I was invited along with some fellow bloggers by Tasted Menu, a fantastic site that reviews dishes as opposed to a restaurant for a night of dining. Have a hankering for gnocchi, check out Tasted Menu. They will show you ratings from real people reviews of the best and worst gnocchi in town.
Our destination was Sweet Cheeks a Barbeque Restaurant in Fenway. Chef Tiffani Faison, formerly Rocco, opened this new place to fun reviews about a month ago.
I almost feel like a fraud reviewing a barbecue restaurant. I have no basis for comparison because it’s not my thang. Yes, I said thang :). I am not a barbecue person at all. I probably wouldn’t choose to go to a barbeque joint if it was my decision, however, reading the write-ups I was intrigued and open minded.
Completely clueless to the Fenway area beyond Comm Ave, I took a cab to Boylston Street. Walking towards the doors, the aroma beckoned me into the restaurant with the most tantalizing, mouthwatering smells. I would have been compelled to enter whether I was invited or not. The first of our group to arrive, I was asked to wait by the amazingly friendly hosts so took myself to the bar.
Offering an extensive beer list, extremely limited wine list and fascinating cocktail list, I asked the bartender for help on choosing a beer. “A sort of English lager, but not a light beer” was what I said to him. The bald, long bearded guy totally got me and suggested a Mama’s Little Yella Pills- it was perfect. A light color, golden beer with a smooth clean taste. And, even more fun drinking it from a jar.
Alex was all about trying everything and I mean everything on the menu. So unbelievably overwhelming for me but I was in it to taste it. I just did it wrong!
When doing barbeque, well, doing everything barbeque, one should limit themselves to smaller tastes. I did not, I ordered a ” Big Cheeks Tray” (meat and two sides) – what turned out to be an extraordinary amount of food for one person.
When everyone had ordered, Alex asked our super happy and very accommodating waitress to order every other side and appetizer that we didn’t get with our trays. Holy barbeque.!!! A lot of food.
The restaurant is a large open space with long bench tables that seat people as they arrive. We were on a high-top wooden table with a poor couple sat at the end. I say poor because they were seated with a bunch of bloggers taking constant photographs.
The food started to arrive. I was already scared. The biggest tray of food landed in front of me. I was at a loss of where to start. My food tray consisted of the Pulled Pork with Mac & Cheese, Coleslaw and two huge slices of white bread. The food was served on a large tray with blue metal cowboy plates and cups. On top of that the many additional sides started to land on the table.
The pulled pork was smoked, salty goodness, splashed with some barbeque sauce, it truly did alight my taste buds and I tried very hard to eat a fair amount. I did quite well.
The coleslaw was really good and different from any coleslaw I had seen or tasted. Not shredded but large chunks of crisp, fresh and zingy cabbage.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the mac and cheese as it was a bit dry and lacked flavor.
Our additional dishes were the fried green tomatoes, fried okra, salt and pepper potatoes and hush puppies.
The standout favorite for me was the fried okra. Incredibly tasty and moorish like snacking on French fries. Brackish, crispy pieces of okra.
Crispy, nicely seasoned salt and pepper potatoes opened into a fluffy, buttery white soft center. Exactly how fried potatoes should be. Another favorite of the evening.
Hmm, what else did we taste? Oh so much. My arteries are thickening just remembering it!
Again, something I had never tasted before were the hush puppies. Deep fried mealy and dense and quite interesting. I liked them but they didn’t overwhelm me.
I enjoyed another beer and fabulous conversation with fellow bloggers. Let me just share that Boston has the most amazingly, mutually supportive group of foodies on the planet!
Our waitress offered us dessert. I thought the answer would be no, I was wrong. More food!!!!
Butterscotch Pudding with Nutter Butter – I mean, what is that?? I wasn’t even sure. I heard from my dinner companions that Nutter Butter is an American candy bar. Well, that is just a silly name. This dessert, however was not silly, it was outrageously good. I didn’t think I could eat any more but I could not get enough of its salted caramel over sweet, creamy and sticky butterscotch slathered on piece of Nutter Butter.
I am by no means an expert as I said earlier but this place is good good good. Our evening ended with us practically rolling out of the place on full bellies and satisfied palates.
Check it out!