“Who says northerners can’t do ‘cue?” asked Boston magazine as it crowned Blue Ribbon BBQ on its Best of Boston list in 2011. Whether dished out from its two brick-and-mortar locations or its trailer, the restaurant’s tender meats are lauded for their slow-cooked, pit-smoked tenderness, infused with the flavors of hickory and oak hardwoods. Blue Ribbon dishes out memphis dry-rubbed ribs, Texas-style beef brisket, and Kansas City–style burnt ends dubbed “absolutely addictive” by Boston. Locally made hot-smoked sausage and Mr. Whitner’s smoked-turkey-breast sandwiches help round out the menu alongside Southern sides such as dirty rice, potato salad, and corn bread. Blue Ribbon BBQ also caters special events and sells bottles of its most popular sauces so guests can enhance their grandmother’s recipes or add flavor to their super-soaker fights.
Ani Take Out's Armenian and Mediterranean menu spotlights wraps, sandwiches, platters, and kebabs. Eggplant-pomegranate salad, laced with cumin and molasses, blends familiar Middle Eastern flavors in an unexpected way. Ground beef and parsley top the Armenian pizza, and pita bread swaddles the likes of falafel, lamb, and feta-bedecked veggies. A distinctly American influence informs the selection of sides, which include fries and onion rings based on John Philip Sousa's famous recipe.
Pastalina's Restaurant serves hearty baked pastas and chicken and veal dishes inspired by the Avellino region of southern Italy. Chef and owner Rocco Ciccone whips up a menu full of flavorful dishes such as a zesty puttanesca peppered with capers and olives, and rich pasta alla matriciana, filled with bacon, onions, and plum tomatoes. The restaurant’s catering packages, which can be tailored to huge wedding parties as well as intimate get-togethers, feature homemade fusilli, caprese salad, fruit platters, chicken cacciatore, and other offerings.
At Oasis Brazilian Restaurant, family and friends can enjoy authentic Brazilian dishes around tables topped with checkerboard cloths in a relaxed setting. Brazilian-style barbecue and specialty steaks sizzle on long spears over open flames, and a spread of seafood and vegetarian dishes showcase other South American flavors. Peach custard, coconut flan, and rice pudding help finish off hearty meals and spontaneous food fights on a sweet note.
The Griffin Museum of Photography was founded more than two decades ago to honor Arthur Griffin, a famous photojournalist whose work appeared in Time and Life, and who was the first photographer to capture baseball player Ted Williams and boxer Joe Louis in color. The non-profit museum is comprised of three galleries, one of which is solely dedicated to displaying Griffin's own photographs.
In the main gallery, rotating exhibits spotlight contemporary photographers that have included Peggy Sirota, known for her striking celebrity snapshots, and a selection of picture curated by NY Times Magazine director of photography Kathy Ryan. Up-and-coming artists take center stage in the museum's Atelier Gallery, while Griffin's pioneering photojournalism fills the Griffin Gallery.
The museum also hosts digital and night photography workshops, where you can master being on the other side of the lens. It also sells photo books and other merchandise, including black-and-white posters of Fenway Park and souvenir mugs.
When Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, and The Boston Globe's resident foodies all flock to a restaurant—praising the Hot Mess, Mac Attack, and The King, respectively—you know it’s a hit. That's the Boston Burger Company, whose founders have created a destination burger joint to rival the best of America's burgeoning burger scene.
Of their 24 burgers, all but three boast an eight-ounce certified Angus burger patty. But even their veggie, conch, and turkey burgers get the same creative, careful preparation—they can be beer-battered and fried or rubbed with Cajun seasoning, but all are cooked to perfection. Each burger is crowned with some inventive and surprising toppings, including balsamic mayo, fried bananas, and mac and cheese, to name a few. These seriously imaginative recipes have garnered a lot of attention, winning Rachael Ray's Battle of the Best Burger competition, Boston Magazine's Battle of the Burger, and a place in Guy Fieri's heart on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
The burgers are not the menu's only notable edibles, however. Besides creating a collection of classic salads and chicken sandwiches, chefs also fry up boneless wings tossed in one of eight sauces—including honey barbecue, garlic parmesan, or terodactyl sauce, a tangy fusion of teriyaki and barbecue sauces.