Restaurant Review – Blue-Ribbon Bar B-Q

Twelve years ago, Geoff and Chris Janowski moved to Boston from Chicago and opened up Blue Ribbon Bar B-Q. Today, they continue to provide BBQ food of great quality.

This great dinning experience is off the well-beaten track for most HBSers. It is located in Newton, a place hard to reach by the red line, but well-worth the cab fare.

The restaurant itself is small. As soon as you walk in, you immediately head towards the counter where orders are placed. While you wait, you can be entertained by the large collection of old photos on the wall. Once you receive your steaming-hot order, you can situate yourself in the small seating area that holds approximately twenty barstools.

When the food arrived, it smoked for a good five minutes. We didn’t have a cold bite. The meat certainly was not fall-off-the-bone, since you had to bite into the meaty ribs but it was good. Their hot sauce was especially tangy; and if you loved it, you could even take it home-the restaurant offered three different types of BBQ sauce for sale.

As we were waiting in line, the lady in front of us was gushing with excitement because the restaurant special of the day was Wet Ribs. We decided to order the trio platter which allowed you to pick three meats, two sides, and was complemented with cornbread and homemade pickles-all for only $13.95. Our meat choices were the Wet Ribs (of course), the North Carolina Pulled Pork and the Texas Sliced Beef Brisket.

We split the trio platter, which was the perfect amount for us. We are big eaters so most twosomes will probably have left-overs. However, if you are still hungry, their dessert menu looks great. They have homemade Pecan, Sweet Potato or Key Lime Pie with whipped cream for $2.95. Alternatively, for the same price, you could order the Fruit Cobbler which also comes with whipped cream. Chocolate fans can indulge in the Dream Bar, a Chocolate Chip Brownie, or a Congo Bar for $1.95.

Whether you eat-in or take-out, the food is served in disposable containers. This is not fine dining, or even a casual meal at an Apple’s Bee’s-type restraint. The restaurant has a fun casual atmosphere, which means that the dress code is also casual. It is not big enough for an HBS learning team dinner; however, the restaurant offers a take-out menu.

Please remember to bring extra quarters because this restaurant does not offer free parking. Additionally, if it is a cold day and you plan on eating inside the restaurant, you might still want to wear extra layers because the barstool area is rather chilly.

Although spring is approaching, it is still too cold to grill on anything but the George Forman. So if you’re craving good BBQ, head down to Blue Ribbon BBQ in Newton…As they say on their T-shirt and menu, “Get in here and eat!”

Blue-Ribbon Bar B-Q
Newton Restaurant:
1375 Washington Street
West Newton, MA 02465
(617) 332-BLUE

Arlington Restaurant:
908 Mass Ave
Arlington, MA 02474
(617) 648-RIBS

March 26, 2007
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