Boston Restaurant Blog -- November, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Bison County is one of those places that I have been to a thousand times, and yet have no real opinion on it. I suppose that's because nearly every time I've had a meal there, it seemed good but not great. I've never had a bad meal at Bison County, but the restaurant has never bowled me over, either. But I continue to go, mainly because the comfortable, laid back atmosphere makes it a great place to meet up with friends and catch up on things. And that is exactly what we did a few weeks ago on a beautiful Friday evening that almost made we wish that the restaurant had outdoor dining.
Bison County is located in the heart of "restaurant row" on Moody Street near the Charles River. It is easy to overlook, partly because there are so many other restaurants on Moody, and partly because driving on Moody Street often requires much concentration, making it (and many other places on the street) nearly invisible to drivers. But the inside of Bison County is nice, with a rather industrial yet oddly rustic feel with exposed brick, a well-worn floor, and overhead lights that hang from a dark ceiling. The front of Bison County includes a roomy bar area while the back is mostly for diners. A number of different-sized booths and tables in both the bar area and the main dining section to accommodate both big and small groups looking to pig out on barbecue.
On our recent trip to Bison County we had a moderately large group, but not so big that we couldn't fit at one of the tables in the bar area. We started with a variety of beers and mixed drinks, then ordered a plate of pretty good nachos before working our way into the entrees. I ended up getting the Texas-style pulled pork, which was decent though not outstanding. This dish is different from the North Carolina pulled pork in that it is tomato-based (rather than vinegar-based), and while I did like my meal I think I prefer North Carolina pulled pork better. Others at the table mostly ordered ribs, and they did seem to like them a lot. While I was there, I noticed a few items on the menu that I wanted to try but would have to wait on, including a catfish nugget appetizer, sweet corn fritters, and a Southwest pasta bowl, none of which I have had there.
All in all, it was another satisfying meal at Bison County, though I do prefer Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington (I actually prefer it to all other BBQ joints in the Boston area, for that matter). But it is a great place to hang out with friends, and parking, while sometimes difficult, isn't as bad as you might think, even on a Friday night. It might not be a hidden gem, but Bison County isn't all that bad, either.
If you would like the address for Bison County in Waltham, here it is: Bison County, 275 Moody Street, Waltham, MA, 02453. Phone: (781) 642-9720.
A comment on the restaurant's business practices - rather than its mediocre food. I was part of a foursome (2 couples) at Bison County in the spring. Because the other couple ordered considerably more food, they chose to pay the full tip when we split the tab - and I entered no tip on my charge form. When my charge card statement arrived, I noted that either the waitress or a manager had tacked on a 25% tip on my charge. Not enough of an attempted theft for a criminal charge, but sleazy business. Restaurants are fragile businesses. One bad experience generally means no more experiences.
Posted on 7/10/09
With regards to Sam's comment... The waitress made a mistake and put the tip on his card by accident. Sam didn't leave a tip as he said because the other couple had a bigger bill. The waitress put the tip on Sam's card instead of the other couple's card. So, actually there was nothing sleazy about it and had Sam given us a chance to rectify this situation we would have been happy to do so.
Posted on 11/12/09
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