Archive - June 2011
Connecticut BBQ: Big Country's Hickory Pit BBQ Reviewed
The site's 215th barbecue review is posted for Big Country's Hickory Pit BBQ (Wallingford CT), a roadside barbecue trailer that's easily accessible off I-91 between New Haven and Hartford. I'm a little disappointed with my rib photography, but not with Big Country's 'cue. 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 Big Country's Hickory Pit BBQ
Boston BBQ: SoulFire Celebrates 5 Year Anniversary with Pig Pickin', Today at Noon
Five years ago to the day, and just 35 days before this site launched, SoulFire (Allston MA) opened its doors. They're celebrating that milestone today with a $10 pig pickin' that kicks off at noon. Another engagement today makes my attendance unlikely, but I paid tribute with a good visit last night. Here's lookin' at you, pig.
Massachusetts BBQ: The American Barbecue Reviewed
The site's 214th barbecue review is posted for The American Barbecue (Beverly MA), the second location of the Rowley MA original. 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 The American BBQ in Beverly
I'm not going to make a standard practice of creating separate reviews for different locations of the same company just to pad the review totals. But since my last two visits were to the Beverly location, it made sense to not lump those into a possible update of the Rowley joint I hadn't visited in a few years.
I may do the same with "updates" of Smokin' Al's (Long Island) and Southern Hospitality (Manhattan), but the preferred approach for joints with multiple locations is to have a single review.
Until now, the only restaurants receiving separate reviews for separate locations have been ones where there were different menus and/or service concepts: Brother Jimmy's and Brother Jimmy's Express (NYC), The Cookhouse and The Cookhouse Cafe (Connecticut), Tennessee's (greater Boston) and BT's Smokehouse (Sturbridge MA).
New Haven BBQ: The Rib House Reviewed
The site's 213th barbecue review is posted for The Rib House (East Haven CT), a longstanding Connecticut rib joint that's more about the ribs than about the pit smoked barbecue.
So how was it? 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 The Rib House
Boston BBQ and Soul: Mrs. Jones Reviewed
The site's 212th barbecue review is posted for Mrs. Jones (Dorchester MA), an over-the-counter Boston soul food joint that just happens to have a smoker.
Those who've followed my reviews closely may have noticed that I'm not always down with barbecue joints that have a soul food slant, and that in many cases my take is at odds with the greater public. That's because I don't just fall for the novelty of the soul offerings or fall for the urban charm of the joint itself. Mrs. Jones is more than novelty and charm; the food is good from barbecue to soul.
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 Mrs Jones
Connecticut BBQ: Smokey's Char Grill Reviewed
The site's 211th barbecue review is posted for Smokey's Char Grill (Hamden CT), a drive-in that does burgers, dogs, wings and barbecue. 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 Smokey's Char Grill
Joints Directory Madness
Here's the latest batch of barbecue Joints directory activity, spanning five states. This time there are two new joints, one expansion, five closings, five website additions, one website change and one name change.
NEW JOINTS and/or NEW TO THE DIRECTORY
Rubbin' Butts BBQ (Cranston RI) is a new Rhode Island BBQ joint with Carolina and Texas pulled pork, the usual ribs, brisket, chicken and sausage, plus a dozen different sides. Thanks to Marty for the lead. www.rubbinbutts.com
Gary's Rib House (New Milford CT) has a menu that boasts "the Sweetest ribs this side of the Mississippi”
and supporting players (steak Diane, shrimp scampi, rack of lamb, shrimp cocktail) that read more like a 1950s throwback joint than a barbecue joint. www.garysribs.com
Hunter's Grill (Glen Cove NY and Port Washington NY) closed both locations. The former is now the higher end Innuendo, while the latter was destroyed by fire. According to Newsday's restaurant blog, the owners are considering a reocation with a slighty different format. A reunion with former partner "Poppa Rick" Anselmi appears unlikely.
Dom and Luigi's Smokehouse BBQ Pizza Bar (Syosset NY), "home of the Porker Burger" as well as
everything from sushi to pasta to pizza to wings to barbecue to seafood to nine different salads, is apparently
closed. Let this be a lesson: one man's diverse is another man's unfocused. Thanks to both Eric and Vinny for the info.
Broadway's Grille 25 (Wakefield MA), just recently added to the directory, closed before I could do a review, I did try one weeknight meal there and was pleasantly surprised. Seemingly a breakfast joint with seating for 100+, they did real smoked barbecue with some impressive sides. They were out of ribs on my one visit, but the pork was decent and the brisket was tender, pink of smoke ring and very moist. I hope they resurface.
Hen House Bar-B-Q (Southington CT) now has a website: www.henhousebbq.com
The Rib House (East Haven CT) now has a new website: www.theribhouseeh.com
Casey's Pub (Holliston MA) is the new name for Casey's Corner. Other changes include a new chef, a new menu and a little less barbecue, thought the wings are still smoked, the ribs and pulled pork are still smoked and there are frequent pig roasts promoted on their Facebook page. And there's a website too: www.caseyspublichouse.com
New Hampshire BBQ: Porkez BBQ Pig Pen Reviewed
The site's 210th barbecue review is posted for Porkez BBQ Pig Pen (Noth Hampton NH), a New Hampshire BBQ Joint with a real smokehouse and real horse saddles on the bar stools. 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 Porkez BBQ Pig Pen
Another Kind of Donut, Another Kind of Pork Sandwich
As many of you know, last Friday was National Donut Day. If my schedule allowed so, I might have considered a visit to one of my favorites: Betty Ann's (East Boston), Donna's Donuts (Tewksbury MA), Congdon's Doughnuts (Wells ME), Allie's Donuts (Kingston RI) or Doughnut Plant (NYC, with their newest location steps away from RUB BBQ).
Instead, I waited 'til yesterday and shared some of my favorite alternatives to both donuts and pulled pork sandwiches. In Boston's Chinatown, I hit Great Taste Bakery (a new kid on the block) and Ho Yuen Bakery (a longstanding favorite).
At many donut shops and barbecue joints, getting the perfect item has as much to do with timing as it does with the establishment's cooking skill. Arrive too late in the day and the donuts are hard and stale. Arrive too early and the reheated pork in your sandwich tastes old and steamy. Not so at Chinatown bakeries, where freshness and flavor are virtual guarantees.
If you haven't been to a Chinese bakery before, you're missing out on a fantastic treat.
Joints Directory Madness
Here's the latest batch of barbecue Joints directory activity, spanning four states. This time there are five new joints, one reopening, one relocation, three closings and one temporary closing.
NEW JOINTS and/or NEW TO THE DIRECTORY
Mara's Homemade (Syossett NY) is now open (within a day of my mentioning that they vacated their Manhattan digs. www.marashomemade.com
Mo Gridder's BBQ (da Bronx NY) is back open after closing shop some time last year. Thanks to Sledneck for the verification. www.mogridder.com
'Cue (Saugerties NY) is an outdoor barbecue stand that uses Southern Pride smokers. Thanks to Robert for the lead. Sorry, no phone number is available, but they do have a Facebook page, included in the listing. Wherever possible, I'll add Facebook pages to the Directory listings, but will mostly focus on joints that don't already have websites.
Smoky Bro's BBQ (Shelburne MA) is a western Massachusetts BBQ trailer operating Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. www.smokybrosbbq.com
Porkez BBQ Pig Pen (North Hampton NH) has been open three weeks, serving up three kinds of ribs and the usual other stuff in a cowboy-themed joint whose bar has real horse saddles on the stools. The smoker is a custom brickhouse to the side of the restaurant. I'll be posting a review for this one soon based on a Memorial Day visit.
4 Points BBQ and Blues House (Winterport ME) is a Bangor area joint with picnic tables, a custom smoker, seven meats served unsauced and four sauces to add. They open at 10:30 in the morning and close when the meats are sold out. Thanks to Marty for the lead.
Deux Cochon (Portland ME) is a new (2 months) barbecue joint that's more of a barbecue stand. Located in a neo post modern food court on the second floor of the market at 28 Monument Square, it shares a common dining area with a pizza stand and a soup stand. They're open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with eggs, a pulled pork sandwich, a BAT (bacon, arugula and tomato) sandwich, ribs and specials such as the boudin I tried on my visit last weekend. www.deuxcochon.com
Norm's Eastside BBQ (Portland ME) is now closed, most likely in late 2010.
Little Dan's BBQ (Lewiston ME) is now closed.
Grill Zilla (Damariscotta ME) is temporarily closed until the owner, who is undergoing some health issues, can sell the business.
Firewood Cafe (Worcester MA), after having the handwriting was on the wall for months, now has the handwriting was on the door: "Closed until further notice." According to a 5/30 Yelp post, that sign has been there a few weeks. Whether further notice comes or not is moot, because the promised barbecue fare beyond pulled pork never materialized.
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