Boston Restaurant Blog -- September, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
As I've said before, I'm not a particularly huge BBQ fan, but I do like to have it every now and then, especially if it comes from a decent place such as Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington or Tennessee's in Braintree. And one place outside of the Boston area that I have been thinking about over the past few months is a roadside barbecue joint in the Pioneer Valley called Bub's BBQ. Well, we finally got to try it about a week ago, and it turned out to be quite good, though based on what I tried, Blue Ribbon still remains at the top of my list (in New England, anyways).
For those familiar with Guy Fieri's show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives," Bub's BBQ seems made for this show. It is a classic roadside restaurant that sits on a lonely stretch of highway in the middle of nowhere, a few miles north of UMass Amherst and a short distance east of the Connecticut River. The restaurant itself is housed in a shack that looks a little like the long-gone Willow Pond in Concord (for those who remember that classic dining spot and watering hole). The inside of Bub's has a sort of rustic charm, with a front area that has picnic tables, and a main room with more seating as well as an indoor grill and both hot and cold buffet bar stations. The ordering area includes a rather humorous touch; a little stuffed pig on a line that is used to move orders from the counter to the grill. Outside is a covered seating area that includes more picnic tables.
We tried a number of items at Bub's BBQ, including several from the hot and cold bar, which is included with each meal. The cold bar had a delicious dill potato salad, while the hot bar had decent versions of dirty rice, BBQ beans, collard greens, and glazed sweet potatoes. The winners of both bars, however, were the hickory smoked potatoes, which had a delightfully smoky and earthy flavor, and the cabbage soup, which had a terrific mix of sour and savory tastes. The hush puppies, which we ordered as a side, were rather dry and had a strong onion taste that overwhelmed the rest of the ingredients. As for the entrees, the pulled pork sandwich was tender and had a nice homemade sauce mixed in, though the flavor of the sauce didn't seem quite strong enough. The skewered jumbo shrimp were moist and tender, while the steak was a bit tough but otherwise decent with a moderately smoky flavor. I washed my food down with a sweet tea, which wasn't bad at all, though I admittedly have been spoiled by the incredible sweet tea that I had for about a week straight in North Carolina last year.
So Bub's BBQ was a very good place overall, and one that I would certainly recommend to barbecue lovers. It may not be the best BBQ joint in New England, but it's plenty good, and the rural roadside atmosphere of the place only adds to its appeal.
If you would like the address and phone number for Bub's BBQ, here it is: Bub's BBQ, 676 Amherst Road (Route 116), Sunderland, MA, 01375. Phone: (413) 548-9630
Related Blog Entries: barbecue joints
An ok review, but when covering a BBQ spot you've gotta talk about the meat up front (not 380 words into a 500-word review).
Also, readers will want to know about the pulled pork, the brisket, the Kielbasa, the chicken and the ribs because that's why they go to a BBQ joint. They might be thrilled to know that Bub's has catfish and fried gator tail (and what either of those is like). BBQ fans will want to know whether Bub's cooks with wood or with gas and if the sauce is tomato-, mustard-, or vinegar-based.
Don't be shy about dishing it all up, MH. Give us more meat, fewer sides.
Posted on 9/15/09
Come on up to Goody Coles in Brentwood, NH - they'll change your mind about BBQ. Seriously.
Posted on 10/14/09
I suggested this restaurant to Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.....I love Bubs!!!
Posted on 12/7/09
I can NOT eat at Bub's. Whatever they do to their meat has made me ill both times I've been there. It looks good but ick.
The people I was with (two different groups) also didn't feel well. I vote stay away.
Posted on 12/23/09
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