Redbones BBQ in Davis Square is an authentic (as least as far as I can tell), roll-up-your sleeves, messy Southern BBQ joint with fantastic grilled meats and a vast array of appetizers and sides. This is not an elegant restaurant; by the end of the meal, your hands will be sticky with some sauce or another, no matter what you order. But the flavors are deep and comforting, those of American flavors.
These tasty little treats reminded me of being at a carnival and tearing open a brand new box of Cracker Jacks. They were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, drizzled with sticky sweet maple syrup. The sweetness was a nice contrast to the savory appetizers and seemed to prepare me for the similar savory-sweet sensation I would experience while eating my barbecued entree.
A seemingly simple yet gastronomically very complex dish. The texture of the collard greens was fantastic, buttery and moist yet not too watery, the velvety smoothness of the leaves periodically disrupted by a soft crunch from the firmer stems. It was also flavored wonderfully with cracked pepper and bits of what seemed like some sort of smoked meat (ham hock?). A great side dish and a much needed bit of green amongst all the red barbecued meat.
A simple yet delicious appetizer or side, these hushpuppies were crispy on the outside and dense but smooth on the inside. They also came with a fresh, poignant vinegar dipping sauce which gave them great flavor in addition to their interesting texture. I’d recommend getting them with barbecued meat dishes to help soak up all the juices from the meat.
Very light on the batter, complemented very well with the pepper jelly on the side. The okra itself was not overcooked and still had a crisp bite to it, while still oozing out that slimy sensation so unique to this Southern staple.
I am close to never impressed by a restaurant’s Mac N Cheese dish, despite attempts made to make it more appealing (using a quality melting cheese, adding snippets of cured ham or pork). This case was no exception. The “cheese” was over-salted fluorescent yellow goop. The elbow “pasta” was overcooked, lacking any al dente bite and would have surely been better put to use by a kindergardener in crafting a Mother’s Day card…
I only tasted a bite of this dish and that bite contained only the brisket itself. It seemed very flavorful, although a bit dry, and I suppose this could’ve meant the sandwich on a whole being dry as well. The problem was remedied, however, by the tangy vinegar-y sauce that comes on the side.
From what I could ascertain from the one bite I had of this dish, the meat was tender and juicy and the sauce smokey and delicious, not too heavy as in most of the other dishes I tasted at Redbones.
Fried Louisiana Catfish Dinner
From the one bite of I had of this dish, I could tell that the fish was flaky and fresh, although a bit bland, despite the pepper sauce it had apparently been marinated in. The batter was fried very nicely, not too oily, although the cornmeal made it a bit grainy and dry.
The sweet potato pie was pretty tasty, although distinguishable from a Thanksgiving Day pumpkin pie only by means of the very subtle flavor differences between the two vegetables. It was spiced nicely, with just the right amount of cinnamon to bring out but not overpower the natural sweetness of the sweet potato.
This dessert to me was a bit of a let-down. Judging by the quality of the barbecue as well as the appetizers, I was expecting this exclusively Southern favorite to be close to perfect and it was very far from that. The rim crust was crispy (although a bit too dark), however the bottom crust was damp and way too thin. The filling was far too sticky with shiny, plastic-y syrup, resembling more of a baklava consistency than that of a pie filling. There was also no hint of rum, Grand Marnier or bourbon and even if any of these ingredients had been used, the excessive amount of maple syrup would have overpowered it.
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