Open since early 2005, Q is located less than a mile off I-95 (exit 2 in CT) on a busy street with a multicultural feel. Housed in an old building, Q is surprisingly modern looking inside. The interior looks like a cross between a Frank Lloyd Wright creation and an IKEA showroom, with stark white walls and orange trim, wooden floors, tasteful framed photos, hip orange seats at the dining tables and a general lack of the usual trite BBQ decor. There's a bar area a few steps up, with a plasma screen TV. Just past that is a sink area to wash up after eating. Just past the ordering counter are glass windows offering a view of the smokers and grills, with the BBQ staff putting on a free show for those who care to view it. Sort of a BBQ version of Krispy Kreme. Every employee in the place seemed to be friendly and working with a purpose.
The ordering here is unique. You place your order at the counter, and the server lets you pick any table and place an identification flag on it. The server follows you with a tray and your drink. Within a very short time the food arrives at your table.
I opted for my usual ribs and pulled pork combo, with cole slaw and collard greens. Diet Boylan's black cherry soda was a big plus. The lunch was presented beautifully on a rectangular baking pan, with the ribs and cornbread right on the pan, the pulled pork in a small plate and the sides overflowing in ramekins. The ribs were pink, very smoky, tender and juicy. There was a good spice to the crust, with a lot of mop sauce basted in. This was sweet and flavorful without being too wet and without the sauce being used as a crutch. Under the sauce, you can tell that it's real barbecue. The pulled pork was equally smoky and very moist, with a nice pork flavor, served in long strings.
Cole slaw was crisp and creamy, possibly a bit too much Mayo. Collard greens were excellent, with a nice al dente texture and good vinegar flavor. Cornbread was average. There was only one BBQ sauce at the table, but it was good, a nice compromise between sweet and hot and tangy. I wish they had a vinegar sauce to better complement the pork, but this was good.
On a follow-up visit, I ordered ribs and pulled pork again, this time with beans and collard greens. The ribs were wetter, with an excellent cherry (or similar berry flavored) sauce, but had a slight lighter fluid taste. This time the meat didn't retract from the bones like it did last time. Pork was decent, collards again excellent, beans and cornbread average.
The bottom line: One of the better wet ribs, good pulled pork and generally excellent sides in a cool setting. I was fearful at first that Q's slick appearance might mean tourist barbecue, but this wasn't the case at all (as long as you're willing to accept the meats being sauced).
My second visit wasn’t as good as the first, but I'm very much looking forward to eating at Q again.