uandursister (uandursister) wrote in boston_eats,

Burger Joints & BBQ

It's summer time and that means I crave good burgers and BBQ. And lately I'm looking for good places. The best burger place I know of is Wild Willy's in Watertown. It's low-hassle, easy on the wallet and has parking. The meat is juicy, the buns are toasted, and the combinations of flavors are great. I usually order the Rocky. Plus, they've never hassled me about mixing flavors for milkshakes (i.e. ordering a chocolate-strawberry as opposed to just chocolate or just strawberry).

Lately I've been going to The Waterfront. Their 10z angus burgers are awesome, but way too much for one person. However, I've never been hassled about sharing a burger and they have plenty of TVs to watch the Red Sox on. The service, however, is spotty. Friendly enough, but painfully slow. 

BBQ is much harder to find. Sure, there's Redbones, but I'm rarely in Davis Sq. And there's Blue Ribbon, but there is no where to sit and that stuff gets soggy fast when you try to get home. I need a new place. 

So, where do you guys go for great burgers and coma-inducing BBQ?
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there's also the linwood grill near the fens. not the best, but not bad if you're in the area.

i tried uncle petes in reveah and i was not impressed. it was tasty, but it wasnt very smoky.

i've just been making it myself. it's way way cheaper.

sorry i couldnt be of much help, but i am hoping some others will chime in!
No problem - got any recipes to share?
i mostly do pork and chicken. they're both easy but time-consuming so bbq joints still have a place. i havent tried brisket yet because i am not that good at regulating temp.

i've used a cheapo brinkman water smoker but i also have an electric smoker that i'm testing out (as i type, actually!) the key is in heat regulation, keeping it at ~225 for however many hours is required. last time i did pork butt for pulled pork, i got lazy and transfered the meat from the smoker to the oven after about 6 hours. the remaining few were done in the oven at 250.

there are some great rub recipies (and advice in general) on the bbq faq - i use the first one listed, the all south bbq rub. i have found the galena st rub from penzeys (there's one in arlington) is very very similar.

rub your meat and stick it in the fridge overnight. then let it come to room temp for an hour while your smoker is heating up and throw it in. pork's super easy - you dont ever have to touch the meat itself as long as you keep the heat, smoke, and if using a water smoker, water level correct.

for chicken, i simply use old bay and let the smoke do the work.

for wood i use hickory and oak but mix in red birch when i can get it. maple is great too. any hardwood'll do.

that bbq faq is a great resource and i've spent a lot of time reading through it for info.

if you dont want to deal with the time and hassle of smoking you can do some fake cue.
use liquid smoke, rub your pork butt, pile on a bunch of sliced onions, put it in a baking dish on a rack of some sort and throw it in the oven at 250 until it falls apart. not as good as smoked, but i do it from time to time when the weather is bad and i've run out of frozen stuff.
I'm drooling. Thank you. :)
Blue Ribbon is your best bet to be honest. I always eat it in for that same reason though. I really don't care if I have to wait, I do. But let's be honest it is New England so we shouldn't really be that surprised we're not swamped in good Q. I hear there's a few places in East Boston and down in Dorcester that do it right, but those are just way too far for me to get to.
*sigh* guess I need to plan a trip to Kansas City.
A few friends of mine have been playing with smoking meat, and honestly I've made better beef brisket and pork shoulder at home than any place I've ever been too up around here. It doesn't seem to be that hard, it's just an expensive and time consuming process that's fickle, all negatives in the modern restaurant world.

Blue Ribbon is still my go to place though. I really dig their sides and you can't find better sauces than there, real sauce, not the sickenly sweet and artificial tasting stuff all the other places use.
And Blue Ribbon is close to my office... hmm... maybe I'll go there anyway.
I'm a fan of their Gold (which is mustard based) and their XXX Hot which seems like a real freshly made hot sauce. Their regular tomato based sauces are I think okay, not great but not terrible either.
I'm a fan of the burgers and great beer at the Publick House in Brookline. I haven't really found any good BBQ around Boston, though I've heard that there are some good places around Dorchester.
I have had good food at Publick House, but I've also had AWFUL service, including being charged for things we hadn't ordered and then getting major attitude when we called them on it. Kinda turned me off the place.
Soulfire by Harvard x Comm Ave = excellent bbq. They even have a eastern north carolina style sauce :D last time I went they didn't have any south carolina style sauce though :| also, no hush puppies.

Burgers ...

Kobe Beef burger at Oak Bar.
See I'm a fan of mustard based sauces so So Carolina is my thing. Your another person I've heard good things about at Soulfire. I've seen so many places come and go at that location I was thinking it might be cursed. I'll definitely have to try it out ASAP.

How's the ribs? What style of ribs?
i've heard good things. the only person who i trust who didnt like it is a purist and she was mad because there was some fusion going on with the side dishes. doesnt bother me as long as the meat is smoked right. i'll have to check it out.
I'm from the heart of Eastern North Carolina BBQ. The fam does a yearly 24hr pig that I've been taught the secrets of. That said - this place has juicy, tasty pulled pork. The sauces are good - not mind blowing, but always solid.

I fully support a pre-90s Night bbq outing.
actually i should have some pulled pork ready for friday...


10 years ago

haven't done the ribs yet, but I just found an excuse to try them in the next few days ;) pretty sure they do pork by the half rack, along with beef. I've never been huge on ribs so I didn't really pay much attention to their offerings.

I'm a fan of a good mustard sauce too. Most places make it too much like plain old mustard. The kicker about Soulfire is that they offer all the popular styles of sauce along with some of the more regional styles of bbq (pulled pork, brisket, etc)

I grew up on carolina bbq and this stuff lives up to childhood memories. plus they have beer! :D
Beer and smoked beef ribs and brisket? I'm totally there.
I like the burgers at Miracle of Science in Cambridge. I used to love the burgers at Houston's but then they started dumping huge amounts of salt on them and now they're gross. Very sad. I agree about the BBQ. Redbones always underwhelms.
They have a pretty great selection of burgers at the Sunset Grill in Allston (along with their fine beer selection, of course). Wild Willy's is my second favorite.

I'm not a huge fan of BBQ, though I have been to Redbones and Blue Ribbon. The only other BBQ place that I've been to is in Burlington called Lester's Roadside Bar. It's a bit of a ways to get to, but they do have ample parking, seating, and a number of TVs to watch the Sox game. If you've seen the place, it definitely looks like the typical BBQ restaurant. They have beer available, too.
Good burger joint in Somerville is R.F. O'Sullivans...

SO good.
Seeing as people are mentioning places as far as Methuen and you have a car, I'll have to recommend Bub's or Holy Smokes for barbecue if you're ever out in Western MA.
There are numerous public BBQ events in the area.

I've been to two of them. The Lowell Rib n' Brews Festival (September 7-8) is a BBQ competition in downtown Lowell with a well-stocked microbrew tent right in the middle. Most of the competitors also sell BBQ there. The New England BBQ Championships (July 28-29) is a regional BBQ championship in Windsor, VT at the Harpoon brewery, so you get BBQ + Harpoon beers. Both have a wide variety of BBQ to sample.
For burgers, check out Bartley's Burger Cottage at 1246 Mass. Ave in Harvard Square. Parking is borderline insane, especially on weekends, but it's easy to get to on the Red Line, and if need be you can park at the Alewife garage.
Best burger I've had in Boston was at Audobon across from Red Sox stadium on Beacon. I think it's a sister to Miracle of Science, but I might be wrong. The burger at Sunset Grill really IS good, but it's too big and they roll their eyes when you ask to split it. At Audobon they bring you a separate plate and a smile.

We tried to go to the Public House once during a cold snap so bad it would freeze the tears in your eyes. We got there 10 minutes before they opened and they were so abusive we left and never went back. No food is worth that.

No great ribs yet, though.