BBQ Review

Village Smokehouse

1 Harvard Street

Brookline Village, MA 02445

(617) LONESTA (566 - 3782)

  category: Boston BBQ , Brookline BBQ





The Village Smokehouse in Brookline Village has the look of an old time saloon that's been in business for years, and it has. Opened in 1987, it outdates just about every BBQ restaurant in the Boston area. You enter into a bar area that has 2 TVs, lots of mirrors, and stools against the bar and opposing wall. The dining area has mostly long communal tables that have two problems: they're very tightly packed and you may be seated with strangers. If you get seated on the inside, you have trouble getting out. If you get seated on the outside, servers reach across your face with plates for those sitting inside. On the plus side, at least visually, you get to see the staff grill meats on an open flame in a centrally located grilling station.


The menu has only one pork rib (babyback) and pulled pork is only available as a sandwich.


A friend and I tried the babybacks along with beef ribs, brisket and chicken. The plates arrived literally within 2 minutes, the meats almost unidentifiable beneath the same huge mound of sweet tomatoey (pizza-like) sauce. Also unidentifiable was any evidence that the ribs had spent any time in a smoker. The taste and texture had me fairly certain that they're boiled and broiled, with a quick flame to help the flavor and sauce to help the texture. No smoke ring, not a lot of flavor, not much rub or crust, not a lot of meat. The babybacks were similar to (and no better than) a rib you'd find in any chain restaurant. The giant beef ribs weren't bad, but nothing special. Brisket was sliced very thin and similar to something you'd get at a deli. The chicken was very tender, but I can make chicken at home.


Sides were all fairly competent. Not great, not bad.


The bottom line: This is a better meal than you'd get at Burger King, but not by much. There were no catastrophes and everything was edible, but I wouldn't go back. I can't fathom how Village Smokehouse was chosen by Improper Bostonian in 2005 for Best BBQ in Boston.


Village Smokehouse on Urbanspoon


A staple of the area for two decades.


Check out the racks on the way to your seat.


click to view larger image

Babybacks, brisket and a lot of sauce.



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