Thursday, June 30, 2005

Tasty Barbecue in Burlington!

There's a new spot for the carnivores among us in Burlington--Lester's Roadside BBQ. It's been open only for about a month, but they already seem to have their act together.

First up: the ribs. When it comes to barbecue, I'm a ribs woman. If I don't like the ribs, I probably won't be back. After trying the dry-rubbed pork ribs, I've decided: I'll be back. Meaty and flavorful, they only needed a touch of sauce. The real surprise for me, though, was the brisket. Brisket is a real test for any place claiming to make genuine barbecue--it's often tough and stringy. Lester's has done a fine job of making that tricky cut into a well-flavored, moist piece of meat. The pulled pork also deserves praise, though the pulled chicken required a dose of sauce (or, in my son's case, a little salt and pepper).

Mashed potatoes were full of tater-y goodness, skins and all, while Jim raved about the collard greens. But don't laugh--my favorite side was the small salad with the house-made "Caesar" dressing. It didn't taste like any Caesar dressing I've ever had, but it was garlicky and salty and went perfectly with the chopped bits of tomatoes and onions on top of the lettuce. The cornbread also hit the spot. And it didn't taste like a piece of yellow birthday cake, as it so often does in the Northeast. (Just about everything comes with cornbread, and most meals also get two sides. Much generosity on the portions.)

In true Texas/southern fashion, you order at the counter and move along to the cashier. Not too fancy, but I'd be suspicious if it were. (As it was, we were a little suspicious of last night's special "West Texas Wings," because in six years in Lubbock, no BBQ joint I frequented ever served wings or at least never developed a localized recipe. Chickens are a mite scrawny out there, except for the showbirds raised by the 4H kids for the Panhandle South Plains Fair. But judging by the rest of the food, they were probably fine, even if of dubious authenticity.)

It's nice to have good barbecue in the neighborhood, because as much as I like Uncle Pete's (and readers from the early days of this blog--April, that is--know that I do), sometimes you just can't drag yourself down to East Boston after a long day of work. (And now Pete's is moving to Revere! More on that later.)

Mmmm. Ribs....


Blogger David said...

Thanks for the tip! We'll give Lester's a try next time we're out that way.

We've been going to Blue Ribbon in Arlington, Jake's Dixie Roadhouse in Waltham, and Redbones in Somerville.

What are your opinions on those, and how does Lester's compare?

5:16 AM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

Actually, I've only been to Redbones and Jake's once each. Jake's was okay, but Redbones was a disappointment. We went at lunch and were told that all the food was leftover from the night before--and unfortunately, it tasted like it. So I'm hesitant to give an opinion; maybe we were just unlucky that day. Has anyone else had that experience at Redbones?

For a more out of the way place, I've enjoyed The American Barbecue in Rowley, close to the New Hampshire line. Also, Bison County in Waltham, though less well-known than Jake's (it's just down the block on Moody St.) serves up some good, smoky meat and delicious sides. I'd recommend both.

And I welcome more suggestions (sounds like David does, too!).

10:55 AM  
Anonymous pepperbro said...

the sauce, tell us about the sauce! need the heat and am willing to live vicariously here

11:45 AM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

Truthfully, the sauces could use some work. There are several--you fill little paper cups with them, as fits such a casual place--but I wouldn't rave about any of them. Fortunately, the ribs were moist and tasty enough that they required very little extra sauce. It would be nice to find one that I felt went perfectly with the brisket, but I'm a patient woman. Some of the time, anyway.

1:00 PM  
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5:26 AM  

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