Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q: A Carnivore's Delight

Arlington is a low-key, family-oriented suburb of Boston that is not necessarily the place you would think of for some of the best ribs north of the Mason-Dixon line. But it is. Because it's the home of Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q, a small but wildly popular place way up on Mass Ave (yes, the same Mass Ave that runs from Roxbury through Back Bay and Cambridge).

On a recent steamy summer evening, I went with some friends and watched folks flood into the joint to wait in line, get their grub and bolt home with the best take-out ever or to try and snag a seat. Finding a place to sit is the trickiest part since there are only a few indoor tables, stools and outside tables. We opted to stick around and eat there which called for keeping an eagle eye out for an available table which we were lucky enough to spot outiside. The view is of Stop & Shop so it's not exactly scenic but having a place to hunker down with your hefty plate is a must.

Ordering at Blue Ribbon can be a bit stressful. There are SO many options and though the line can be long, it moves quickly so you need to be ready when you're up. You can practically read the minds of the people in back of you - "Hurry up! I want my ribs!" Can't say that I blame them. So I cheated a bit and ordered a combo plate so I really wouldn't have to decide. My plate consisted of Memphis Dry-Rubbed Barbecue Ribs and Texas Sliced Beef Brisket. It comes with corn bread and pickles along with two sides. I chose the Collard Greens and the Baked Beans. Blue Ribbon also has a number of barbecue sauces you can help yourself to that range from sweet to hot to chipotle flavored, the latter of which is my personal favorite. It's a sticky, messy, good ole time.

My friends were equally happy with their choices. Tom ordered the North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich which he claims is the best anywhere. Kemal opted for a combo as well - Memphis Ribs and Barbecued Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans on the side. He was a big fan of the chicken. Just sitting with these guys and watching everyone around us indulge in their inner carnivore was a site to see. Great summer night out.

I've never had room for dessert but if you're smarter than I am and stop eating before you're completely stuffed, you might have room for Pecan Pie, Sweet Potato Pie or some Fruit Cobbler with Whipped Cream, all of which sound very tempting. Maybe next time I'll squeeze it in. Doubt it.

Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q also has a Newton location that is even smaller than this one. Just a few stools. Mostly a take-out business. If you live in the area and are in the market for take-out, you're in luck.

Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q
908 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, 781.648.7427 (take out or eat in - seating for about 20 people inside max, 4 tables outside as well)
1375 Washington St, West Newton, 617.332.2583 (take out or eat in - only a few stools)


Blogger mini-me said...

Blue ribbon is my fave bbq place. I also love the sides especially the corn bread. I usually get take out so I don't have the stress of thinking on the spot while 50 people breath down your back hehe :)

i'm really wanting some now!

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greets to the webmaster of this wonderful site. Keep working. Thank you.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Big Daddy Cool Diesel said...

Are you kidding me? This place rocks… the best BBQ in the area – hand’s down… with the exception of my backyard. But, of course we can’t get the galloping gourmet over to sample my cooking… Good call Lynne.

10:36 AM  

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