Archive for the ‘Boston – Fenway’ Category
Location: Boston, MA
The Foodie Says: Cosi-Cosi
Barbecue. It’s about as ingrained in the blood of the New Englander as grits, confederate flags, and born-again conservatism. But we try.
First of all, I ho-heartily applaud anyone brave enough to put a pit in the ground north of New Jersey and Sweet Cheeks is a welcome addition to the Boston BBQ Scene.
Others are thankful too – we pulled up on our hogs to eat some hog on a Friday night and the place was packed to the brims. Spacious, wood-toned interior, nice vibe, fun atmosphere. Like the typical roadside Texas smokehouse they don’t take reservations, but we managed to snag a seat in no time.
Sweet Cheeks is all about emulating the authentic experience – think metal trays, pay-by-the-pound options, and huge portions. Naturally, the menu revolves around the meat. Choose from the following formats:
- Tray: Pick one meat, one “cold scoop” and one “hot scoop” ($16-$25 depending on your meat)
- Big Cheeks Tray: two types of meat along with your cold and hot scoop ($24)
- Fat Cheeks Tray: three types of meat with ‘yer scoops ($26)
THE FOOD THESE GUYS DO BEST:
Sweet Cheeks should rename their establishment to pork belly ‘n biscuits, ‘cause those are the menu items that will really wow you more than anything else. Amazing Berkshire pork belly with this nice smoked-cherry-wood-essence to it. The biscuits are humungo and a meal in themselves but are about as comforting as a warm gun on your lap during a Tennessee sunset.
A COUPLE GRIPES:
- Kick the draft beer menu up a notch – let’s see some big IPA’s and rare finds on tap
- Seeking a little more flavor out of the non-pork-belly meats
- Re-engineer the BBQ sauces…the mild sauce came off closer to an Asian sweet ‘n sour and the “hot” was closer to what my local taqueria would serve rather than a southern US meat house
FOR THE SUGGESTION BOX:
You’re right by Fenway Sweet Cheeks. Take advantage of that. If you really want to smoke your way into the heart of the average New England patriot, try to break into Fenway Park during the season. Set up a food truck or food cart or find a way into the stadium.
Southerners figured out years ago that the only thing that goes better with a slab of smoked brisket than baked beans is a baseball.
Location: Boston, MA
The Foodie: Strongly Recommends
Island Creek, lovingly referred to as ICOB, rekindled my love affair with oysters.
I once was quoted saying that Neptune Oyster was set up as oyster foreplay. If Neptune is foreplay, Island Creek is shucking.
I crack myself up. But seriously dear reader, I made out with several creatures from the sea here and loved every minute of it.
Let’s pause and recognize the fact that this restaurant marries a culinary dream team (of Lineage and Eastern Standard fame) with a local producer of excellent goods. Man that is something beautiful that we need to see more of.
ICOB delivers amazingly fresh oysters from Island Creek, New England, and all over as well as outstandingly executed cooked-food in a superbly classy setting.
Cue food blurb:
We were seated in front of the ‘oyster-wall’ that is decorated with protruding crates filled with real oyster shells and enjoyed a dozen of nature’s finest…a little Cape Cod action, a little Duxbury, and a huge mofo from Maine that was absolutely the most interesting-tasting oyster I’ve ever sucked down. Amazing. I had a craving for fish ‘n chips and enjoyed their take with lightly-battered cod atop fries and house-made malt vinegar. superb. I had a bit of my buddy’s lobster dish and it nearly knocked me out of my seat. I salivated for other menu options, and heavily enjoyed the Duvel green and specially brewed High ‘n Mighty offering that I gulped down throughout the meal.
All the while I took in the amazingly cool atmosphere at this place. Instantly became one of my fav. spots around and I’ll be back for more…oyster shucking. Yum.