Sweet Cheeks Q (A Review)

Amy writes...
Did your 4th of July BBQ make you hungry for more? If so, keep reading. It all started when J wanted to take me out to a schmancy dinner in Boston for my 40th birthday. Due to the busy-ness of the school year, April and May were chock full of nonsense. So we decided to go a week after school got out, and we made it an overnight. Foodies that we are, a good chunk of the 36 hours centered around food, right from the get-go. This is the story of amazing meal number one - barbecue.

Shortly after we got off the turnpike, J, who had recently had a college reunion, took me on a driving tour of the Fenway area so I could see how much things have changed. That's about when we decided we were hungry for lunch and absolutely had to check out Sweet Cheeks Q. Sweet Cheeks Q is a real Texas BBQ joint owned by Tiffani Faison (of Top Chef Season One fame), that offers a unique and sorely needed type of cuisine right near the Green Monster. Their meats are all-natural (including Berkshire pork and locally sourced beef), and they utilize local farms as much as possible.

The decor is simple, homey and fun - sauces, napkins and flatware in old coffee cans sit atop glossy picnic tables. The space is bright and open, with enough light that you can almost imagine you're eating in the good ole' outdoors.  The lunch menu is straightforward (and reasonably priced!) as well, focusing on "trays" that are served with hot or cold "scoops," and sandwiches, with a few other tidbits thrown in for good measure. It didn't take long for us to choose what we wanted - for me, the pork belly tray; for J, a pulled pork sandwich.

Our waitress was young and friendly, attentive and welcoming. When we mentioned we were fans of "Tiff," she let us in on the secret - Tiff was there at that very moment - and said she'd ask her to come visit our table. Chef groupie that I am, I got all verklempt!

"The House Bill 819" - tea-infused Berkshire Mountain corn whiskey
with lemon-mint simple syrup

We enjoyed our drinky-drinks (it was big girl lunch, after all) and anxiously waited for Tiffani to visit and for the deliciousness to arrive. Our trays came first. I had ordered the Berkshire pork belly with a hot scoop of mac-n-cheese. While the fat on the pork was not quite crispy enough for my taste, OMG was the the flavor ever there and more. Smoky and meaty and incredibly good, I coudn't possibly eat it all in one sitting (at least not along with the creamy mac, pickles, Texas-sized white bread, salt and pepper potatoes appetizer, and a few tastes of J's lunch), so I insisted on taking the leftovers. Once we got to the hotel, poor J had to create a makeshift refrigerator out of some ice and a hotel shoe-shine bag for me.

J had better luck finishing her Berkshire pulled pork sandwich, which was slathered with crunchy/creamy slaw and served on grilled, buttered Texas toast. The pork was so tender and juicy, if she weren't so careful, she would have dribbled it all over herself. The "heirloom bbq beans" she got for her side dish were perfectly cooked, sweet and smoky. Although we barely had room for them, the salt and pepper potatoes were crispy fried bites of heaven, like the simplest but most delicious potato skins you've ever had. And although neither pork dish really needed them because the Texas-style dry rub was so awesome, we tasted all three of the housemade sauces - one sweet and smoky (the sweet bbq), one tangy and vinegary (the Carolina), and one sweet/hot and peppery (the cilantro habanero) - and liked them all.

When Tiffani visited, she was kind and hospitable, graciously chatting and accepting my business card as if she hasn't gotten a million of them from foodies all over the place. We so appreciated her taking the time to come out and see us and making us feel special. 

To sum up, every bite was as good as, if not better than, the last. Drinks were strong (in a good way), food was plentiful and comforting, service was awesome, and we met Tiffani!!! As far as I'm concerned, this lunch ranks in my personal Top 3 of all barbecue experiences. I will be back. Chris has got to eat here...and so should you!

Thank you, J, for dinner, a couple of these photos, and everything else, most importantly, your friendship.

To check out J's blog, go here.

Sweet Cheeks Q on Urbanspoon


jck said...

What an awesome post! I couldn't have described the whole experience better myself!...and you're welcome. Thank you, too. xo

Mary Bergfeld said...

It sounds like a great way to spend 36 hours :-). It sounds wonderful and that barbecue is to die for. How nice she took time to greet you. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Anonymous said...

Great view! Looks like a cute and fun place.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Oh my how delicious! I'd love to try the pork and pulled pork sandwich. Great review, and now I'm so hungry at this late hour... :-)

Unknown said...

It was such a mistake to read that post before eating breakfast. I'm in bbq envy over here. Send help in the form of pork belly and mac and cheese, please!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Barbecue just isn't a big thing where I live and sometimes I just crave it. It would be great to be able to find a delicious pulled pork sandwich. Guess I have to make my own.