A food truck with barbecuecentric sandwiches and tacos, BBQsmith sets up at Boston's Chinatown gate on weekdays, weather permitting. They also vend at other locations (Jamaica Plain, SOWA Open Market, etc.) at other times, sometimes announcing those appearances ahead of time (if a few minutes in advance counts as ahead of time) on their website and Facebook.
BBQsmith cranks out all natural smoked chicken, beef and pork as sandwiches, tacos and plates. Ribs are not a mainstay but are reportedly offered occasionally.
I checked out BBQsmith at the SOWA Open Market, where they're an occasional vendor. One of the nice things about food truck in general is that their mobile operation avails them to multiple locations to reach audiences for whom the primary location might not be most convenient. One of the things I don't like about food trucks in general (just sayin') and BBQsmith in particular is that those multiple locations are not always regular, not always announced, and when they are announced it's not until just a few minutes before the operation is well underway and I've already made other plans.
There are no appetizers as such.
Pulled pork sandwich: Instead of a bun, this pulled pork sandwich ($6) is served in a lengthy roll similar to a French baguette. I liked the soft, crusty bread more than the simple meat that was oh so light on smoke, rub and all around flavor. I take BBQsmith at their word that the meat is indeed smoked, though I'd never guess it based on tasting this tender but very bland pork. That said, the sandwich succeeded as a whole thanks to the bread and some tasty condiments.
Beef taco: Served in a fairly traditional nested pair of soft taco shells, this fairly affordable taco ($3) saw the flavor of the condiments again overshadow the meat, which again lacked a barbecue profile specifically and flavor generally. Both the taste and texture of the beef itself was pot roasty.
There weren't any bottled sauces to sample, but what was on the sandwiches was satisfying.
Sesame soy slaw with scallion and coriander: I'm a confessed cole slaw freak and I like anything that's different. This was different. I didn't like it.
Potato salad: The smoked beef taco being pot roasty wasn't such a good thing. The potato salad was pot roasty too and that was a good thing. Imagine the potatoes that come with pot roast or beef stew, and that's what this outside-the-box potato salad tasted like. Make that two outside-the-box sides, with a .500 batting average. I'm good with that.
The Bottom Line
Whether you'll like BBQsmith depends on what you're looking for. If you're just trying to grab a tasty sandwich with no real barbecue requirement, BBQsmith will do okay. If scratching that unrelenting barbecue itch is your goal, you'll still be very itchy (and possibly bitchy) after the meal. The meats may be all natural and raised without hormones or antibiotics, but the flavors are just too minimal for me.
Jacqueline Church's review of BBQsmith
Yelp reviews of BBQsmith
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