*image of West Newton's exterior "borrowed" from Blue Ribbon's Flickr feed
I could go on and on about everything on their menu because honestly, in my opinion, nearly everything is great. I don't particularly like their cornbread, it's not consistent and usually dry, but seriously, everything else is superb. I love their pulled chicken, it's always super tender and delicious and their burnt ends are heavenly. Even their pulled pork is something every hog on the farm probably dreams of - tender and perfectly seasoned. They also have great ribs and great sides too. Their baked beans are some of the best around and I could live on a diet of their coleslaw alone. Seriously, good stuff.
What really sets Blue Ribbon apart, though, is their specials. Every day they have new specials up on the board; sides, platters, sandwiches, and desserts. One of my favorite sides that occasionally makes the specials board is their beets vinaigrette. Tender, sliced red beets with red onions, parsley and a delicious oil and vinegar dressing. They are sweet and tart and simply amazing. They even have a great meatloaf that appears on the board from time to time.
If I haven't already set Blue Ribbon up to be a great barbecue joint, it gets better. On Monday night I stopped in to pick up dinner for J and I. J asked me to pick her up a half jerk chicken, which is awesome, but I was still undecided when I walked in to the restaurant. Looking up at the specials for the evening, the beets vinaigrette was absent, but their mac & cheese was up, which I ordered. And there was also a line up on the board for some smoked beef short ribs. Unfortunately I forget what the glaze on them was, but wow, delicious. These beef short ribs might have been the BEST barbecue I have ever had from Blue Ribbon. I'm not kidding, I love everything on their regular menu and have never had anything bad from them, but these beef short ribs were just amazing. Two big, thick, meaty short ribs with a BEAUTIFUL smoke ring. They were tender, flavorful and just absolutely perfect examples of great barbecue. I hope they become regular visitors to the specials board, or better yet, regular menu itesm, because I will order them every single time I stop in.
Amazing beef short ribs with coleslaw and mac & cheese
Look how thick and meaty these ribs are!!
Look at this amazing smoke ring!
If you live in the greater Boston area and are looking for great barbecue, I highly recommend you stop into Blue Ribbon for some 'cue. They have two locations, the one I visit often in West Newton and a second in Arlington. Eat there, you won't be disappointed.
Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q
1375 Washington St
Newton, MA 02465
908 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington, MA 02476