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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
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

What’s Cooking Boston?

This rack of ribs from Clydes Bar and Grill, Walpole was thoroughly enjoyed by the photographer
Photo by Ed Timmons
This rack of ribs from Clyde’s Bar and Grill, Walpole was thoroughly enjoyed by the photographer

When you think of food in Boston, usually the first things that come to mind are beans, lobster, fried clams, or a combination of the three. Barbecue is certainly not one of the staple foods of the New England diet, but this darling of the South is catching on in the North. Still, most Bostonians don’t even know the true definition of BBQ.


There is a huge difference between “going to a barbeque” and “eating barbeque”. When you attend one, you are most likely to indulge in backyard staples like hot dogs and cheese burgers cooked on a grill.


Eating barbeque usually implies  tougher cuts of meat such as pork shoulder and brisket cooked on low heat very slowly, sometimes up to 10 or more hours. This long cooking, as well as the meat being chopped up and put in sandwiches, leads to an artfully crafted product that takes years to perfect.


Its a regional thing, with Texas, North Carolina, Memphis, and Kansas City being the leading practitioners. Each location uses their own techniques to make the meat dishes their own. Boston BBQ joints usually present styles from all four cities, which gives an eater many options to choose from on usually extensive menus. There are two outstanding local barbeque joints that really stand out because of their finger-licking food.




55 Chester Ave, Somerville MA


      Redbone’s is a Davis Square legend that serves. It’s located near the Davis Square T stop. They offer styles of ribs named after areas such as “Memphis” and “Texas Beef Ribs”. Where Redbone’s really stands out though is with their sandwiches. The pulled pork sandwich comes with a variety of sauces, as does the beef brisket. The menu is reasonably priced at about $9.00 for a sandwich plate and portions are huge; every sandwich and rack of ribs is enough to make two meals out of. Even the drinks are giant, served in mason jars as opposed to glasses.


Firefly’s Bar-B-Que


516 Adams St, Quincy, MA


      Firefly’s shares many similarities with Redbone’s. Both take inspiration from a wide range of regions when they create their menus. And they both have a similar ambiance and prices. Firefly’s is close to UMass.  But unfortunately it is not near any rapid transit. Spectacular dishes include the Yardbird, grilled half chicken rubbed with spices, and the ribs, served in multiple styles, which are far better than Redbone’s. The cornbread and baked beans are overlooked sides, but at Firefly’s they are spectacular and make the meal more enjoyable.