Your guide to BBQ joints in Boston, New York and everywhere in between




Recent Features:

Causeway Opening Near

SlowBones opens

Boston BBQ Rankings

NYC BBQ Rankings

Salvage vs Elsmere

Dinosaur Stamford CT

Danielle Niles interview

2013 Wings Rankings

6 Tips for Shake Shack



Recent BBQ Reviews:

Mara's Too Wantagh NY

Lilian's Smokin' Rack Boston MA

Bobbique Patchogue NY (update)

Depot Grille & Bar Pepperell MA

Carnivores Milford MA

G. Lee's Brooklyn NY

Hill Country Brooklyn NY

Wildwood Barbeque Hadley MA

AD's Barbeque Portsmouth NH

Morgan's Brooklyn NY

Smokehouse Tavern Lowell MA

Riverside Barbeque Nashua NH

SlowBones Burlington MA

Coast Cafe Cambridge MA (update)

Memphis Joe's Weymouth MA

Salvage BBQ Portland ME

State Park Cambridge MA

Hometown BBQ Brooklyn NY

Marathon Burgers & Barbeque Hopkinton MA

JW's Burger Bar Scituate MA

Mo Gridder's Bronx NY

Mason Jar NYC

Buck's Naked Portland ME

Taste of Texas Bennington NH

Bear's Windsor CT

4 Points BBQ Winterport ME

Mainely Meat on Main

Ellsworth ME

BBQ Red Wappingers Falls NY

Tres Carnes NYC

Kinfolks Award Winning BBQ Brockton MA

Cask 'n' Flagon Boston MA

P&P Soul Food & BBQ

Brockton MA

BBQ Guy Truck Dover NH

Lonestar Empire Brooklyn NY

Fink's Smokehouse

Dumont NJ

Goody Cole's Smokehouse

Brentwood NH (update)

Phil's Old Fashioned BBQ

Milford NH

Wicked Awesome BBQ

East Thetford VT

Route 4 Country Store

White River Junction VT

Mable's Smokehouse

Brooklyn NY(update)

Vermont Maple BBQ Randolph VT

Summer Shack Dedham MA

Sista's BBQ Brunswick ME

BrisketTown Brooklyn NY

Smokestack Urban BBQ

Worcester MA (update)

Fletcher's Brooklyn NY

Blue Ribbon Arlington MA

Slater's Bolton MA

The Farm Manchester NH

Joff's Backyard Grill

Bellingham MA

Lester's Roadside BBQ

Burlington MA (update)

Ducks Eatery NYC

Ladder 133 Providence RI

Mighty Quinn's NYC

Firebox BBQ Bedford MA (update)

Dickey's S. Portland ME

Beale Street Barbeque Bath ME

Bar Q Stamford CT

Sweet Cheeks Boston MA (update)

Knuckleheads Wallingford CT

Mama T's Rutland VT

Binga's Stadium

Portland ME (update)

Wes' Rib House

Providence RI (update)

Smoke and Bones BBQ

Derby CT

Pit Stop BBQ Wakefield

Wakefield MA

Beach Deck BBQ Seabrook NH

Rockhouse BBQ & WIngs

Manchester CT

Kit Kat's Smoked BBQ

Pawcatuck CT

Harley's Smokeshack NYC

3 Guys Basement BBQ Hanover NH

Prohibition Pig Waterbury VT

Cider House BBQ Waterbury VT

HanBones Hamden CT

Redbones Somerville MA (update)

People's Pint Greenfield MA

East Ender Portland ME

Memphis BBQ & Blues Milford NH

Parker's Maple Barn Mason NH

Commonwealth BBQ

Wrentham MA

Virgil's NYC (update)

Yellow Rose BBQ

Willimantic CT

Texas BBQ Company

Northborough MA (update)


Marlborough MA (update)

Nicky's Beer Garden BBQ

Bronx NY

Back Forty West NYC

Abigail's Cambridge MA

Arnie's Place Concord NH

Blue Smoke NYC (update)

Beauford's Hillsborough NH

Fette Sau Brooklyn NY (update)

Saw Mill Dracut MA

LJ's BBQ Pawtucket RI (update)

Scratch Kitchen Salem MA

Butcher Bar Queens NY

Pies 'n' Thighs Brooklyn NY




Burger Reviews:

Ceres Bistro Worcester MA

Kirkland Tap & Trotter Somerville MA

Alden & Harlow Cambridge MA

Smashburger Natick MA

Beat Hotel Cambridge MA

White Manna Hackensack NJ

Crazy Burger Narragansett RI

Farmstead Providence RI

Burger Boys Lincoln RI

SkyBokx 109 Natick MA

Brew City Worcester MA

Shake Shack Chestnut Hill MA

Trade Boston MA

The Sinclair Cambridge MA

Lincoln Tavern S. Boston MA

The Brindle Room NYC

Coney Island Worcester MA

Craigie On Main Cambridge MA

Elevation Burger S. Portland ME

Bobby's Burger Palace

Burlington MA

Oak Long Bar Boston MA

Met Back Bay Boston MA

Burger Dive Somerville MA

Shake Shack Connecticut

Farmstead Table Newton MA

M3 Somerville MA

RF O'Sullivan & Son Somerville MA

Grass Fed Jamaica Plain MA

Catalyst Cambridge MA

Happy's Boston MA

Louis Lunch New Haven CT

Nosh Portland ME

Brick Wall Burger

Greenfield MA

JM Curley Boston MA

Shake Shack NYC

Grumpy White's Quincy MA

Wahlburgers Hingham MA

Abigail's Cambridge MA

Eastern Standard Boston MA

Firebrand Saints

Cambridge MA

Griddler's Boston MA

BGR Burger W. Hartford CT

The Gallows Boston MA

Max Burger W. Hartford CT

Gilley's PM Lunch

Portsmouth NH

Lexie's Joint Portsmouth NH

The Boynton Worcester MA

Plan B W. Hartford CT

White Hut W. Springfield MA

Russell House Tavern

Cambridge MA

Burgers, Shakes & Fries

Greenwich CT

Five Napkin Burger

Boston MA

The Butcher Shop Boston MA

Ritual Worcester MA

Scholars Boston MA

Corey's Catsup & Mustard Manchester CT

Radius Boston MA

Back Bay Social Club Boston MA

Harry's Bar & Burger Providence RI

Beehive Boston MA

Lord Hobo Cambridge MA

Towne Boston MA


Other Reviews:

Floramo's Chelsea MA

New Bridge Cafe Chelsea MA

Katz's Delicatessen NYC

Fogo de Chao Boston MA

Frank Pepe's Pizzeria

New Haven CT

Donna's Donuts

Tewksbury MA


Older Features:

John Brown Smokehouse

Fatty Cue First Visit Recap

Blackstrap BBQ opening

Damon Amendolara interview

Dinosaur Harlem's new digs

BT's Smokehouse opening

2009 Wings Rankings

2009 Chili Rankings

Phantom BBQ Beach Party '09

Big Apple BBQ Block Party

Phantom BBQ Beach Party '08

Nick Solares Interview

Inner Beauty Hot Sauce

Hog Pit vs Hill Country

NY vs Boston

How To Be A Good Waiter

Jake Jacobs at Roadhouse

NY is Boston, Boston is NY

Chris Hart interview

Wildwood review rebuttal

Blue Ribbon commissary

Chris Schlesinger interview





Joints by Region:


Boston metro BBQ

Boston 'burbs BBQ

Massachusetts BBQ


New York City BBQ

Brooklyn BBQ

Long Island BBQ

Hudson Valley BBQ

New Jersey BBQ


Rhode Island BBQ

Connecticut BBQ


Vermont BBQ

New Hampshire BBQ

Maine BBQ




BBQ by City:

(coming soon)


Albany NY

Arlington MA

Augusta ME

Bay Shore NY

Boston MA

Bridgeport CT

Brockton MA

Brookline MA

Brooklyn NY

Burlington MA

Burlington VT

Cambridge MA

Concord NH

Edison NJ

Elizabeth NJ

Fairfield CT

Framingham MA

Hartford CT

Lowell MA

Manchester NH

Massapequa NY

Merrick NY

Milford CT

Montpelier VT

Nashua NH

New Haven CT

New London CT

Newton MA

Newport RI

New York NY

Northampton MA

Norwalk CT

Norwood MA

Nyack NY

Patchogue NY

Peabody MA

Plymouth MA

Portland ME

Portsmouth NH

Poughkeepsie NY

Providence RI

Queens NY

Revere MA

Saratoga Springs NY

Somerville MA

Southington CT

Springfield MA

Stamford CT

Waltham MA

Waterbury CT

White Plains NY

Woburn MA

Worcester MA

Yonkers NY



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Archive - May 2014






Massachusetts BBQ: Depot Grille Reviewed

The site's 311th barbecue review is for Depot Grille & Bar (Pepperell MA), a strip mall eatery whose barbecue cred I initially doubted when it was suggested to me by a reader years ago. Should I have trusted my first instinct? Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.

See my review of Depot Grille & Bar





Boston Barbecue: Causeway Opening Near

Although they missed the projected late April or early May opening, it now looks like "that barbecue joint across from the Garden" is within weeks of opening, according to pitmaster Ruben Garza. The outside may be boarded, but the kitchen is outfitted with a J&R smoker and the interior decor (a mix of sports, spirits and rock & roll) is nearly complete. There are bars on the first and second floors, with roomy leather booths and banquettes making for a comfortable dining setting. Most of the walls are exposed brick.


Here's a quick and admittedly blurry look at what I found when I stumbled in.




See the rest of the photos here







Massachusetts BBQ: Carnivores Reviewed

The site's 310th barbecue review is for Carnivores All American BBQ (Milford), a month-old over-the-counter joint with a wide menu. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.



See my review of Carnivores







Site Talk: How Many Visits Per Review?

In response to a photo in the PigTrip Facebook Page yesterday, reader Dan asked:


What rules do you have for reviewing new restaurants? Do you try it a certain number of times before posting a review? I've always found that new places have considerable growing pains, so I don't make any decisions based on my first visit. But then again, a new BBQ restaurant could really benefit from a review on here and may not have the time to wait for you to get there 2 or 3 times.


I'm hoping an answer here is of benefit and interest. There aren't any hard and fast rules, but several factors impact the approach.





The simple (and ideal) answer to the question of how many visits to make before doing a review is "however many it takes to form an opinion I can stand behind." And that varies. Some joints I can peg (or at least think I have pegged) in a single visit. Others could go either way in that good/bad coinflip. Some have very different first and second visits, and the third is the tiebreaker. Some are just plain inconsistent. Some aren't so good but the potential is obvious. Others aren't so good and I can't see them ever being any better.





Last summer I reviewed Mainely Meat (Ellsworth ME) and 4 Points BBQ (Winterport ME), visited once apiece on a mini vacation. Sure, more visits would have been great. But I have no idea if I'll ever make it up to that part of Maine within a lifetime, never mind a year, so one visit each it had to be and one visit each it was. Other joints, such as Riverside Barbeque (Nashua NH), Smokestack Urban Barbecue (Worcester MA) and Slowbones (Burlington MA), got 6+ visits apiece because it was geographically easy for me to do so. A few that I hope to hit this summer in the Hudson Valley will be 1-visit reviews out of necessity.





Beyond doing multiple visits to combat the possible "errant" early review, I try wherever possible to look past just the meals I've eaten and imagine what things might be like with more seasoning (the intangible kind, not spices). I do that even for places that have been around a while. With barbecue especially, one visit is not always representative, so I try to point out things might be better with better luck on timing the next visit and better skill in the holding or reheating.


But let's get one thing straight: there are some who say it's unfair to review a barbecue joint in the first few months, and to that I say bullshit. If the doors are open and they're charging for the food, they're also open for criticism. And if they're one of those joints who brag on their website that they are "the best barbecue on the planet" (or such), then they're really open for criticism.


That said, there's still reason not to review a joint too soon. The common perception is that places improve over time, and that's not always the case. Sometimes, a joint is best at or near the beginning of its existence because the staff has been well trained, the owner/chef/pitmaster is onhand every night and the standards are kept high by coaching and constant observation. Then, through a combination of staff attrition, owner/chef/pitmaster distraction (always more projects) and gradual decline of standards (much like my diets over the years), the quality goes down instead of up. Then there are the cases where reality sets in: after the first few weeks, shifting focus on efficiency and the bottom line can cause some recipes to be stripped of key ingredients, some preparations to be compromised and some portions to be cut.


But I digress.





For new restaurants of high importance and curiosity, such as Hometown BBQ (Brooklyn NY), Salvage BBQ (Portland ME) and Sweet Cheeks (Boston MA), there are two conflicting goals in play: I want to have an early review that might get PigTrip some coverage from mainstream and quasi-mainstream media sites, but I also want to be thorough and accurate. Solution: I do a "First Look" review, sometimes calling it "Preview"—not to be confused with the kind of preview restaurants sometimes hold for the usual gang of freebie-grabbing bloggers I'll never join—based on a very early first visit. I then go back and do a more in-depth real review based on more visits over time. This approach I think is a good compromise between early and accurate.


In general, the more important a joint is, the more visits I want going into the review and the more dishes I want covered. When my long awaited review update for Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q (West Newton MA) happens, it's going to be based on several visits.






While this is just a hobby and the restaurant budget comes out of my own pocket, not a publication expense account, I still try to have a sense of fairness and journalistic integrity. Some may be disappointed that I never say "This place blows," but if I do a meat-by-meat rundown and say all of them were dry and none of them had flavor, I've said it blows without saying it blows. That said, unless the place outright lies to me, is rude to me or completely disrespects barbecue (or burgers) in general, I generally don't like to trash a place based on one tasting. If I am going to trash a place, I like to have photographic ammo and base it on multiple items per visit as well as multiple visits. Remember folks, the goal isn't to "get these guys." It's to describe the food well enough that any reader can decide whether to go.





But if it's absolutely horrible, especially if it's dangerously horrible, then sorry—I don't feel compelled to put good money after bad just to have bad food again. 





Sometimes I know I'm not going to get to a place for a while and post a review right away rather than wait it out. Other times I mean to visit again right away but it keeps getting pushed off by the four W's (work, wife, weather, who's going with me). And then there are times when I wind up getting more visits than planned because I got so busy that never had time to write the review after the first visit or two.


So there ya have it. No hard and fast rules, but that's my thinking.








Brooklyn BBQ: G. Lee's Reviewed

The site's 309th barbecue review is for G. Lee's Smokin' BBQ (Brooklyn NY), a lesser known joint in the Brooklyn barbecue explosion, but one that's using real smoke. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.



See my review of G. Lee's smokin' BBQ








Worcester Burgers: Ceres Bistro Reviewed

Time for another burger review, and for another from New England's second largest city. It's Ceres Bistro (Worcester MA) at the Beachwood Hotel.

See my burger review for Ceres Bistro







Joints Directory Madness

Here's the latest batch of barbecue Joints directory activity, spanning

six states. This time there are eleven new joints, one expansion, two closings, one slight name change, one website change and one new phone number.




  • Smoke Box BBQ (Hamden CT) is what happens when a restaurateur can't keep up with the demand for smoked meats at his bistro, so he creates a new lunchtime barbecue joint that stocks the bistro at night. Thanks to both Zeke and Lisa for info.

  • Wire Mill BBQ (Redding CT) is one of those joints doing the website right: the menu and hours are easy to find, they tell you a bit about themselves and show you the smoker on which the barbecue is cooked, and the food photos look both good and real.

  • Brutopia Bewery & Kitchen (Cranston RI) is "Cranston's first and only brew pub," opening tonight with an accompanying barbecue menu featuring both babybacks and spares. Joining forces are master brewer Sean Larkin and executive chef Wayne Gibson. Thanks to Jeff for info.

  • Carnivores All American BBQ (Milford MA) is a new joint with a wide menu including smoked wings and burnt ends Thanks to Steve for the info. Facebook

  • Bubby's High Line (NYC) is an expansion to the West Village located at street level under the High Line's southernmost entrance.

  • Southern Smoke (greater Burlington VT) is a food truck whose 2014 locations may still be in flux, but the 2013 schedule is posted in a positive review here. Thanks to Martin for the lead.

  • Fireside BBQ & Grill (Salt Point NY) is a Hudson Valley joint whose ribs appear to be "slow roasted," but tri-tip and peanut cole slaw add some character.

  • Gaslight Bar & Grill (Lake George NY) is another Hudson Valley proponent of "slow roasted" meats, with an all encompassing, something-for-everyone menu.

  • Willie's BBQ (Benson VT) is a Thursday-through-Sunday trailer operation serving burgers, barbecue and southern food. Facebook

  • Delta Blue (Lake Placid NY) is a New Orleans joint with barbecue (smoked ribs, pork brisket) among its wide selection of Cajun fare featuring po boys, gumbo, shrimp and grits, crawfish etoufee and a few burgers and salads.

  • Yeah Baby's BBQ & Grill (Morristown VT) is a northern Vermont converted ice cream stand with a diner-like menu featuring burgers, dogs, soups and salads in addition to the barbecue. Facebook

  • The Shed BBQ (Rangely ME) is a northern Maine lakeside joint keeps things simple with ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, burgers and fried clams. Are you ready to get shedfaced?




  • Little Brother BBQ (Brooklyn NY) has closed. According to the phone message, it's closed temporarily and will be reopening as something else.

  • Belted Cow Bistro (Essex Junction VT NY) has closed. Thanks to Marc for the lead.



  • Phil's Old Fashioned BBQ (Milford NH) now has a phone. Facebook

  • Smoke House (Newport RI) is the new name of Smokehouse Cafe, with a new website to boot. It appears that ownership and much of the menu are the same.












April 2014 archive

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Recent Eats (click photo to view larger image)

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Smoked wings at Scratch Kitchen, Salem MA.


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Ribs at Walrus + Carpenter, Bridgeport CT.


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Ribs, chicken and sausage at Mara's Too, Wantagh NY.


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Brisket at South Shore BBQ, Patchogue NY.


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Ribs at Bobbique, Patchogue NY.


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Babybacks, St Louis ribs and beef ribs at Smokin' Al's, Massapequa Park NY.


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Pulled pork and ribs at Blackstrap BBQ, Winthrop MA.


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Pulled pork sandwich at Lilian's Smokin' Rack Barbecue, Boston MA.


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Pulled pork sandwich at Chip Shots, Littleton MA.


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Bacon Buffalo wings at Carnivores All American BBQ, Milford MA.


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Babybacks, chicken and pulled pork chili at Depot Grille & Bar, Pepperell MA.


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Ribs and brisket at Carnivores All American BBQ, Milford MA.


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Crazy Roo's wings at Firefly's, Marlborough MA.


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Ribs and pulled pork at Carnivores All American BBQ, Milford MA.


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Pulled pork sandwich at Firefly's, Marlborough MA.


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Pulled pork sandwich at Smokestack Urban Barbecue, Worcester MA.





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Please feel free to contact me: GARYatPIGTRIPdotNET



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