Archive - August 2014
Happy International Bacon Day
Massachusetts BBQ: Chip Shots Reviewed
The site's 318th review is for Chip Shots (Littleton MA), a sports pub west of I-495 with a wood smoked BBQ section on their menu. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Chip Shots
Joints Directory Madness
Here's the latest batch of barbecue Joints directory activity, spanning
five states. This time there are four new joints, one expansion, four closings and one temporary closing "for remodeling."
NEW JOINTS and/or NEW TO THE DIRECTORY
Mighty Quinn's Barbeque (NYC) is expanding at a tribble-like pace. Their latest outpost opens today at the much anticipated high end food court Berg'n in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood. I'm still looking for their phone number. www.mightyquinnsbbq.com
Bentley's Famous BBQ (Tyngsboro MA) is a month old joint that leans more to the infamous, if its Yelp reviews are to be believed. Now closed! www.bentleysfamousbbq.com
State Street Saloon (New London CT) is a year-old joint with not much info available other than that the evolutionary War-era downtown building once housed New London's first print shop. I've since learned that the all-you-can-eat ribs and wings deal is no longer offered, that the wings are smoked and that there's a vegetarioan chili on the menu, which is not posted on their Facebook page. Thanks to Zeke and Brad for scouting. Facebook
Antonina's Kitchen (Orange MA) is an outdoor patio joint that's "open as long as it is not raining." There's no website and no menu per se on their Facebook page, but a little ferreting reveals that pork ribs, pulled pork and brisket are all on offer, as is stuffed cabbage, and a photo of the smoker is promising. Thanks to Mark for the lead. Facebook
Northern Bell (Brooklyn NY) is a new, mostly Southern joint in Williamsburg that dabbles in the smoky arts. It very briefly marked the resurfacing of Frank Davis, previously of Beast of Bourbon. They have since parted ways. www.northernbellny.com
Big Fatty's BBQ (Burlington VT) has a recorded message saying, "we are taking another customer's order or are out of the office." Trust me, it's the latter, as the joint is vacant and where the sign once hung is bare plywood. They've been closed about a month and a half now, according to a van driver of the Big Fatty's that's still open in Hartford VT.
BBQ New (Manchester NH) never got a chance to get old, as they closed up shop less than three months after opening. And this in the summer, across the street from a minor league baseball stadium.
Mrs Jones (Dorchester MA) is closed. Thanks to Marc at Boston's Hidden Restaurants for bringing this to my attention. There's always a chance that this is temporary, since Mrs Jones was never one to dabble in modern conveniences such as the internet or social media, and has taken a hiatus or two in the past. Here's hoping. But any reports that speculate such are mere speculation.
3 Guys Basement BBQ (Hanover NH) closed a week and a half ago, coincidentally just two days after I posted a review update for them that could hardly be called an endorsement. It seemed like they made more tweaks to the pricing (higher) than they did to the quality (lower).
Southern Style Barbeque (Worcester MA) is closed temporarily (it's been about two weeks now) "for remodeling." They're another joint without a website or any use of social media, so there's no way to inquire just how temporary. They do know how to use a computer, as they have proven very adept at locating photographs of barbecue from other Northeast barbecue joints and adding them to their menu as if they were their own.
Boston's Perfect BBQ Meal (Unabridged)
As some of you have noticed, I contributed to a barbecue article and had my own sidebar article (sidebarticle?) for last Sunday's Boston Globe Magazine. As part of its 10-page spread on the 10 Best BBQ Joints in Boston, the Globe asked me to select a composite "perfect BBQ meal" using various meats and sides from different barbecue joints throughout the area. I envisioned multiple rib and brisket entrants, runners up for each category and the full gamut of barbecue standards and the not-so-standard—from pulled pork to pork belly, beef brisket to beef ribs to beef chili. Unfortunately, space constraints prevailed, so the piece wound up restricted to three meats. The other constraint was a suggestion—not an iron clad rule—that I spread the wealth around.
So in this space I'll do an expanded version. But first, a few disclaimers before launching into the full listing.
First off: consistency. Boston area joints have had their moments, and some have been spectacular, but they're a rollercoaster ride of ever changing quality and freshness levels. So these picks are for right now. Had I made the selections a month ago or a month from now, they'd be different.
And secondly, about that Perfect Meal photo in the Globe—I can already hear some of you saying that some of that food doesn't look so perfect. It's true, but that's less related to disclaimer #1 and more related to the photography process: instead of capturing the food as served at each joint, the Globe obtained it, took it back to Boston, staged it and only then did they shoot it. From an artistic standpoint and for 90% of the public, that works just fine. For the barbecue sniffer-outers, it might not look so good.
But enough of the technical mumbo jumbo, let's get on with the list. I'll go appetizers first, then entree meats, then sides.
See the unabridged version of Boston's Perfect BBQ Meal
Barbecuerankings.com: the PigTrip Interview
Barbecuerankings.com is a new website that chronicles Johnny Fugitt's cross country tour of the country's best 'cue in an attempt to hit 365 barbecue restaurants in 365 days and determine the 100 best for his upcoming book The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America. Naturally, I took great interest not only in his findings for Northeast barbecue joints such as BT's Smokehouse, Salvage BBQ and Redbones, but also in his process.
Image courtesy bbqrakings.com - used with permission.
See the PigTrip Interview with Johnny Fugitt of barbecuerankings.com
See Johnny's Interview with Me on barbecuerankings.com
Vermont BBQ: Bluebird BBQ Reviewed
The site's 317th review is for Bluebird Barbecue (Burlington VT), a barbecue joint I've had on my radar for a while. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Bluebird BBQ
New Hampshire BBQ: 3 Guys Re-reviewed
Here's a review update for 3 Guys Basement BBQ (Hanover NH), a subterranean joint just steps from Dartmouth College. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my updated review of 3 Guys Basement BBQ
Massachusetts BBQ: Meadowbrook Orchards Thursday Night BBQ Reviewed
We're in the midst of summer, so no better time for a visit to a seasonal outdoor barbecue offering (and a once-a-week one at that) at a Central Massachusetts farm slightly north of Worcester. The site's 316th review is for Meadowbrook Orchards (Sterling MA), whose Thursday night barbecues combine outdoor cooking with outdoor scenery. Check out the review via the Reviews page, the link above or the red icons in the Joints directory.
See my review of Meadowbrook Orchards
PigTrip is Eight Years Old Today
Today PigTrip turns eight. As per the plan, the frequency of output continued to lose altitude, but PigTrip is still very much airborne, with 28 new barbecue reviews, 3 barbecue review updates and 14 burger reviews over the past twelve months—down from 31, 8 and 18 in the previous twelve months. In the year ahead, I vow once again to nail the reviews with fewer visits while still basing them on enough "data" to be fair and thorough.
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Recent Eats (click photo to view larger image)
Ribs, sausage, turkey, pork and brisket at BrisketTown, Brooklyn NY.
Brisket at Hometown BBQ, Brooklyn NY.
Pulled pork, brisket, chicken and sausage at Swingbellys, Long Beach NY.
Babybacks at Brutopia, Cranston RI.
Pork jowl (special) at BT's Smokehouse, Sturbridge MA.
Wings at Bear's Smokehouse, Hartford CT.
Ribs, brisket and pork at Blue Ribbon, W. Newton MA.
Meat Coma platter (ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chili) at Salvage BBQ, Portland ME.
Honey Chipotle wings at Binga's Wingas, Yarmouth ME.
Chipotle and Cajun smoked wings at Gideon's Smokehouse, Glastonbury CT.
Babybacks and brisket at Po's Barbecue, Acton MA.
Beef ribs at SoulFire, Allston MA.
Wings at Hilltop BBQ Downtown, Manchester CT.
Chicken at Chip Shots, Littleton MA.
Smoked wings, sauced and unsauced, at the People's Pint, Greenfield MA.
Ribs, burnt ends and pork belly at 3 Guys Basement BBQ, Hanover NH.
Smoked wings at Bluebird BBQ, Burlington VT.
Chopped pig sandwich at Prohibition Pig, Waterbury VT.
Ribs at Phil's Old Fashioned BBQ, Milford NH.
Babybacks and pulled pork at Meadowbrook Orchards, Sterling MA.
Rib tips at Causeway, Boston MA.
Pulled pork sandwich at Causeway, Boston MA.
Brisket sandwich at LaBrasa, Somerville MA.
Got a question or comment about this site? Got a BBQ joint lead?
Please feel free to contact me: GARYatPIGTRIPdotNET