Archive - December 2012
Barbecue Dish of the Year
Over the past 12 months of barbecue, one dish from 2012 stands head and shoulders—no, wait, make that jowls—above the rest. It was the "PBJ" (porky beans and jowl) twice offered as a special at BT's Smokehouse (Sturbridge MA). Brined for weeks, rubbed heavily, smoked until the edges got perfectly crispy and the insides gushed juices, topped with house made cherry-cranberry compote and served with a bao bun and beans, this was one for the ages.
Boston Burgers: Burger Dive Reviewed
Ending a wave of burger reviews, this last one for the year is for Burger Dive (Somerville MA), a new standalone burger joint in the Assembly Square Marketplace.
See my review of Burger Dive
Maine BBQ: Beale Street Barbeque Reviewed
The site's 267th barbecue review is for Beale Street Barbeque (Bath ME), a joint that was at one time part of a mini chain with additional locations in South Portland (became the SoPo, now closed) and Augusta (sold, renamed Riverfront Barbeque, still open, nearly identical menu). 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 Beale Street Barbeque
Maine BBQ: Buck's Naked Opens Third Location in Downtown Portland
Buck's Naked started as a tiny barbecue shack on Route 1 in Freeport, then expanded to larger digs up the road (with an expanded menu that included steaks and internationally-inspired fare), then to a second location in Windham. I've often said that trying to be all things to all people rarely works—but I've also often said that Buck's Naked is the one example that defies that mantra. With its comfy seating, long bar, kid-friendly play area and family-friendly menu, you'd think the barbecue would get lost in the shuffle, but it doesn't. That's why I was glad to see Buck's Naked open its third outpost in late 2012 in downtown Portland.
Check out the Buck's Naked Portland preview (not a full fledged review) for a photo-packed look at the joint and just a small sampling of the 'cue.
See my preview of Buck's Naked Portland
Connecticut Burgers: Shake Shack Reviewed
I've already reviewed Shake Shack NYC, but do Connecticut's Westport and New Haven outposts stack up? Check out the Connecticut Shake Shack review.
See my review of Shake Shack Westport and New Haven
Boston Burgers: Farmstead Table Reviewed
Time for another burger review. The Boston Globe's Devra First said that Farmstead Table (Newton MA) a "great burger," but do I agree?
See my review of the burger at Farmstead Table
Connecticut BBQ: Bar Q Reviewed
The site's 266th barbecue review is for Bar Q (Stamford CT), an offshoot of Westport's Bobby Q's with completely different recipes and a bar-friendly tapas format for the '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 Bar Q
Connecticut BBQ: Dinosaur Hits New England
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (Stamford CT) is a New York BBQ institution that's taken Connecticut by storm, making its first entry into New England on December 5. A couple of friends and I stopped in for their first weekend lunch service this Saturday and found the joint jumpin' at 12:30. There were very few signs of rookie jitters; on the contrary, Dinosaur performed to a packed house like a well oiled machine, thanks in part to an influx of talent from upstate New York.
Check out the preview for a quick run-down of what we tried.
See my preview of Dinosaur Stamford
Boston Brunch, Southern, Burgers: M3 Reviewed
Some call M3 (Somerville MA) a barbecue joint, though it's really a Southern eatery with items like fried green tomatoes, beer can chicken and barbecue sauce topped pork shanks. I stopped in for Saturday brunches spaced about 5 months apart, trying the burger twice and enough other items to pad both the review and my waistline.
See my review of the burger and more at M3
Joints Directory Madness
Here's the latest batch of barbecue Joints directory activity, spanning five states. This time there are five new joints, seven closings, one mobile force-out, one joint resulting from two closed joints, one joint returning from hiatus, two joints going on hiatus and one new phone number.
NEW JOINTS and/or NEW TO THE DIRECTORY
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (Stamford CT) opens today, making it their sixth unit of the popular New York barbecue juggernaut and the first to hit New England. www.dinosaurbarbque.com
BrisketTown (Brooklyn NY) is a Williamsburg brisket boutique that specializes in that one meat, with occasional forays into ribs and such. The $25 per pound offering had been perfected in an earlier incarnation called BrisketLab. Note that the current incarnation is also known as Delaney BBQ. Thanks to Rob and Robbie for early leads on this. http://delaneybbq.com
Taino Smokehouse (Middleton CT) opened quietly a few weeks ago, representing the reemergence of Pete Daversa, formerly of NYC's Hill Country, in the barbecue scene. The preliminary menu has the barbecue standards plus deep burger and wing sections—and yes, the wings are smoked. www.tainosmokehouse.com
Kinfolks Award Winning BBQ (Brockton MA) is a new joint with not much to go on but a few Yelp reviews. Thanks to both Angie and Mark for separate leads.
Buck's Naked BBQ (Portland ME) opened at the end of November. It's the third location of the joint from Freeport that's one of the few examples of a something-for-everyone approach that actually works. www.bucksnaked-bbq.com
Rack and Soul (NYC) has closed, dealing a loss to soul food fans, fried chicken fans and even barbecue fans. Their pulled pork may have been extremely sweet, but it was extremely delicious, thanks to a very high bark content and plenty of smoke under the sauce. I wish I had visited it more. Thanks to Chuck for the lead.
Firefly's (Framingham MA) has closed, leaving the Marlborough MA flagship the one remaining location of what was once a 3-restaurant mini chain. I have mixed feelings about this one, as I'm hoping it'll up the consistency level in Marlborough. Thanks to Steve for the info. www.fireflysbbq.com
Indigo (Montclair NJ and Bloomfield NJ) have both closed, now replaced by Indigo Kitchen (Montclair NJ) under the same ownership.
Charlie's BBQ (Queensbury NY) has closed after not being open all summer. Thanks to Karl for the info.
Rebels Roadside (Bullville NY) is a mobile operation that has shut down after being harassed by a nearby restaurateur. I'm hoping there'll be a resurfacing shortly, if not by spring. Facebook
The Slippery Pig (Holbrook NY) closed several months ago. Thanks to the clerk in the neighboring pizzeria for confirming.
Cattlemen's Steakhouse (Port Jefferson NY) has closed, but the Lindenhurst location is supposedly still open. www.cattlemenssteak.com
The Farm Downtown (Beverly MA) has closed just recently.
Bear Bonz BBQ (Naples ME) has closed not so recently.
Smokestack Urban Barbecue (Worcester MA) has reopened after a brief hiatus and now located on Green Street. Their reintroduced lunch service three weekdays a week will certainly improve my visit rate. www.bbqstack.com
Buck's Roadside BBQ (Auburn MA) recently started winter hibernation with the plan to reopen next spring. Thanks to Brian for the lead. www.bucksroadside-bbq.com
Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue (Brooklyn NY) now has its phone number listed, and starting today they're serving lunch.
Big Bubba's BBQ (Uncasville CT) is, according to its website, "temporarily closed for updates." www.bigbubbasbbq.com
Boston Burgers: RF O'Sullivan's Reviewed
The ever polarizing R. F. O'Sullivan & Son (Somerville MA) is the latest burger review. Some good points, some bad points. Balanced or namby pamby? You decide. Back to barbecue tomorrow.
See my review of the burger at RF O'Sullivan & Son
Boston Burgers: Grass Fed Burger Reviewed
Time for another burger review, this time for Grass Fed (Jamaica Plain MA), an offshoot of neighboring restaurant Ten Tables. I actually posted this review over a week ago, linking via Facebook, and am finally getting around to posting here on the main site. It's been a hectic week.
For the remainder of the month, burger reviews may well outnumber barbecue reviews, but by January I should be back to the usual barbecue focus. I'm currently working on review updates for Firebox BBQ (Bedford MA), Lester's Roadside BBQ (Burlington MA) and Goody Cole's Smokehouse (Brentwood NH), plus some new reviews for a few top secret targets.
See my review of the burger at Grass Fed
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