BBQ, at the cheese shop Formmaggio Kitchen? You betcha. BBQ is one of those culinary discoveries that America did right. Yet, finding good BBQ is more difficult than it should be. In Cambridge, MA, way up north from the typical BBQ hot spots and at a cheese, bread & specialty food store, Formaggio Kitchen, of all places, I found finger-licking delicious BBQ. Sadly it’s only available on Saturdays and not during the Winter – so you know its gotta be awesome. Strong the sauce in this one truly is.
Get in line for Formaggio Kitchen’s BBQ
On Saturday mornings, a line forms on the corner of a quiet & cute Cambridge neighborhood. All walks of life, bond together in anticipation for what’s about to enter their mouths, BBQ. This isn’t really one’s traditional stuff – like purely Carolina, or Memphis, or Kansas City. All I know is that it is worth the wait in line and adventure.
The meats are all smoked over apple wood chips soaked in apple juice and cooked for more than half a day. Once smoked & cooked to perfection, they are pulled and prepped for devouring. Most of the sandwiches are served on a grilled ciabatta square. And you should step it up and make sure you ask for the caramelized onions and extra BBQ sauce on everything. The sauce is lip-smacking delicious and the onions provide that addictive lip-puckering sensation. It’s no sin to get sauce on your chin.
Beef brisket, pulled lamb, and baked beans
Must order meats include the beef brisket and pulled lamb. The brisket is moist and succulent. It is rubbed down with mustard during its preparation and that zing really shines through. The lamb gets an addition of smashed garlic cloves and rosemary. This is not one’s typical BBQ item and it absolutely rocks.
The porchetta is flavorful, but not fatty enough for my tastes. This is not like the porchetta one can get at Porchetta NYC – which oozes & drips glorious pork fat and is seasoned with fennel salt & pollen powder. The pulled chicken and pork sandwiches at Formaggio are good, but just don’t stand up to the beef brisket and lamb in my book. That being said, this may still be the best chicken and pork BBQ in all of Boston, so go figure.
The kitchen also serves rack of ribs that are St. Louis in style, click here to learn more. It is the most expensive dish on the menu and the most disappointing. I dream of ribs that just easily fall off the bone and are so juicy & wet that it melts in one’s mouth. These ribs were far from that. It could be because the ribs sit outdoors but still, it could have been better especially given the price point.
BBQ ain’t BBQ if it does not have rocking co-stars in its side dishes. The corn bread is good enough and unique as it is loaded with chili powder seasoning – the cumin really stands up. The baked beans though, should not be skipped. One, they are good for your heart. And two, they are some of the smokiest tasting beans I’ve had and it was stick to one’s insides good. The molasses brings up the smoke level taste and everything tastes better with bits of bacon. They are a universal favorite.
If you live in Boston, do yourself the treat and get in line for Formaggio Kitchen’s Saturday morning BBQ.