Blue Ribbon BBQ

May 7, 2010

Dry-Rubbed Ribs

Vegetarians be warned; this is not a post for the faint of heart.

Blue Ribbon Barbeque and I go way back. I first discovered it last year while out on a run in Arlington. I was intrigued by the sign, which promoted their BBQ as “real.” Coming from St. Louis, I’ve had my fair share of cooked meat. I’m no connoisseur, but I know good pulled pork when I see it. And while the fish here is phenomenal, the other meats leave something to be desired.

The menu seemed promising, so I got a group of my friends together. It was the end of freshmen year, and I was ready to smother the pain of finals with some dead animals.

But wait, there's more!

This wasn't even all of it...

I should tell you all, the portions are quite large. Last year, we ordered the supper for six and didn’t finish. There were eight of us. Eight male college students. We eat like it’s our job. They call it the supper for six, but they don’t specify. Six humans? Six grizzly bears? Six Cthulhus? I’m not sure.

Here are the contents…

1½ slabs of Memphis Dry-Rubbed Ribs
2 pints of Pulled Pork, Burnt Ends, Pulled Chicken, Beef Brisket or Hot Sausage.
2 Barbecued or Jamaican Jerked ½ Chickens
2 pints of Baked Beans
2 pints of Cole Slaw
6 pieces of Cornbread
6 Sandwich Rolls

There are also a myriad of sauces that range from mild to volcanic. For me the Blue Ribbon Gold Barbecue Sauce took the gold, followed by the chipotle mustard. All of my friends and I agreed that the pulled pork was by far the best. If you go, that’s what I’d recommend.

And the most essential part of any trip to Arlington ends with a visit to Boston’s premier frozen custard establishment: The Chilly Cow. Frozen custard is another Midwestern phenomenon that hasn’t taken off in other parts of the country. Much like Blue Ribbon, The Chilly Cow’s serving sizes are a bit warped. There’s kiddie (essentially a small), small (medium to large), medium (big), and large (gargantuan).

So here’s to PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!

Snappy Sushi

December 18, 2009

Finals suck. They are truly the bane of my existence, the academic equivalent of a dementor’s kiss. Thanks to my tests, I have been unable to cook, exercise, or have any fun this past week. My only outlet—supporting the Beelzebubs on the show NBC’s The Singoff—pales in comparison to cooking/eating, my ultimate stress-reliever. Having completed my exams, I decided to let loose a little and hit the town.

My friend Lily suggested Snappy Sushi, an offbeat sushi spot in Davis Square. Let me preface this with a confession—I’d never ordered sushi before. I know a lot of people are like addicted to sushi, but not me. It’s not that I dislike sushi; in fact, the one or two times I’ve had it I kind of enjoyed it. I figured that tonight was the night to break loose and pop my sushi cherry.

Unconventional would be the best way to describe Snappy Sushi’s rolls. Snappy features “fancy rolls,” which are made with brown—not white—rice and contain different sorts of ingredients that what one would normally see in sushi (or so I’m told). I went with the flow since I lacked any preconceived notions about what sushi should be, but I imagine that Snappy’s methods could grate the nerves of sushi purists.

Lily served as my mentor, helping me decipher the myriad of options on the menu. While they had conventional fare, I went for a few of the more avant-garde alternatives—the Boston Lobster Roll (avocado, cucumber, and green leaf rolled together, and dressed with chopped lobster meat mixed with red onion and flying fish roe) and the Newbury Fashion Roll (eel over avocado, cream cheese, cucumber, and flying fish roe).

All of my nervousness over exams melted away as I savored the rich flavor of the Lobster Roll. It was served piping hot, a Godsend given the hypothermal weather outside. Maybe this is an ignorant suggestion, but I would’ve diced the cucumber in the roll, it was a little overwhelming to get one big piece. Other than that, I had no other issues. Since it was my first time eating “real” sushi, I have nothing to compare it to. I realize that the method and ingredients may not be legit, but fidelity can be overrated.

I have an 8-page paper due on Monday concerning Deconsolidation and Democratization in Venezuela and Mexico for my Latin American Poltics class. As thoughts of Hugo Chavez, the PRI, and Rafael Caldera swim through my mind, I can’t help but smother them with thoughts of lobster sushi.