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

 

 

 

Recent Features:

Boston BBQ Rankings

NYC BBQ Rankings

Danielle Niles interview

2011 Wings Rankings

John Brown Smokehouse

Fatty Cue First Visit Recap

Blackstrap BBQ opening

Damon Amendolara interview

Dinosaur Harlem's new digs

BT's Smokehouse opening

 

Recent BBQ Reviews:

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)

Firefly's

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:

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:

Katz's Delicatessen NYC

Donna's Donuts

Tewksbury MA

 

Older Features:

2009 BBQ 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 - July 2012

 

 

 

(07/30/12)

New York City BBQ: Harley's Smokeshack Reviewed

The site's 258th barbecue review is for Harley's Smokeshack (NYC), an East Harlem joint that's a bit of a throwback to barbecue joints of the 1980s. If you think that means no smoke or no texture or no flavor, think again. 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 Harley's Smokeshack

 

 

 

(07/22/12)

New Hampshire BBQ: 3 Guys Basement BBQ Reviewed

The site's 257th barbecue review is for 3 Guys Basement BBQ (Hanover NH), a subterranean clubhouse of a barbecue joint. 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 3 Guys Basement BBQ

 

 

 

 

(07/20/12)

Connecticut Burgers: Louis Lunch Reviewed

Here's another burger review, this time for the historic Louis Lunch (New Haven CT). The birthplace of the hamburger is still slingin' beef a century later. Is it aging or one for the ages? Check out the review.

click to see the review of this joint

See my review of the Louis Lunch burger

 

 

 

 

(07/16/12)

Vermont BBQ: Prohibition Pig Reviewed

The site's 256th barbecue review is for Prohibition Pig (Waterbury VT), a gastropub whose tagline is "Smoked Meats - Libations." 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 Prohibition Pig

 

 

 

 

(07/11/12)

Vermont BBQ: Cider House Reviewed

The site's 255th barbecue review is for Cider House BBQ & Pub (Waterbury VT), a farmhouse lodge of a joint that makes its own cider and has a very accommodating menu. 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 CiderHouse BBQ & Pub

 

 

 

 

(07/09/12)

Joints Directory Madness: SoulFire 2 Readies

Here's the latest batch of barbecue Joints directory activity, spanning four states. This time there are five new joints, one expansion, one move that just happened, one move in progress, one seasonal non-reopening with a possible future location, two closings and one new Facebook page.

 

Painter touches up the exterior of SoulFire's second location.

 

 

NEW JOINTS and/or NEW TO THE DIRECTORY

  • SoulFire (Boston MA) opens their second location today in Brigham Circle. Look for the fried chicken—which at the Allston flagship is an underrated gem—to step to the forefront here. www.soulfirebbq.com

  • Goody's BBQ Chicken and Ribs (Arverne NY) is a Queens Caribbean style rib joint whose chicken is jerked, smoked and grilled. Thanks to "D" (a Bostonian who regularly hits this place) for the suggestion. Facebook

  • Gabi's Smokeshack (Merrimack NH) is a catering outfit that sets up its truck at a Harley-Davidson dealership for weekday barbecue lunches. Thanks to Lowell for the tip. www.gabismokeshack.com

  • Rockhouse BBQ & Wings (Manchester CT) is a 2 week old joint whose wings are not smoked, but their other items are. Thanks to Michelle for the pre-opening lead. Facebook

  • Wildwood Foods (Brooklyn NY) is a Coney Island joint slinging "farm fresh, never frozen, slow cooked chicken" and "southern fall off the bone St. Louis ribs." They're also the first joint I ever saw (via Facebook) that made a cupcake topped with a chicken wing. Thanks to Robert for the lead. Facebook

  • Sons of Stephanie's (Norwood MA) is a Southern and barbecue joint whose roster of sides looks to be a soul food joint as well. Thanks to Joshua for the lead.

 

 

CLOSINGS

  • Porky's & Petunia's (Derry NH) is now closed. Thanks to Larry for the info.

  • Midtown Smokehouse (Needham MA) is closed. Thanks to both Marty and Peter for the lead.

 

 

OTHER CHANGES

  • Larry J's House of Q (Boston MA) is the new name and location for Larry J's House of Q, who;ve been open in the Seaport district since July 4. Thanks to Boston's Hidden Restaurants and Eater Boston for info (and future thanks to Larry himself if he ever supplies the new phone number and operating hours). www.larryjs.com

  • John Brown Smokehouse (Long Island City NY) has closed its previous digs and is gearing up for a mid-July re-opening at 10-43 44th Drive. Meanwhile, they've set up shop at Roosevelt Island to feed the hungry masses. www.johnbrownsmokehouse.org

  • True Blue BBQ (Kingston MA) is not setting up this season, as the nursery owning their site has been sold. A new location may be in the works.

  • Fred's Blues & BBQ (Willimantic CT) now has a Facebook page. Facebook

 

 

 

 

(07/08/12)

Maine Burgers: Nosh Kitchen Burger Reviewed

Here's another burger review, this time for Nosh Kitchen in the underrated dining city of Portland ME. All burgers use a beef and pork blend.

click to see the review of this joint

See my review of the Nosh burger

 

 

 

 

(07/04/12)

Boston BBQ: Boston BBQ Rankings permalink

Two months to the day after posting my New York City BBQ rankings, I submit my Boston BBQ counterpart. It's organized as tiers, with each tier listed in alphabetical order with no implied order within the group (the actual order within each group might change visit to visit). This may seem wishywashy, but it's completely necessary. Hate to say it, but even the better Boston barbecue joints aren't consistent enough to have a rock solid list numbered one through whatever. After the first couple of tiers, the Boston BBQ scene is very similar to an NFL division with nearly indistinguishable 9-7, 8-8 and 7-9 teams that have all beaten each other on any given Sunday. I do commit to this level of confidence in my slottings: a joint might slide up or down to an adjacent tier, but no further than that.

 

The joints considered for this list are ones I've tried within I-495.

 

 

Tier 1: (listed in alphabetical order)

 

SoulFire, Allston see my review of  this joint

Hit them on the right night and their ribs are the best in all of New England, thanks to size, tenderness, juiciness, smokiness and crust. Hit them on the wrong night and they're still in the top 5. The pulled pork has the right bounce, the brisket dazzles periodically and the sauces are pumped hot. The secret weapons here are the fried chicken (superior crunch, inside-out flavor after a 48-hour brine), the Monday night all-you-can-eat wings, the smoky baked beans and the best Boston cornbread among the cakey division.

 

Sweet Cheeks Q, Boston see my review of  this joint

Forget the ribs (too small, too bland) and stick with the crispy, succulent pork belly (as good as it gets and not as fatty as most), the moist deckle brisket and the full flavored pulled pork. The sides are excellent and the biscuits are every bit as phenomenal as all the female bloggers say they are (yum!).

 

 

 

 

Tier 2:

 

Lester's Roadside BBQ , Burlington see my review of  this joint

Inconsistent, yes, but stay with them and you'll hit paydirt on ribs, pulled pork and brisket, which taken as a troika just might outshine their counterparts at any other joint within I-495 when comparing bestagainst best. Smoke and rub levels are high. Sides and sauces are well above average.

 

 

 

 

Tier 3: (listed in alphabetical order)

 

Blackstrap BBQ, Winthrop see my review of  this joint

Very inconsistent but very good at their best (yes, that's a common theme here). Smoky/rubby ribs and chicken are your best bets; anything else is rolling the dice. Sides run the gamut; sauces are good.

 

Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Que, W. Newton and Arlington see my review of  this joint

One of the most consistent joints in greater Boston, they sling a brand of 'cue that's more about the tenderness and less about the spice. Good value; sides and sauces are probably the best on the list; some of the specials are stellar. Word from an insider: the new Blue Ribbon mobile unit in Needham is the best one to hit.

 

Firefly's, Marlborough and Framingham see my review of  this joint

Look past the chain restaurant vibe and the owner's frequent infomercialesque appearances on Phantom Gourmet and you might wind up with some of the best ribs in the area. Wings are good too, as is the fried chicken, and the candied bacon appetizer is worth a try. This is another very inconsistent one that's in this tier more for home run power than batting average, so be advised and also stick only with the aforementioned.

 

Mrs. Jones, Dorchester see my review of  this joint

Funny that many soul food joints call themselves barbecue joints, but here's one that smokes the competition, along with its ribs and chicken. Their collard greens are among my favorites.


 

 

Tier 4: (listed in alphabetical order)

 

American BBQ, Rowley and Beverly see my review of  this joint

Solid execution all around with a wide menu and some nice touches. Free peanuts, homemade chips and good, innovative collards. Has the potential to move up a level.

 

Bison County, Waltham see my review of  this joint

Bison County? Seriously? I wouldn't have believed it either, but seriously. Don't get too excited, we're already down to tier 4, and when you take a look at tier 5, it makes more sense. After a few mediocre meals here several years ago, I had some half decent ones over the past few years. Do not miss the spicy mustard sauce on the Carolina wings. Remember, we're going in alphabetical order.

 

Chili Head Barbeque, W. Bridgewater see my review of  this joint

This one's gone downhill a little since my review, but still worth a look for its humongous, sometimes bacony Carolina ribs. The secret must-hits here are the wings and the burgers.

 

Commonwealth BBQ, Wrentham see my review of  this joint

This outdoor joint has shown flashes of promise with some decent wings, photogenic ribs and interesting sauces.

 

East Coast Grill, Cambridge see my review of  this joint

This is another review that needs an update, as ownership has changed (no longer Chris Schlesinger) and barbecue has been pushed even further to the background, but it's still good.

 

Firebox BBQ, Bedford see my review of  this joint

Another outdated review, as the once-stellar chicken and pulled pork have slid to merely good, but the less impressive ribs have picked up some. My amateur psychoanalysis is that they were once trying their hardest to get noticed and are coasting now that they have, but they're worth a look and have the potential to turn it back around. Good chili, good sauces.

 

Po's Ribs, Acton see my review of  this joint

It's run by the former owners of a Chinese restaurant, so don't expect your typical barbecue profiles. The meats are still smoked and the flavors are subtle but very aromatic. The wings are not smoked, but they're killer.

 

Redbones, Somerville see my review of  this joint

Speaking of coasting, here's another joint where that shoe fits, but Redbones probably gets beat up among the cognoscenti a little more than it deserves. Its greatest strengths are its vibe, its beer list and its breadth of dishes within and outside the barbecue spectrum, including seafood and vegetarian. That doesn't equate barbecue excellence, but it counts for a lot in my book. No, I really don't have a book. Okay, okay, I do.

 

Red-eyed Pig, West Roxbury see my review of  this joint

Based on the Thrillist preview, you'd think they were the second coming of barbecue. Until I see a better smoker coming through the door, I'm not coming to any conclusion other than that they're a creative crew with better potential than execution. Good sausage, good sides, not-so-good sauces.

 

Silk Road BBQ, Boston/Belmont (truck)

Another outside-the-box outfit (Central Asian fusion), they've got good bedside manner, great command of non-barbecue flavors, and a chile-pomegranate sauce that's fantastic. The non-traditional flavors are fine, but I want to see more smoke and more rub under the hood.

 

Scratch Kitchen, Salem see my review of  this joint

This sandwich joint that makes no barbecue pretense claimed the top slot of my most recent Favorite Wings list, and the onion rings and bacon are damn good too. I'm not a fan of their pulled pork, but I'm high on their smoked pastrami that goes under the name of brisket. While other joints are inconsistent from visit to visit, this one's inconsistent from menu item to menu item, so don't stray too far from the recs above.

 

Tennessee's, various see my review of  this joint

For what it is (a quick over-the-counter joint), it's not so bad, but hardly a destination. Pork ribs and chicken are surer bets than the beef ribs and pulled meats. Sides are generous, fresh and mostly good. The secret weapon here is the burrito.

 

 

 

 

Tier 5: (listed in alphabetical order)


Abigail's, Cambridge see my review of  this joint

The barbecue brunch and barbecue-related dinner offerings are too light on smoke (possibly not smoked) and all around flavor. Perhaps the management agrees, as the brisket and pulled pork sandwiches have both been pulled from the menu. Seafood's the way to go here.


BBQSmith, Boston/JP (food truck) see my review of  this joint

Call it a sandwich and I call it good. Call it barbecue and I call it so-so.


BBQ Town, Cambridge see my review of  this joint

It's not memorable, but it's a lot more legit than some others getting a lot more press and cred.

 

Farm Bar and Grille, Essex see my review of  this joint

This one looks the part and then some, with one of the most impressive spaces (inside and out). The barbecue has promise but hasn't hit on all cylinders on my multiple visits. If they can put it together, Farm Bar could jump two levels.

 

Frankie D's, Kingston see my review of  this joint

Respectable execution all around; just not noteworthy.


Hen House, Boston see my review of  this joint

If you're looking for affordable and looking for late night hours, look no further; just remember that you get what you pay for. The ribs aren't my style, but more than serviceable for the super tender fall-off-the-bone category.


Horseshoe Grille, N. Reading see my review of  this joint

About as bad-ass as Red Coach Grill, it's a family friendly spot with decent but unlegendary 'cue. Fun factoid: they were trained by the unquestionably legendary competition veteran John Willingham.


Larry J's House of Q, Boston see my review of  this joint

The former Chelsea joint is now open in Boston on the waterfront. I love the ambitious menu and am hoping for tenderness and flavor to do better at keeping pace.


Ryles/Mitch's, Cambridge see my review of  this joint

Not horrible, but nothing to hang its hat on. With East Coast Grill, Tupelo and Coast Cafe all nearby, this one gets lost, perhaps justifiably.


Smoken Joe's, Brighton see my review of  this joint

I like the look, the menu and the sauces. The 'cue needs more flavor and more tenderness. Yes, it's been a while since my last visit, and I'd go back if there were a good reason. Their Facebook page promotes nothing but the music, so can you blame me for thinking there's no reason yet?


Village Smokehouse, Brookline see my review of  this joint

This is 1980's sauce-driven barbecue, be it smoked or not.

 

 

 

Tier 6: (listed in alphabetical order)


Casey's Pub, Holliston see my review of  this joint

Here's one where I did go back (but with good reason) after an underwhelming first impression, and they were no better the second time around.


Clyde's, Walpole see my review of  this joint

Not really a barbecue joint.


Coast Cafe, Cambridge see my review of  this joint

Also not really a barbecue joint, but very good soul food and excellent fried chicken that's different from the norm. This slotting is more reflective of their stewy ribs than their all-around competence that would place them two tiers higher.


Jerry Remy's, Boston see my review of  this joint

Another in the outdated review sweepstakes (I admit, I used to like them even though I wasn't planning to). They've sold their smoker and now prepare the ribs differently (no cure, no smoke, no bite, no flavor, reliant on sauce). Kind of like how I thought they would before I was pleasantly surprised on my first visit. Oh well, it was good for a while.


M&M Ribs, Dorchester/Boston see my review of  this joint

The review might seem dated, but repeat tastings at the food truck confirm my initial findings. Mediocre at best, inedible at worst. Call me what you want, but I call them overrated.


Midtown Smokehouse, Needham

Determined to be closed shortly after I posred this, they've twice served me flavorless Cookshack 'cue. At least the fries were good.


Pit Stop Barbeque, Mattapan see my review of  this joint

Soul food masquerading as barbecue. There's better soul food out there.


Stevies Eatery, Marlborough

I love chatting with the owner. I don't love his food. Good texture, needs flavor.


Slater's, Bolton

Another low-on-flavor Cookshack proponent, they've shown some improvement of late. I can see them moving up a level, but not two.

 

Smokin' Jim's, Gloucester see my review of  this joint

At least there's a view.

 

Whiskey's, Boston see my review of  this joint

That this across-from-the-Pru watering hole isn't in the bottom tier is a minor victory. Good value and better than you'd think. But not good.

 

 

 

Tier 7: (listed in alphabetical order)


CnDs BBQ, Wakefield see my review of  this joint

This place recently closed, but I already had them in the bottom tier and didn't want the remaining choices to look like I was only choosing joints not claiming to be barbecue joints. This one was, and this one was bad.

 

Pilot House BBQ, Gloucester see my review of  this joint

Barbecue in name only, served by waitresses named Gertrude and Bertha.


Redneck's
, Allston see my review of  this joint

Not really barbecue anymore (even though "BBQ" is above the front door), they're a subs and pizza joint that occasionally still does a pulled pork sandwich. Imagine Underwood deviled ham tossed in Pepto Bismol and you have the perfect visual.

 

Sunset Grill, Allston see my review of  this joint

In retrospect, their wide ranging beer menu and breweriana should have bought them enough goodwill to make tier 6, but the 'cue here is just an afterthought.

 

 

 

New Hampshire, you're next.

 

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(06/29/12)

Connecticut BBQ: HanBone's Reviewed

The site's 254th barbecue review is for HanBone's BBQ (Hamden CT), a takeout joint just north of New Haven. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or link to reviews using the red icons in the Joints directory.

click to view larger image

See my review of HanBone's BBQ

 

 

 

(06/27/12)

Boston BBQ: Redbones Review Update

The review updates roll on, this time for Redbones (Somerville MA), a Boston BBQ institution for two and a half decades. In my 2006 review, I declared they got their mojo back after a bit of a slump, but how have they been lately? Check out the 2012 review update via the Reviews page, the link above or link to reviews using the red icons in the Joints directory.

 

 

See my review update for Redbones

 

 

 

 

(06/22/12)

Maine BBQ: Back to Binga's

Binga's Stadium Smokehouse (Portland ME) recently expanded their menu to bolster the smokehouse side of things. No longer just a sports bar and wings joint that only dabbles in 'cue (smoked wings, ribs, pulled pork), they've now added burnt ends, hog wings, smoked-then-grilled sausage, cured-then-smoked Canadian bacon and sliced smoked brisket. I visited last weekend and tried a good cross section of the menu.

 

click to view larger image

 

Burnt ends: This menu entry caught my eye a month ago when I first noticed the barbecue menu expansions. When the plate ($6.99) hit the table, the cubes of beef brisket deckle (the fattiest part) looked good, bearing dark surfaces and leaking juices. The bites varied greatly in these categories, but for the most part they had very impressive juiciness and good crustiness without killer crispiness. Fat also varied, with some pieces mostly fat but most pieces just right. Tenderness was right on the money. Flavor brought much smoke and a pleasing rub that emanated more from the interior. Overall, these were some surprisingly solid burnt ends—at a (predominantly) wing joint, no less—that might even rank among the best ones I've tried in the Northeast.

click to view larger image

Ribs: A half rack of babybacks from the 2-meat combo ($22.99), requested unsauced, had a crusty exterior with no grilling required. Meat volume was very high for babybacks. There was only a hint of a smoke ring, but the flavor was just smoky enough to know they were smoked (especially after the no-doubt-smoked burnt ends). The meat didn't have much of a rub flavor, which was a minor disappointment when I recall the very strongly flavored ribs from the first visit. A faintly sweet backdrop to the meat and some really good juiciness helped bridge the gap. We're talking only decent ribs here, probably around average, that would probably be better if ordered sauced. That's what I'll do next time (and there will be a next time) if I don't get the appetizer ribs instead. Which reminds me: the appetizer ribs were what I had last time, and they were St Louis cut spares, so either the app and entree ribs vary or they've switched cuts.

click to view larger image
Brisket: Grilled slices had a darkened surface that sweated juicy fat. A quick rip revealed ideal tender-not-droopy texture and pinker meat on the cross section. The grilled flavor was the monopolizing component, but not too heavy, allowing the rub flavor (more inside than outside) to sing backup, with light smokiness further back. Each slice had a crisp exterior yielding to a thin layer of fat, yielding to a thicker layer of tender meat. This brisket struck me as beefy, steaky bacon that would be right at home atop a burger. If you're looking for a meaty experience that's a little different, this is one worth trying. If you're seeking more traditional brisket, this might not be for you.

 

Wings: Smoked wings ($6.99 per 6) covered in Cajun rub had some mild smoky fdlavor and some heat to be reckoned with. "Plain Jane" wings (no smooke, no breading) with hot mango sauce deftly delivered a scintillating mix of sweet and heat but struck out on the crispy.

click to view larger image

Cole slaw: This was very odd, made with mostly if not entirely lettuce, not cabbage. The backdrop was a thin mix of mayo and cider vinegar.

 

Collard greens: Something must have gone awry here, because the thin broth had so much salt it couldn't possibly be intentional. And remember, I like salt. The leaves were cooked just right though.

 

Cornbread: Most cornbread tastes faintly of corn and mostly of cake, but this one defied stereotype with a grilled version tasting like buttered popcorn. It wasn't burnt at all, but the nearly-burnt-kernels aspect added a refreshingly different dimension to the corny flavor. I liked it.

 

Visit summary: There were some ups, some downs and some mehs, but overall a positive visit. Whether your visit will be positive depends on how much you require that the barbecue and sides mimic their counterparts of barbecue meals in your past. At Binga's they're going to be different—sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but usually just different, which is okay by me. I'm hoping to return later this summer and update the 2009 review to include the findings above and in my next visit.

 

See the 2009 PigTrip review of Binga's Stadium Smokehouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

(06/20/12)

My 10 Most Wanted BBQ Joints

Way back in the earliest days of this site, I'd periodically list the ten still-unvisited joints in the Joints directory I most wanted to hit. Here are ten that are on my mind right now, not counting joints that have yet to open and joints (or expansions of joints) I've already visited.

 

1. Kit Kat's Smoked BBQ, Pawcatuck, CT
There are several good signs here. That they have 'Smoked' in their name is one. That they started as an outdoor operation in southwest Rhode Island and have grown the business to an indoor restaurant in southeast Connecticut is two. But what has me most gripped is their website background image of a thick, juicy rib with a perfect smoke ring. www.kitkatsbbq.webs.com

 

2. Prohibition Pig, Waterbury VT
They take their beer seriously here and they put a lot of creativity into the smoked fare. I celebrate rather than bemoan the idea that they're not another copycat barbecue joint. Whether it's a venison or pork infused burger, fried chicken on a house Cheddar biscuit, varying sausage or even a seafood dish that does the trick, the constant Facebook menu specials never fail to get me excited about this place. www.prohibitionpig.com

 

3. Texas Ranger BBQ at Legends, Queens NY
This out of the way joint is the last remaining link to Pearson's—one of New York City's earliest forays into true barbecue and a long-gone joint that was ahead of its time.

 

4. Smokin' Good BBQ, Bethel ME
You gotta love trailer operations, and this one—formerly known as BBQ Bob's—has received a lot of love already. It's also a long drive from PigTrip International headquarters, so the love may be more related to lack of serious competition than actual quality, but the drive will probably be worth it: I'll either hit a new great one or have ammo to dispel the legend. www.smokingoodbarbecue.com

 

5. Town Line BBQ, Sagaponack NY
On my list for years, this eastern Long Island joint has eluded me with a prohibitive mix of geography and Hamptons beach traffic, but all the reports I've received so far have been very positive. I'm still angling for a ferry ride for a quick (okay, not so quick) daytrip to see what the fuss is about. www.townlinebbq.com

 

6. Bubby's, NYC (Brooklyn and Manhattan)
Years ago I assumed they were just a matzoh ball soup and homespun pie place that dabbled in faux 'cue, but a closer examination of their menu—and a recommendation from one of the city's most respected pitmasters—revealed more of a real deal slant. Barbecue availability is a bit of a problem, as the Manhattan location only serves it after 6:00PM; the Brooklyn location offers it at lunch but not on weekends (brunch only). Someday the planets will align. www.bubbys.com

 

7. Cider House BBQ, Waterbury VT
It's always a great feeling when someone writes in and tells me that they found a great place because of a rec on PigTrip. Similarly, I have a few go-to sites, and if Hot 'n' Saucy Wings is high on Cider House BBQ, then so am I (big shocker: I'm a wings fan too). www.ciderhousevt.com


8. Four Points, Winterport ME
The buzz on this Maine newcomer is as strong as the one in Bethel, though the same far-from-others reservations apply. One thing I've noticed is that the 'cue is only available 'til it runs out. www.4pointsbbq.com

 

9. American Glory, Hudson NY
By all accounts, it's one of the more impressive BBQ spaces, but that's where the agreement ends. The skewed Yelp ratings (they're all skewed, but this one more than most) are piquing my curiosity. www.americanglory.com

 

10. Perigee, Lee MA
This has the makings of one hifalutin joint (is that an oxymoron?), but there's nothing wrong with that as long as the quality lives up to the trappings. www.perigee-restaurant.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Recent Eats (click photo to view larger image)

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Ribs at Kit Kat's Smoked BBQ, Pawcatuck CT.

 

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Bacon chive and garlic smoked wings at Harley's Smokeshack, NYC.

 

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Ribs at Daisy May's, NYC.

 

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Chicken and ribs at Wildwood, NYC.

 

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Pulled pork at Sweet Cheeks, Boston MA.

 

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Ribs at the Back Behind, Killington VT.

 

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Pork belly at 3 Guys Basement BBQ, Hanover NH.

 

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Rib and pulled pork sandwich at SoulFire II, Boston MA.

 

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Ribs at Rockhouse BBQ & Wings, Manchester CT.

 

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Ribs, fried chicken and sausage at SoulFire II, Boston MA.

 

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Chicken at Sweet Cheeks, Boston MA.

 

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Ribs at Lobster Q, Hampstead NH.

 

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Brisket at Goody Cole's Smokehouse, Brentwood NH.

 

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Pulled pork sandwich at Prohibition Pig, Waterbury VT.

 

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Pork and brisket at Cider House, Waterbury VT.

 

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Brisket sandwich with bacon BBQ sauce at Prohibition Pig, Waterbury VT.

 

 

 

 

 

Got a question or comment about this site? Got a BBQ joint lead?

Please feel free to contact me: GARYatPIGTRIPdotNET

 

 

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