Archive - April 2013
Vermont BBQ: Vermont Maple BBQ Reviewed
PigTrip's 279th barbecue review is for Vermont Maple BBQ (Randolph VT), a Thursday-through-Sunday trailer operation setup at a Mobil station just off I-89 exit 4. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Vermont Maple BBQ
Boston BBQ: Summer Shack Ribs and More Reviewed
This one's not a full fledged barbecue joint, so I'm not going to increment the review count, but now in the books are my thoughts on the ribs and more at Jasper White's Summer Shack (Dedham MA), the joint with the motto "Food is love."
See my review of Jasper White's Summer Shack
Joints Directory Madness
Here's the latest batch of barbecue Joints directory activity, spanning five states. This time there are four new joints, three expansions, four closings (two of which are contractions), one name change, one name correction and two website additions.
NEW JOINTS and/or NEW TO THE DIRECTORY
BBQ Guy Truck (Dover NH) isn't new, but it's new to the directory and kicks off the 2013 season today in the Third Street parking lot. It's lunch-only, operating 10AM to 2PM Thursday through Saturday. Facebook
Tres Carnes (NYC) is a brand new Chelsea "Texican" that offers three meats (chicken, beef, pork) in taco form by pitmaster Mike Rodriguez, formerly of the Salt Lick in Austin. For now I'll think of it as (nearby) Mexicue with a better interior, but I'm hoping it'll turn out to be Mexicue with better 'cue too. www.trescarnes.com
Smokeline (NYC) is the expansion of the Delaney Barbecue empire that already includes BrisketTown (Brooklyn NY). This outpost will feature Central Texas barbecue sandwiches, an "extensive pie program" and a made-to-order soft drink bar. It opens tomorrow. www.delaneybbq.com
Harley's Smokeshack (NYC) now has a Midtown expansion of the East Harlem barbecue joint. www.harleyssmokeshack.org
Canzaciti Roadhouse (Kingston NY) is the first upstate location of the Long Island breastaurant chain that has pulled pork and ribs on the menu. www.canzaciti.com
Route 4 Country Store and Deli (White River Junction VT) is an outdoor smokery near Quechee Gorge. Facebook
Cask 'n Flagon (Boston MA) is the popular Fenway watering hole that's known to anyone who's gone to a Red Sox game, but did you know they just added a pitmaster and a barbecue menu? Thanks to Don for the tip. www.casknflagon.com
Ribworks Outpost (Wappingers Falls NY) has closed after realizing that customers wanted the "full Billy Joe's experience" available at flagship Billy Joe's Ribworks in Newburgh. www.ribworks.com
Chester's BBQ (New London CT) apparently has been closed for some time, effectively moving to their second location that remains in Groton. www.chestersbbq.com
Mainely Barbeque (Kittery ME) has closed.
Gerard Farm (Framingham MA) has closed a second time. Thanks to Ling for the info
Spring Creek Bar-B-Que (Monson ME) now has a website: www.springcreekbar-b-qmaine.com
Maple Tree BBQ (Riverhead NY) is the new name for the Maple Tree Deli, which is now more restaurant and less convenience store. Thanks to Sledneck for the info. www.mapletreebbq.com
Sons of Shephanie's (Norwood MA) is the corrected name (not 'Stephanie's' as I had it) of the tiny Route 1A barbecue and soul joint. Facebook
Johnny's Smokehouse (Pearl River NY) now has a website whose photos, I've just discovered, were all taken by me at their sister restaurant Harley's Smokeshack. www.johnnyssmokehousepr.com
Maine Burgers: Elevation Burger Reviewed
Time for another burger review. Hopefully this isn't a trend, but it's for another chain: Elevation Burger (S. Portland ME). Their motto is "Ingredients matter." Nothing's the matter with that, as long as the flavor and texture matter just as much. Did they?
See my review for Elevation Burger
Maine BBQ: Sista's BBQ Reviewed
PigTrip's 278th barbecue review is for Sista's BBQ (Brunswick ME), the drive-thru barbecue joint with the cow on the roof. Should you drive through or just keep on driving? Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Sista's BBQ
Brooklyn BBQ: BrisketTown Reviewed
The site's 277th review is for BrisketTown (Brooklyn NY), the time warp of a joint in Williamsburg that boasts streamlined hours and a streamlined menu. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of BrisketTown
Massachusetts BBQ: Smokestack Re-reviewed
Time for another barbecue review update, this time for a barbecue joint in New England's second most populous city. Smokestack Urban Barbecue (Worcester MA) is a joint I referred to in my 2010 review as "an otherwise above average restaurant with below average barbecue." How do they stack up now? Check the re-review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my updated review of Smokestack Urban Barbecue
Joints Directory Madness
Here's the latest batch of barbecue Joints directory activity, spanning seven states. This time there are nine new joints, two expansions, one joint back from the dead, just two closings, two name changes, one website addition and one website correction.
NEW JOINTS and/or NEW TO THE DIRECTORY
Cherrywood Kitchen (NYC) is a "rustic" SOHO eatery with an executive chef who's logged time at Jean-Georges and Nobu. The eclectic menu includes caramelized chicken wings, braised bacon soup, smoked asparagus, smoked chicken stuffed with eel and cherrywood smoked ribs with sweet chili glaze. www.cherrywoodkitchen.com
Boondocks Tavern and Country Grill (Weare NH) is an all purpose eatery/drinkery northwest of Manchester and southwest of Concord. Babybacks are listed as "slow smoked" and wings appear to be a focus. Thanks to Joe for the find. www.boondockstavernnh.com
Bobby Q's Pit Stop (Greenwich CT) is a mostly-takeout barbecue and burger joint brought to you by the same ownership as Bobby Q's in Westport and Bar Q in Stamford.
The Chicken Connection (Plaistow NH) is an offshoot of the Harvehill MA original that does an offshoot version of barbecue ribs as a diversion from a menu of mostly chicken. www.thechickenconnection.com
Billy's Southern Style BBQ (based in Bethel CT) is a mobile operation that sets up at farmer's markets and other assorted temporary locations as announced via Facebook. Their concise menu has the usual suspects plus a bacon wrapped pork tenderloin. Thanks to Sledneck for the lead. www.billysq.com
North Country BBQ (Rotterdam NY) is a greater Schenectady barbecue joint that features a beef on weck sandwich in addition to the usual barbecue meats. Thanks again to Sledneck for the lead. Facebook
Towne Tavern (Averill Park NY) is a greater Albany joint with a deep menu featuring barbecue, smoked wings, burgers, a wide variety of sandwiches and seafood. Thanks one more time to Sledneck for the lead. www.thetownetavern.com
Wicked Awesome BBQ (East Thetford VT) is a mobile operation setup at Huggett's Mini Mart on Route 5. Thanks to the owner for contacting me after I'd heard about the operation but was never sure if it was still current. www.wickedawesomebbqco.com
Pig Park BBQ (mobile, Western MA) is a roving operation that's been set up on recent weekends on Route 9 in Ware. http://www.pigparkbbq.com
Cliff's Smokin' Backyard Barbeque (parts unknown) is yet another mobile operation that's been slinging their 'cue lately at the Old Town Tavern in Amherst MA. For changing future locations, check out their Facebook.
Uncle D's Blazin' Q (Norwich CT) is a log cabin trailer with a smoker similar to fellow Connecticut joints Big Country's and Southern Que. I'm excited that their straightforward menu has smoked wings. Facebook.
Alchemy, Texas BBQ (Queens NY) has replaced Ranger Texas BBQ at Legends Bar in Jackson Heights. Taking over the menu is Josh Bowen, who still owns and is still doing duty at John Brown Smokehouse in Long Island City. Facebook
Smokestack Grille (Hampton NH) is the new name for Porkez BBQ. The phone number and website are the same and much of the barbecue menu is still there (beef ribs and brisket have been gutted), so at first glance it seems to be a marketing ploy more than anything else. www.porkezbbq.com
Bayou Smokehouse (Groton CT) is a Cajun style barbecue joint and deli that's recently resurfaced in Connecticut after closing a while back in Westerly RI. Thanks to Sledneck for the lead. Facebook
P+P Soul Food (Brockton MA) now has a website. www.pandpsoulfood.com
Highland BBQ (Northfield MA), which was on track to reopen for the season this week, now has their website properly linked in the directory. www.highlandbbq.com
Brooklyn BBQ: Fletcher's Reviewed
The site's 276th review is for Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue (Brooklyn NY), the over-the-counter joint in Gowanus helmed by ex-RUB pitman Matt Fisher. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue
Boston Burgers: Shake Shack Boston Opens
Today at 11:00AM marks the opening of Shake Shack Boston. Well, technically, Chestnut Hill, but who's going to argue against free parking? For the uninitiated, here's my Shake Shack preview listing my 6 tips for optimizing your first Shake Shack visit, based on dozens of Shake Shack visits in New York and Connecticut.
See my 6 tips for optimizing your first Shake Shack visit
Boston BBQ: Blue Ribbon Arlington Reviewed
The site's 275th review is for Blue Ribbon (Arlington MA). Haven't I already reviewed Blue Ribbon. Yes, but that was ages ago. Blue Ribbon is still very much a goal for an extensive review update, but I thought a good stopgap measure would be to post a "snapshot" review of the Arlington location and save the "big picture" analysis for 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 Blue Ribbon Arlington
Boston Burgers: Bobby's Burger Palace Reviewed
Burger review time again, this time for Bobby's Burger Palace (Burlington MA), the burger joint chain masterminded by Food Network legend Bobby Flay. Can a chain deliver? Check out the review and find out.
See my review of Bobby's Burger Palace
Massachusetts BBQ: Slater's Reviewed
The site's 274th review is for Slater's (Bolton MA), a barbecue and sandwich and pizza shop whose tagline is "It's All Good." Is it all good? Find out in the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Slater's
Boston Burgers: Oak Long Bar Reviewed
Burger review time again, this time for Oak Long Bar & Kitchen (Boston MA). Can their ground shortrib and aged ribeye blend take way the bad taste in my mouth left by the service? Check out the review and find out.
See my review of Oak Long Bar & Kitchen
Joints Directory Madness
Here's the latest batch of barbecue Joints directory activity, spanning four states. This time there are six new joints, five closings, one probable closing and one move.
NEW JOINTS and/or NEW TO THE DIRECTORY
The Creek at Black Rock (Bridgeport CT) is an offshoot of the Ash Creek Saloon mini chain that features "an ecclectic mix" of "American, Western, Southern, Fresh and classic." www.thecreekatblackrock.com
Mini Vinny's (Georgetown CT) is a combination smokehouse/deli that's been receiving mostly raves on Chowhound and Yelp. The pulled pork appears to be the standout and the location appears to be difficult to navigate unless you substite the town of Redding in your GPS. The smoker is a roofed Lang on a trailer. Thanks to Sledneck for the lead.
Breezy's BBQ Truck (Brooklyn NY) is another promising addition to the Williamsburg BBQ scene, though on a part time basis (Thursday through Sunday evenings only) at bar Good Company. Thanks again to Sledneck for the lead. Facebook
Wherehouse (Newburgh NY) is a meatcentric Hudson Valley joint that invites you to "tune in, turn on and drop in" to try their wings, chili, more than 40 different burgers and the basic 4 for barbecue: ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken. Thanks once again to Sledneck for the lead. www.thewherehouserestaurant.com
Elsie's Place (Wallkill NY) is a new Hudson Valley joint offering ribs, pulled pork and brisket cooked over local apple wood in an outdoor smoker. It's named after Borden mascot Elsie the Cow because it created and located its farm in Wallkill. Thanks again to (you guessed it) Sledneck for the lead. www.elsies-place.com
BBQ Restaurant (Milford CT) has once again closed. When people ask why restaurants close, the answer can be one of a hundred different things, many of them not even related to the restaurant's success or failure. But this one seemed like a tweener, especially in its second incarnation. Not really barbecue enough to be a barbecue restaurant, yet the BBQ in its name probably scared off the crowd that might have actually embraced the retro American fare. Thanks to Ed for the info.
Jeff's Cuisine (South Norwalk CT) has closed. I always said I was going to go back for the cornbread, and I did—once.
RUB (NYC) has closed, as mentioned here not too long after finding out. This is a major loss not only to the New York City barbecue scene, but a loss for barbecue in general.
Mama T's (Rutland VT) has closed.
Smokin' Al's BBQ (Bay Shore NY) has closed its Bay Shore flagship that for a decade was synonymous with Long Island barbecue. The Suffolk County sewer department required the restaurant's sewer system be redone; owner Smokin' Al Horowitz decided to shut down and look for larger digs elsewhere in Suffolk Country while continuing to operate in Massapequa Park. Thanks to Sledneck and Guy for the info. www.smokinals.com
Silk Road BBQ (Boston MA) is probably done. It's still winter, but they've operated in winter before. The website, Facebook and phone are all dismantled, so I'm hereby graying them out.
New Hampshire BBQ: The Farm Bar and Grille Reviewed
The site's 273rd review is for The Farm Bar & Grille (Manchester NH), a sister joint to the one with the same name in Essex MA. Did it fullfill the promise suggested (but never reached) by the flagship? . Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of The Farm Bar and Grille
Massachusetts BBQ, Boston BBQ: Joff's Backyard Grill Reviewed
The site's 272nd review is for Joff's Backyard Grill (Bellingham MA), a joint that's more burgers and wings than barbecue. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Joff's Backyard Grill
Boston BBQ: Lester's Re-reviewed
Time for another barbecue review update, this time for the underrated Lester's Roadside BBQ (Burlington MA). Check the re-review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my updated review of Lester's Roadside BBQ
New York BBQ: Ducks Eatery Reviewed
Time for another New York City review, and another of the new breed: Ducks Eatery (NYC) is the site's 271st barbecue review. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Ducks Eatery
Rhode Island BBQ: Ladder 133 Reviewed
The site's 270th barbecue review is a quick one—and probably a bit kinder than it need be—for the underwhelming Ladder 133 (Providence RI). I've been a little tough on Long Island BBQ over the years, but the outlook for greater Providence BBQ is just as bleak these days. 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 Ladder 133
New York BBQ: Mighty Quinn's Reviewed
After not having visited New York for six months, I returned and had a wonderful barbecue lunch at the new Mighty Quinn's Barbeque (NYC), the subject of my 269th barbecue review. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Mighty Quinn's Barbeque
Best. Commercial. Ever.
This is the "director's cut" of the commercial for the Memphis BBQ burger ( topped with BBQ pulled pork) at Carl's Jr and Hardee's. Who wins this burgers-versus-barbecue battle? Watch and find out.
See the burgers-versus-barbecue Carl's Jr commercial on YouTube
Boston Burgers: Met Back Bay Reviewed
I swear to God, I'm not turning into Crusty McGrumpster; I'm just on a bad streak when it comes to Boston area reviews lately, from Farmstead Table to Firebox BBQ to Met Back Bay (Boston MA), the subject of my latest burger review.
See my review of Met Back Bay
Boston BBQ: Firebox BBQ Re-reviewed
Time for another barbecue review update, this time for the 3 year old Firebox BBQ (Bedford MA), a joint that's undergone big changes to their menu and physical space over that time. Have they delivered on their early promise? Check out the answer in the re-review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my updated review of Firebox BBQ
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