SMOKE SHOP, KENDALL SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE, MA

So I got in last night, the place has only been open six days, and it was of course their first Friday night.  Folks: If you go, reserve in  advance or you’ll be waiting a long time.

The food is delicious.  Some BBQ has regionality or gutsiness or let’s say soul.  Not this place.  This place has great pork ribs with perfect texture and a dry rub followed by a light, sweet, and piquant sauce.  Generic.  It also has extremely tasty brisket sandwiches and pulled pork sandwiches: $11 each with one side, which is about 40% more than anywhere else outside of famous joints, but, hey, if you got it, flaunt it.  You could be anywhere in the USA eating it, it has no depth or character, which is something that will be of great help should they franchise, which seems likely.

Great sides though in tiny portions: Collards, mac ‘n’ cheese, cornbread, asparagus.

And just so you know you’re in Boston: About a half dozen T.V. screens showing sports.  Essentially, a reminder that this is a bar that sells food.

Of the bar: A very long and impressive list of American rye and bourbon–top drawer and down low so that if you want to have a big shot for $16 of Angel’s Envy rye, it’s yours.  They also list, “Andy’s Baller List,” (Classy, right?)  with whiskies in the high double digits.  (Google and Microsoft are down the street.)

FYI: The Mint Julep was pre-made, served from a squeeze bottle, and tasted as if it had as much bourbon as a one ounce pour.  If you’re not measuring per glass, it’s unlikely that the pour will be adequate.  On top of that, pre-poured drinks at something like $12?  You’ve got to be kidding.  (They’re not.)

Staff are really lively, extremely pleasant, and add an enormous amount to this venture.

This is not the kind of place that will attract regulars over the age of thirty-five, I don’t think, due to the fact that it’s chiefly pork, but it is the kind of place that could give Blue Smoke or Shake Shack a good run for the money–easy to envision a chain of these at airports.  Perfect food for flying.

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