Early one Thursday morning, I was blearily explaining to my co-workers that I had been out late in Boston the night before. I explained that no, I wasn’t out dancing – I was eating barbecue.
You can imagine their surprised looks. It would be quite a stretch to say that Boston is known for its barbecue, but the city was fortunate to have the Phantom Gourmet host a “BBQ Beach Party” right next to City Hall. The festival, which lasted five days, had ten vendors serving up some of the best barbecue out there. Different styles and regions were represented.
First, we tried a large sampler platter from Virginia’s Johnson’s Bar-B-Que, which included ribs, pulled pork and chicken. Our stomachs happy but still ready for action, we moved over to Florida’s Porky n’ Beans for a double-decker Kansas City sandwich. The sandwich had one layer of brisket and one of pulled pork. I especially liked their spicy sauce and wished I could have brought some home. For dessert, we tried a decked-out cannoli from Wholly Cannoli. No meat in this one, just a sweet finish.
A Johnson’s Bar-B-Que Sampler, the grill at Porky N’ Beans. More photos here >
My favorite part of the festival was obviously the barbecue. I wished I would have had a larger appetite, more friends along to nibble from, or another day to go back. On the other hand, I thought the festival could have done without the “beach party” and offered a better beer selection. But I would gladly go again.
The event is slated to take place again next June. My recommendation is to skip the crowds and go as early as possible on Wednesday or Thursday. We were lucky to experience instant barbecue gratification, but heard the lines on the weekend meant over an hour wait! Also, bring friends so you can share and sample.