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The Mass Media

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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Rib Showdown

Both restaurants opened in 1987 and pioneered BBQ in Boston, but who does it best?
Both restaurants opened in 1987 and pioneered BBQ in Boston, but who does it best?




The Village Smokehouse, Brookline, MA

By Christina Giannopoulos

You don’t stay in business for 25 years unless you’re doing something right. The Village Smokehouse, 1 Harvard St., Brookline, certainly does their BBQ right.

From succulent fall-off-the-bone ribs, to juicy fire-grilled steaks and larger than life burgers, Smokehouse serves up “the best of the West back East.” With its cheesy country décor accompanied by even cheesier country tunes, Smokehouse has a lovable charm.

But what really brings you back is the great food at great prices. This Brookline Village staple smokes all their meat in-house and cooks up giant pots of their homemade mouthwatering BBQ sauce multiple times a week. Their genuine open BBQ-pit only adds to the flavorful taste of their meat and steaks.

Must try BBQ is their baby back pork ribs (regular size $19.95/Texas size $22.95) with the Texas size being a full rack that is sometimes so large it extends past the ends of your plate. Another staple is the sliced beef brisket ($14.95) which is never tough, always juicy and perfectly lean.

Of course if you’re really hungry, there’s the Texas Hawg, which for $24.95 you can try all of their award winning BBQ. This astounding plate comes with ¼ of a chicken, 3-4 pork ribs, one giant beef rib, a whole Texas sausage and is topped with slices of beef brisket. It’s definitely “more than ‘meats’ the eye.”

As if the actual meal wasn’t enough, all dinners come with homemade cornbread, baked beans and your choice of a side. So if you’re in the area and looking for Texas BBQ done right, come into The Village Smokehouse, grab a margarita, and leave so full you won’t even want to look at food for days.

Smokehouse is open Sun-Thurs from 4-10pm, Fridays 11:30am-11pm and Saturday 12pm-11pm. For more information visit www.villagesmokehouse.com.

Redbones, Somerville, MA

By Jon Mael

Redbones is located steps away from Tufts University in Davis Square. The place is renowned around Boston for having some of the best eats and the liveliest atmosphere in the area.

The portions are extreme, and the taste is even better, but the place really shines when it comes to the rib department. There isn’t anywhere in the county that is better at taking pig chest bones and making them savory and tender.

The great thing about Redbones is the amount of options they offer. You can sample ribs from every corner of the South including the thick cut “Arkansas Style,” the old school “Memphis” and my personal favorite, “the BBQ belt,” which gives you a sample of Arkansas, Texas (beef ribs) and Memphis with some brisket thrown in for good measure.

The meat is only half of the equation. The coleslaw is amazing, and the corn bread is always warm and soft. Drinks come in massive mason jars, and the service is always quick and efficient. The wood-grilled chicken is an awesome substitute for the dieting BBQ craver and the chopped brisket sandwich with mild sauce is the best.

Their website probably sums it up best by stating, “When Redbones opened in 1987, a BBQ restaurant of its authenticity was virtually unheard of north of the Mason Dixon Line. Years later, with BBQ joints popping up everywhere, Redbones still stands out because of the fun, the food, and the wide range of services.”

Redbones is open from 11:30am-12:30am every day besides Sunday, when they open at noon. If you can’t make it out to Somerville, Redbones has a food truck that operates from Tuesday through Friday at various sites around Boston, including South Station and Copley Square.

For more information visit https://redbones.com/food-truck.html.