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.)