Blue Ribbon BBQ
1375 Washington St.
West Newton, MA
It is just wrong.
Our mission is to find great food, authentic barbeque joints, back-woods dive bars – served up with a proud, traditional American twist.
So what the heck am I doing at a barbeque place in the congressional district of Barney Frank??? The physiologically confused politician and the second-most person responsible (after Alan Greenspan) for single-handedly destroying our American economic system???
It was just wrong.
Very, very wrong.
Like running a physiologically confused prostitution ring out of your office kind of wrong.
So I really wanted to hate Blue Ribbon BBQ and its overly scrubbed, nouveau rustic motif and its typical north-of-the-Mason-Dixon-Line, something-for-everyone menu.
I had my restaurant review written in my mind before I even crossed the threshold.
It was going to be classic. It was going to be inappropriate.
Thankfully, we don’t write our reviews before the first bite.
As much as it pains me to admit it, Blue Ribbon serves up some legitimately good barbeque.
Like any barbeque joint located in Yankee territory, Blue Ribbon can’t afford to specialize in downhome BBQ alone. It has to offer a little bit of everything for every taste. But, it manages to avoid the curse of lowest common denominator grub.
Unlike your local Southern BBQ pit that only knows how to do barbeque one way (and that’s the right way), ordering at Blue Ribbon was a bit complicated, even for a barbeque connoisseur like myself. I’ve tried every version of “the right way” in every state of the old Confederacy.
Here at Blue Ribbon, they had chicken, sausage, brisket, pork, and ribs—each with its own choice of sauce. And enough side dishes to put Old Country Buffett to shame.
I chose the sausage (likely also a popular choice of Barney’s, but for different reasons I’m sure) and the pulled pork combo with “black-eyed corn” and baked beans.
The sausage was smoked to perfection, appetizingly scored and drenched in a Southern style mustard sauce, a la Maurice Bessinger in Columbia or Fred Cotten in Jacksonville.
Smoky, tender and tasty, the pulled pork came saturated in an oily, but sweet vinegar sauce. It was the real deal.
The beans weren’t sticky sweet, but good—more Western style than Southern.
As it turns out, black-eyed corn is exactly like it sounds – a mish-mash of smoked corn and black-eyed peas.
If this sounds like a lot of food, it was.
Piled on top of this massive mound of barbeque was a hefty piece of sweet corn bread, perfect for wiping up all that oily sauce.
I left Blue Ribbon in desperate need of a digestion nap. Maybe under the branches of a sweet smelling magnolia tree and a blue-eyed Southern belle in a flowing cotton dress softly singing Dixie.
But I’m in Barney Frank’s home town.
Alas, I would have to wait until I got back to the homeland—where feminine, lisping, economy-wrecking politicians are, thankfully, as rare as good barbeque in Massachusetts.
Rating: Seriously Thought About Buying Shirt.