Good barbecue

James Shotwell asks:

Trying to determine the best BBQ joint in the Boston area. Can you help?




Some answers via Twitter

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Blue Ribbon

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is good. I've only been to the Newton location but the BBQ and the sweet tea are good.


What kind of barbecue?

Some places specialize, some don't.

I have a friend who lives in the south, but he likes to go to Redbones when he's in town because he can get a variety, rather than just the local style. I got a combo plate at Redbones last night and it was as good as ever, so I'm not sure what the "stopped serving food" comment is here.

I also second the Blue Ribbon BBQ.

Didn't there used to be a trailer in Dorchester that served up some amazing stuff? I seem to remember stopping there coming back from the South Shore and it would sometimes be open, sometimes not.


Blue Ribbon

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Blue Ribbon


Not a great city for 'cue

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Personally speaking, every time I get a new favorite barbecue place, it closes after a couple of years. To be honest, I've sort of given up trying. The one time we went to Blue Ribbon, it was a huge disappointment. Redbones is OK but not great, in my opinion.

The best places I've discovered have all been run by African-American men (or families) and look like a hole in the wall. (Maybe that's why they all go out of business so quickly, even when their food is great.) You might try tracking down the M&M Ribs food truck [] -- they also sometimes have booths at street festivals.


Larry Q clueless about BBQ

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When he was in Chelsea, we stopped in and had what was someone who has never had real BBQ's idea of BBQ. It was mediocre at best and while talking to him it became pretty apparent that he didn't really know much about it. Or care to. He just made what he thought of as BBQ.

Sweet Cheeks

Yes, it has that stigma of being run by someone who was on TV, but it's good.

I hear Blackstrap in Winthrop is great as well, they were renovating when I tried to go though.

Love Sweet Cheeks

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Except on a game night. Terrific ribs. I can't bring myself to pay that much for biscuits but the sides are terrific, especially the cole slaw and the broccoli cheddar casserole. And great beers too.

Sweet Cheeks=Salt Burns

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I want to love Sweet Cheeks, but they use so much salt in everything, my mouth burns.

BBQ Listing

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Heres a website I found, great info. Not sure how up to date.

If a quest for the best...

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...barbecue is in order, there's a perfectly good (and delicious) means of finding the answer... just stop in at every 'cue joint in town!

(My vote is for the Village Smokehouse in Brookline, but then again I'm a 'beef > pork' snob, so others' mileages may very well vary.)

Soul Fire

Soul Fire in Allston has the best pulled pork I've ever had. They also have a nice variety of barbecue sauces from thin to thick, sweet to spicy.


OMG yes.

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That place was the freakin' best. I still have a cherished little cardboard matchbook from Uncle Pete's. Whatever happened to them?

moved then closed

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They moved to squire road in revere and then closed.

I miss them too. Nothing like a big rack of ribs and a side of Asian slaw!

I remember

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Being so sad when they moved because I knew that I'd never go. It was already a bit of a trek, though I remember getting bumped from a flight once and saying "well screw it--let's go to Uncle Pete's!" And it was the best consolation ever. I'm sorry to hear that he's no longer with us.

I inadvertently stole Sally's subject in my reply.

re "OMG Yes"

I wasn't mocking you Sally, with my reply which appeared later the same day as yours. In fact I didn't even see your "OMG yes" until well over a day later after I posted my own coincidentally plagiaristic "OMG yes" in my response about the place in Sturbridge!

Now I wish Pete's was still open so I could try it, since you apparently are enthusiastic the same way I am.

Sorry to 'steal' your subject line! It was unintentional, I promise!

When in season

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the McRib sandwich from McDonald's on Gallivan Boulevard in Dorchester.



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From now on, troll, feed thyself.


There's plenty of good BBQ around the area. The best? None. They all have strengths and weaknesses.

I've been pleased with: Blue Ribbon (Arlington), Lester's Roadside (Burlington), newcomer Slow Bones (Burlington), Sweet Cheeks, Firebox (Bedford), Firefly's (Marlborough). There are others I haven't tried.

And, frankly, I love the ribs at Texas Roadhouse.

Tennessee BBQ in Braintree is

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Tennessee BBQ in Braintree is the only BBQ place that makes me homesick. Website says they have locations in Peabody and Framingham as well.

rb's brisket & formaggio!

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redbones has changed its brisket recipe recently (the past few months), and if you're a into that, i suggest trying it out. it's a real improvement, and i'm very picky about my brisket.

& i know it's only saturday mornings/early afternoons, but i'm surprised no one mentioned the formaggio saturday bbq! it's not to be missed. in fact, i think we might just hit it up tomorrow.

Big Moe

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has been doing it right since I first tried his pulled pork nearly a decade ago in an abandoned lot on Columbia Road. When available try the candied yams; more of a dessert than a side dish but oh well, if you're trying to eat healthy you probably shouldn't be part of this conversation.


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Glad to see Redbones isn't getting much of a mention here. Did they change their menu?

I haven't been in almost a decade because I don't think its very good, esp after you've waited so long for a table. Its probably one of the most overrated places in the Boston area.


Cater to hipsters

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They and Boloco sponsor bicycling events, so the food is predictably, um, pedestrian. They seem to cater to a younger, hipster clientele who are not very discerning.

Yeah, clearly.

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Those bicycle-loving hipsters and their crappy food. Why don't you just stick to suburban "car food"--KFC poppers, Taco Bell drive-thrus, Papa Gino's, and the like? We'll keep the "bike food"--mkay?


Ah yes ...

Not very discerning. Must be why all those chain fast food places have sprung up in Boston. Millenials are known to love them some fast food so much that all the places that serve local food - the ones with the craft beer, craft cocktails, and highly imaginative and varied menus and big wine lists - are all going out of business because hipsters want them some taco time!



M&M for sure

M&M is the best I've found. Their brisket sandwich is particularly awesome. The truck goes to lots of places, but try to get over to their permanent lot location near Newmarket if you can: the variety is way better.

I've also had some good luck with Red-Eyed Pig in West Roxbury, and heard good words from trusted sources about Soulfire. Tupelo had their St Louis ribs as a special last night and I picked those effers clean, but they're not a permanent fixture on the menu.


Google says it is a 15 minute bike ride from my workplace, 14 from my hubby's ... going to have to try it for lunch!


You just jogged a memory of mine from last year. Got off the highway, wandered up that road, took a chance at that place. Absolute home run.


"Pig Newton" if you like that sort of thing...

..They even have a "dessert" containing pork. A homemade "pig newton" complete with fig jam. I had to take one for the road, and I wasn't disappointed. Not for everyone, but I enjoyed it.

The brisket was my main course and it rocked.

Pig Newton

Missed that. Then again, we have never even _thought_ about dessert when eating there. Too full.

Hands down its The Pit Stop

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Hands down its The Pit Stop on Morton St in Boston. Authentic southern bbq and it's only open thurs-sat.


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Why no love for Redbones? Because its popular and you have to wait? Nobody listed does it all perfectly (different styles, etc), but Redbones and Blue Ribbon are far above any else I've tried. Especially with the NC-style pulled pork and St. Louis ribs.

Sweet Cheeks is godawful. Fatty, grossly overpriced cuts, rude waitstaff and biscuits (flour, eggs, and milk) that they charge $10 dollars for while you listen to blaring rap music. Blows my mind why people fall over this place - I think its proof of celebrity carryover and the general public not knowing great bbq.