BBQ Review

American Barbecue

5 Railroad Ave

Rowley, MA 01969

(978) 948-2626

  category: Massachusetts BBQ, Rowley BBQ





Located just off route 1A in Rowley and not far from both the coastline and route 95, this cabin is a natural “pit” stop on the way back from a day at the beach. It’s also very close to the site of a weekly flea market in the summer. Red barn-looking on the outside, log cabin-looking on the inside, with antique signs instead of prefabricated ones, the place has character. A barrel of peanuts and a popcorn machine offer a nice double dose of pre-meal snackage. I also like the paper towel racks built into the sides of some of the booth tables. In addition to the usual barbecue items, the menu has beer, wine, a few grilled fish options and veggie burgers, giving it crossover appeal. There is outdoor seating.


I tried a combo of ribs, pulled pork, collard greens and cole slaw. The lean St Louis ribs were pink, somewhat tender and smoky, with a little bite to them. I wasn’t crazy about the sauce, but the ribs were pretty good. The pulled pork in sweet brown sauce tasted a little funky. The "Southern Greens" were very interesting: highly seasoned, slightly crisp, and speckled with two kinds of sausage, one which was either Andouille or pepperoni.


Cole slaw was decent but had too much celery seed (and I like celery seed in my cole slaw).


I remember my first visit, in the summer of 2005, being much better. That day I got the ribs unsauced, but they were also thicker and juicier then.


Mild and hot sauces were decent but basically just slight variations on ketchup; there was a mustard sauce too.


The bottom line: Hard to say, based on two very different visits. I wouldn't go too far out of my way to go here, but I'd definitely come back. The place is comfortable, the barbecue is real, and the service is pretty friendly.


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A good looking place.


Lots of choices, even for non-BBQ fans.


A pretty generous serving of meat.


I love how they integrated the paper towels into the table.



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