About halfway between Boston and Cape Cod, Frankie D's BBQ is nestled in a strip mall (dominated by Stop & Shop) on Route 3A, just south of the Route 53 split and less than a mile from route 3. Inside, the place has a comfortable feel, with a lively bar area in front and a dimly lit dining room with large booths. Both rooms have 4 TVs strategically placed at the corners. Thursday through Saturday, they offer live entertainment at night.
The menu at Frankie D's BBQ offers one kind of rib (St Louis cut), pulled pork, sliced brisket, pulled pork, sausage, pulled chicken and barbecued chicken. Appetizers include chili, clam chowder, pulled pork sliders, mini burger sliders, grilled shrimp, fried pickles and burnt ends. Sandwiches ($6.99 to $8.99 with steak fries and cole slaw) include the usual barbecue options plus catfish, "the Vinny" (Italian coldcuts) and burgers. Frankie D's has a two pound burger challenge: if you can finish one yourself it's free; if not, it's $22.59.
A late Saturday afternoon visit just after a Red Sox game ended caught the place half full with what seemed like a regular crowd. We were served a complimentary order of warm tortilla chips and fresh salsa. For appetizers, we opted for the burnt ends and the fried pickles (both $5.99). The former were large cubes of slow-smoked beef topped with a tomatoey barbecue sauce. Imagine steak tips, only more tender. I liked the flavor but I felt the tenderness had more to do with the sauce (a stewing effect) than the smoke. The fried pickle chips were cut thick enough that they arrived warm inside and weren't overwhelmed by the light, crisp batter. The ranch dressing dipping sauce was fairly ho hum.
For my entree I ordered the 3-meat combo ($19.99). The pulled pork, served with little to no sauce, was on the dry side but had a strong, spicy flavor. Brisket had a faint smoke ring and just a little fat at the edge of each thin slice. Its moistness and flavor were both about average, with nothing really noteworthy about it, either positive or negative. The St Louis cut ribs were very tender (maybe a little too tender) and loaded with flavor. You can tell that they slathered these ribs with a flavoring agent (most likely mustard) and a good amount of spice before smoking, and I liked the thin coating of finishing sauce. An order of chicken was very juicy and had a pleasing flavor, with a mild but noticeable smokiness.
Overall, the meats were decent, with no real standouts, although the ribs had potential. I thought the two sauces (house and bold) available at the table tasted rather commercial.
Sides were above average. I enjoyed the light, fresh tasting cole slaw and the full flavored collards. Beans were decent.
The bottom line: Lack of enthusiasm aside, I did like this place and I'd probably visit fairly often if I lived in the area. I'm sure I'll be back someday to try the burger (no, not that burger) and revisit the 'cue, but I'm not in any rush.
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