Nothing says Boston like some good, down-home, southern BBQ. Well, maybe not. But that’s just one more thing that makes Redbones, a Davis Square BBQ joint, a gastronomical must-visit for the Harvard student sick of pizza and bad Asian food. Just two T-stops away, the FM crew, armed with Polo horses and significant others, experienced the friendly and tasty service of the restaurant owned by the mother of a Bates graduate (if you can believe it!).
After entering the restaurant, we caught a glimpse of the pig decorated t-shirts and baby coveralls that hung from the walls and ceiling of the entrance and brightly decorated upstairs dining room. Taking the advice of a certain Harvard graduate and potential welfare recipient, we headed to the downstairs dining room, where we found ourselves surrounded by black walls with silly, unrelated-to-BBQ, cartoon-like paintings executed in neon colors: A dog with a martini glass talking on his cell phone on the beach? No way! Above us, on the ceiling, were neon green, yellow, orange and red bottles signed by different people. Patrons or employees, perhaps?
Our waiter, of the Bates College class of 2000, started us off not with drinks or appetizers, but a plethora of questions: “Do you guys go to school around here? Tufts? Harvard? What year are you guys? What are you studying? Where are you from?” And guess who he knew? Matt! You know, Matt the Junior who sings in the choir with some people from BU? And do you want to hear a fact? During their residency, medical students only get paid minimum wage. That is, if you divide their yearly salary ($31,000) by the number of hours they work.
Our waiter’s friendly service continued throughout dinner, which was quite an indulgent affair. Redbones’s extensive menu offers five kinds of ribs (Texas style, Arkansas, St. Louis style, Memphis, and Baby back), brisket, pulled chicken, corn pudding, hush puppies, pecan pie, and all that BBQ fare. With your ribs, you get beans, cole slaw and a choice of sauces. For those who are not quite BBQ connoisseurs, the sweet sauce combined with either the mild or the hot sauces is recommended. Also available are vinegar or the sweet, mild, and hot sauces by themselves.
FM chomped down on gigantic portions of corn bread (which comes free with your meal), amazing french fries, mac and cheese, nachos, four different kinds of ribs (the men had Texas style, and the ladies had some daintier combinations of St. Louis style and Arkansas), and a mutilated chicken sandwich (for the dieter). Our drinks came in huge jars, big enough to fill your bladder and cause you to pee so bad you wont notice the bathroom doesn’t lock by pushing that button on the knob, but the lock near the top of the door.
The post-meal wet naps cleaned our sweet and mild combinations from our mouths, hands, laps and shirts. They could not, however, clean the I’m-so-full-I’m-going-to-explode feeling from our stomachs. Noticing the painfully full expressions on our faces, our waiter confessed that after working so long at Redbones, he had stopped eating BBQ completely.
Though there was a tremendous amount of food left uneaten, none of it went to waste. The leftovers were wrapped up and taken back to Quincy house where a hungry North Carolinian lives. “I thought I would never be able to find good BBQ in this gosh-darn Yankee town!” he said. Now this redneck knows that Harvard students have to look no farther than Davis Square to get their down-home southern fixin’.