut of longtime NYC pitmaster Nestor Laracuente, most recently of Hometown BBQ. The diverse menu features the usual suspects (though the chicken is called crispy smoked chicken) plus beef shortribs, smoked wings, smoked turkey, burnt ends, rib tips, pork belly and two kinds of sausage. www.hoodoobrownbbq.com
Two Southern Sissies BBQ (Provincetown MA) is a new barbecue joint that oddly has ribs in the photo but not on their May menu. Thanks to Steven for the lead. Facebook
One Block East (Wantagh NY) is a "new" Long Island barbecue joint The pitmaster is Brian Chichester, formerly of South Shore BBQ Company, Fletcher's and RUB. Thanks to Sledneck for the lead. www.oneblockeastli.com
Billy Hill's Roadhouse (Richmond RI) is a new joint in southwestern Rhode Island (do I hear "crawl"?) that's very close to Black Sheep BBQ and somewhat close to a few just over the Connecticut border. The barbecue menu sticks to the basics but the apps include alligator, smoked wings and enough salads and finger food to feed the less barbecue inclined. Thanks to Alex for the lead. www.billyhillsroadhouse.com
Stickey's BBQ (Hillsdale NJ) is an old school joint that probably should have been in the directory a long time ago. They offer the usual suspects, plus beef ribs, rib tips, sausage and "pitt ham" and "pitt turkey. www.stickeysbbq.com
Taste of Smoke BBQ (Jackson NJ) is a highly regarded joint with beef and pork spare ribs (though the photos are babybacks) and sandwiches available on Kaiser rolls or Texas toast, or as sliders or wraps. www.tasteofsmoke.com
Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue (Brooklyn NY) now has an outpost at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar in Rockaway Park. www.fletchersbkln.com
Randall's BBQ (Brooklyn NY) is no more. It's been a while, but it's not easy to tell with the nomadic operations.
MoJo's BBQ (Kittery ME) is now closed, but the Portsmouth NH location across the bridge is still going strong.
Bobby Q's (Suffern NY) has closed. No, it wasn't because of the succotash.
Yellow Rose BBQ (Willimantic CT) has closed. Its location was sold and the restaurant that replaced it hired the owner/pitmaster. Thanks to Zeke, Michelle and Brad for the info.
Miss Linda's Texas BBQ (Keene NH) has closed to focus on catering. Thanks to Linda (yeah, that Linda) for the info (and for trying to sell me a catering package).
Mara's Too (Wantagh NY), which was replaced by One Block East (see above), has closed. Thanks to Sledneck for the lead.
Witty and Droll (Plymouth NH) has moved out of that town and is now in the parking lot of Moose Scoops Ice Cream (Warren NH). This is supposedly a temporary measure until they can get a new lease and return to Plymouth. Thanks to Jeff for the info. Facebook
Fire 'n' Brew (Wells ME) hasn't closed, but they're now focusing exclusively on the brew and have eliminated the fire. It's a brewery only.
Hot Rod's BBQ (Wharton NJ) has moved down the street.
Massachusetts BBQ: Bub's Re-reviewed
A very quick and simple re-review for Bub's BBQ (Sunderland MA), the five-decades-old joint that's a sentimental favorite among UMass alums. Check out my re-review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of update for Bub's BBQ
Connecticut BBQ: Walrus+Carpenter Reviewed
The site's 329th review is for Walrus + Carpenter (Bridgeport CT), a pork powered gastropub with a barbecue backbone in the Black Rock neighborhood. I'm calling this review "incomplete" for now, because it's only two visits and only four meats, but there's plenty of opportunity for edification down the road. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Walrus + Carpenter
Boston Burbs Burgers: Gibbet Hill Grill Burger Reviewed
Since May is National Burger Month, how about another burger review? This one's another in the outskirts of Boston: Gibbet Hill Grill (Groton MA), where the grounds are spectacular and the beef is raised right on their farm.
See my review of Gibbet Hill Grill
Hartford BBQ: Bear's Smokehouse Reviewed
The site's 328th review is for Bear's Smokehouse (Hartford CT), a multilevel joint with a Kansas City feel in the heart of Connecticut's capital. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Bear's Smokehouse Hartford
Boston Burbs Burgers: Chopps Dry Aged Burger Reviewed
Since May is National Burger Month, may I suggest another burger review? This one's in the same town as the last one but a step up: Chopps American Bar and Grill (Burlington MA), where the beef is dry aged.
See my review of Chopps American Bar and Grill
Boston Burbs Burgers: Del Frisco's Grille Burger Reviewed
May is National Burger Month, so here's the first of a bunch of burger reviews to appear throughout the month. We'll start off slow with a look at the Grille Prime Cheeseburger at Del Frisco's Grille (tried at both Burlington MA and Chestnut Hill MA).
See my review of Del Frisco's Grille
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Recent Eats (click photo to view larger image)
Sausage and babybacks at Pig Beach, Brooklyn NY.
Wings at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Brooklyn NY.
Sausage and pulled pork at Phil's Old Fashioned BBQ, Milford NH.
Ribs at Smokestack Urban Barbecuem Worcester MA.
Ribs at Tony G's BBQ, Belmont MA.
Ribs, brisket and pork at Blue Ribbon, W. Newton MA.
Ribs at Highland BBQ, Northfield MA.
Pulled pork sandwich at Smoky Bro's BBQ, Shelburne MA.
Bacon Buffalo smoked wings at Carnivores All American BBQ, Milford MA.
Ribs at Rock 'n' Roll Rib Joint, Medfield MA.
Smoked wings at Beachland Tavern, West Hartford CT.
Pulled pork and brisket sliders at Smoke Not Just BBQ, Manchester CT.
Brisket at Terlingua, Portland ME.
Sausage, brisket and pork at Buck's Naked, Portland ME.
Brisket at Backroom at Moody's, Waltham MA.
Ribs, pork and brisket at American Glory, Hudson NY.
Pork belly and chicken at HooDoo Brown, Ridgefield CT.
Hawg Wings at Larry J's Barbecue Cafe, Boston MA.
Wings at Bison County, Waltham MA.
Brisket and ribs at Blue Ribbon, W. Newton MA.
Green chili with rib garnish at Terlingua, Portland ME.
Thai wings at Buck's Naked, Portland ME.
Hot Mango wings at Binga's Stadium, Portland ME.
Ribs at Moe's Original Bar-B-Que, South Portland ME.
Ribs at Northern Bell, Brooklyn NY.
Korean sticky ribs at Hometown BBQ, Brooklyn NY.
Lamb ribs at Fletcher's, Brooklyn NY.
Pulled pork sandwich at The Original Smokey Goodness, Barrington NHNH.
Ribs, pork and brisket at Goody Cole's Smokehouse, Brentwood NH.
Ribs, pork and brisket combo at New England Country Market & Smokehouse, Haverhill MA.
Smoked hot dog (new) at Blackstrap BBQ, Winthrop MA.
Babybacks, brisket and pulled pork at SoulFire, Allston MA.
Ribs at Firefly's, Marlborough MA.
Ribs at HooDoo Brown, Ridgefield CT.
Wings at Wire Mill Saloon, Georgetown CT.
Burnt ends sandwich at Blue Ribbon, W. Newton MA.
Brisket and ribs at Sweet Cheeks, Boston MA.
Ribs at Blackstrap BBQ, Winthrop MA.
Wings at Rosebud, Somerville MA.
Ribs at State Park, Cambridge MA.
Pork, brisket and ribs at Elsmere BBQ, S. Portland ME.
Ribs at Salvage BBQ, Portland ME.
Ribs, brisket and pulled pork at Buck's Naked, Portland ME.
Brisket at SoulFire, Allston MA.
Pork belly at Sweet Cheeks, Boston MA.
Pulled pork sandwich at SoulFire, Allston MA.
Ribs at Walrus + Carpenter, Bridgeport CT.
Ribs and brisket at Mighty Quinn's Barbeque, NYC.
Rib tips special at Firefly's, Marlborough MA.
Ribs and burnt ends at Bear's Smokehouse, Hartford CT.
Pork spareribs, beef rib and sausage at Hometown BBQ, Brooklyn NY.
Sausage, pulled pork and turkey at BrisketTown (Delaney Barbecue), Brooklyn NY.
Bacon and pulled pork at Fette Sau, Brooklyn NY.
Spares at SoulFire, Allston MA.
Ribs at Phil's Old Fashioned BBQ, Milford NH.
Got a question or comment about this site? Got a BBQ joint lead?
Please feel free to contact me: GARYatPIGTRIPdotNET