Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Barbeque in the Belly of Barney’s Beast

Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q
1375 Washington St.
West Newton, MA

It’s just wrong.

This is a website about great food, authentic barbeque joints and back-woods dive bars – with a right wing slant.

What THE HELL am I doing at a barbeque place in the congressional district of Barney Frank??? The physiologically confused politician second-most responsible (after Alan Greenspan) for single-handedly destroying our American economic system???


Very, very wrong. (Kind of like running a homosexual prostitution ring out of your congressional office.)

I really wanted to hate Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q – and its overly scrubbed, nouveau rustic motif. And its typical north-of-the-Mason-Dixon-Line something-for-everyone menu.

I had this review all written in my mind before I even crossed the threshold.

“Limp Wristed Barbeque”.

It was going to be a classic.

Oh well.

Don’t write your review before the first bite.

As much as it pains me to admit it, Blue Ribbon serves up some legitimately good barbeque.

Like any barbeque joint located behind enemy lines, Blue Ribbon can’t afford to specialize. It offers a little bit of everything for every taste. But, it manages to avoid the curse of lowest common denominator food.

Unlike your local Southern town square BBQ pit that only knows how to do barbeque one way (the right way, the locals will tell you), ordering at Blue Ribbon can get a bit complicated, even for a barbeque connoisseur like me who has tried all the various versions of “the right way” barbeque in every state in the old Confederacy.

Blue Ribbon has chicken, sausage, brisket, pork and ribs, each with its own variety of sauce. And enough side dishes to put the Old Country Buffett to shame.

I chose the sausage (a popular choice of Barney’s, I presume) and pulled pork combo with “black-eyed corn” and baked beans.

The sausage was smoked to perfection, appetizingly scored and drenched in a Southern style mustard sauce, a la Maurice Bessinger in Columbia or Fred Cotten in Jacksonville.

Smoky, tender and tasty, the pulled pork was saturated in an oily but sweet vinegar sauce. It was the real deal.

The beans were not sticky sweet, but very good, more Western style than Southern.

As it turns out, black-eyed corn is exactly like it sounds – a mish mash of smoked corn and black-eyed peas.

If this sounds like a lot of food, well it was.

Piled on top of this massive mound of barbeque was a hefty piece of sweet corn bread, perfect for lapping up that oily sauce.

I left Blue Ribbon in desperate need of a digestion nap. Maybe under the branches of a sweet smelling magnolia tree with a blue-eyed Southern belle in a flowing cotton dress to caress my bloated stomach.

Wait a minute. I’m in Barney Frank’s home town.

Alas, that bucolic scene will have to wait until I get back to my homeland. Where limp-wristed, lisping, economy-wrecking, politicians thankfully are as rare as good barbeque in Massachusetts.

Rating: Seriously Thought About Buying Shirt.

Blue Ribbon BBQ (Newton) on Urbanspoon


  1. One of the best reviews yet. However, one minor error, both the sausage and pulled pork are Barney's preferred choice. After all, you can't have the latter without the former. =8-0

    1. I stand corrected...although I prefer not think about it.