Archive - July 2011
Boston BBQ: Redbones Named "Best Of Boston" by Boston Magazine
Boston Magazine's annual "Best Of" issue is available on stands now. The list is partying like it's 1999, at least for the categories I'm most interested in: the best in barbecue honors went to Redbones (Somerville MA) and the best burger was Bristol Lounge (Boston). These are institutions that would have been obvious choices 20 years ago or even 10 years ago. To be named now is a little surprising, but why not? The Redbones win ends a two year streak for M&M Ribs, which ended a three year run for Blue Ribbon (which was named as this year's only regional barbecue representative in the West section).
Boston Burgers: Five Napkin Burger Reviewed
It's been two months and thirteen barbecue joint reviews since I posted a burger review, so it's time for a little diversion. Hitting the gym would be a diversion too, but instead I'll just post my thoughts on Five Napkin Burger (Boston MA), the Prudential center burger palace that's captured the curiosity of ground meat enthusiasts regardless of their preferred size, style and price point.
See my review of the Five Napkin Burger
Rhode Island BBQ: Dancing Pig Reviewed
The site's 221st barbecue review is posted for Dancing Pig (Cumberland RI), "a BBQ-influenced, American comfort food restaurant" with a split personality. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or link to reviews using the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Dancing Pig
Connecticut BBQ: RW's BBQ Reviewed
The site's 220th barbecue review is posted for RW's BBQ (Brookfield CT), a distant barbecue oasis that has picnic tables overlooking a koi pond, a 21-hole miniature golf course and an ice cream stand. Those other features are nice, but at this find it's the 'cue itself that's the main attraction. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or link to reviews using the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of RW's BBQ
Connecticut BBQ: Pit Stop BBQ Reviewed
The site's 219th barbecue review is posted for Pit Stop BBQ (New Britain CT), a tiny sandwich shop that's not quite the barbecue joint its name might imply. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or link to reviews using the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Pit Stop Barbecue
Maine BBQ: Mainely Barbecue Reviewed
The site's 218th barbecue review is posted for Mainely Barbecue (Kittery ME), an over-the-counter joint about a mile north of the outlets. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or link to reviews using the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Mainely Barbecue
Joints Directory Madness
Here's the latest batch of barbecue Joints directory activity, spanning four states. This time there are seven new joints, two expansions, four closings, two website changes and a move.
NEW JOINTS and/or NEW TO THE DIRECTORY
Mexicue (NYC) also makes its official opening today after a soft opening earlier this week. The BBQ truck that fuses Mexican and barbecue flavors now has a bricks and mortar location. Thanks to Robert for the lead. www.mexicueny.com
BBQSmith (Boston MA) is a barbecue truck that's been operating on weekdays since mid-June on the Greenway just outside the Chinatown gate. Weekend locations are still a little sketchy. www.bbqsmith.com
Kit Kat's Smoked BBQ (Carolina RI) is a cart that operates Thursday to Sunday until the meat runbs out.There's just four meats, four sides and cornbread, and that's just fine by me. Check out the website to see a great shot of the ribs. www.kitkatsbbq.webs.com
Johnny's Smokehouse (Pearl River NY) marks the return of New Jersey's dave "Fink" Finkelstein (Fink's Funky, then Bailey's Smokehouse) to the world of restaurant barbecue. Facebook
Scratch Kitchen (Salem MA) is a sandwich joint that just happens to have smoked brisket and pulled pork. There are no ribs, but the diverse menu does include smoked wings. Another item that intrigued me enough to try it last night is the "soon to be famous" burger made with carefully sourced components. www.scratchkitchensalem.com
Wagon Train BBQ (Schenectady NY) has a burger that's already famous, probably even more so than the 'cue. It's the Graveyard Burger, a five pound affair featuring a beef patty, pork, brisket and mac and cheese on a custom baked bun. Thanks to Sledneck for the lead. www.wagontrainbbq.webs.com
Canz (Patchogue NY) opened their third and easternmost location a few weeks ago. This Hooters knock-off has a less squeaky clean vibe and better food (how could they not?) that includes ribs and pulled pork, but the thing you gotta get is the wings. www.canzaciti.com
RUB Bourbon and Barbecue (North Adams MA) opened in the Berkshires last spring with a menu that covers the barbecue basics, represents several regions with their barbecue sauces and features a wide variety of bourbons. The tag line "Cheerfully slow roasting for captured customers since 2011" has me a little concerned, but hopefully there's a smoker in there somewhere. www.rubbourbonandbbq.com
Silk Road BBQ (Boston MA) is now listed in the Boston section instead of the burbs (they started in suburban Belmont). www.silkroadbbq.com
Memphis Smoke House BBQ (Saratoga Springs NY) now has a new website: www.memphis-smokehouse.com. Thanks to owner Ed for the info.
Canz (Astoria Queens and 2 Long Island locations) also has a new website: www.canzaciti.com
New Hampshire BBQ: Porky's and Petunia's Reviewed
The site's 217th barbecue review is posted for Porky's and Petunia's (Derry NH), a seasonal ice cream and barbecue joint with picnic tables galore. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or link to reviews using the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Porky's and Petunia's
Massachusetts BBQ: Pot Belly Jim's Reviewed
The site's 216th barbecue review is posted for Pot Belly Jim's BBQ (Norton MA), a stripmall pub with a barbecue menu. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or link to reviews using the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Pot Belly Jim's BBQ
Boston BBQ: Improper Bostonian Picks Formaggio Kitchen for Best Boston BBQ
Improper Bostonian's annual "Boston's Best" issue is now available in their street corner distribution boxes throughout the Hub, and their pick for best barbecue is a surprising one: Formaggio Kitchen (Cambridge MA). This is a cheese shop that does barbecue on Saturdays only, seasonally only. It's long been on my hit list, but in such a short season one thing or another has taken precedence.
And so goes another "best of" selection—by an assembled panel of "well-informed judges from all walks of life and every conceivable area of expertise." And gone is the chance that M&M Ribs (Dorchester MA) would 3-peat, or Blue Ribbon (W. Newton and Arlington MA) would make a comeback or SoulFire (Allston MA) or Blackstrap BBQ (Winthrop MA) would make a first appearance.
Formaggio Kitchen is certainly an interesting choice. SoulFire would probably get my vote, but if I were to guess what the "sexy out-of-the-box pick" would be, I'd go with Silk Road BBQ (Boston and vicinity), a food truck worthy of all the buzz.
There's always next year.
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