As guests pass under Lewis' Restaurant and Grille's festive blue marquee, they enter an inviting world of Americana, with a bar that has been in place for generations and a kitchen offering up the appetizing aroma of freshly baked pizzas and Angus beef burgers. Guests share plates of buttermilk pancakes and eggs benedict during Sunday brunches and savor the tastes of inventive burgers and sandwiches, such as caprese-salad burgers or chicken-pesto sandwiches drizzled with balsamic reduction, all week long. Upscale haddock and salmon entrees satisfy refined palates, and a spread of bar food pleases crowds with chicken-finger baskets, tots, and tuna melts.
Though it has welcomed in families and bar regulars for decades, Lewis' has recently updated its interior with new bamboo flooring in the dining room and crisp dollar bills in the bar's cash register. Patrons regularly join in special events hosted by the bar, such as Tuesday-night trivia, where first-placers win a cash prize.
Wrapped in the aromatic embrace of Zona Sul Churrascaria’s smoldering barbecue pit, up to four friends gather over unending portions of Brazilian meats, rice, and vegetables. Diners pile thick slices of meat onto their plates as they gaze in wonder at the crackling sirloin steaks and pork sausages skewered on spits over the flames. Beef ribs line up in rows as foursomes hammer out xylophonic bossa nova songs with their forks, and chicken thighs strut to samba beats on palate dance floors. A bountiful salad bar complements the orchestra of sizzling proteins with rice, green vegetables, and whole onions painted to resemble soccer balls.
According to popular belief about barbecue, the less fancy a barbecue restaurant is, the more delicious its food will be. M&M Ribs is a living example of this—its tender chicken, fall-off-the-bone racks of ribs, and meaty pulled-pork sandwiches are served out of a simple, unadorned food truck.
The mobile barbecue joint's set schedule ensures that it's predictably parked at City Hall and in the Financial District when it’s not resting in its home lot at the corner of Hampden and Kemble or on the roof of Faneuil Hall. This ensures that fans of fried chicken, beef brisket, and mac ’n’ cheese can always easily track down some country-style cuisine. When not dishing out feasts to lunch and dinner crowds, M&M's chefs cater barbecue meals or make appearances at local festivals and markets.
SoulFire Barbeque’s chefs fashion succulent entrees and sandwiches around tender cuts of hickory-smoked ribs, pork, and chicken accompanied to the table by classic Southern sides. Each day begins when chefs load the smoker with choice cuts of meat that spent the previous night marinating in dry rubs or special brines to infuse them with flavor and keep them juicy and moist. Pork shoulders, briskets, and ribs can spend up to 16 hours tenderizing in the grill, as the barbecue pros keep a watchful eye on each succulent selection, pulling it out just as the meat starts to pull away from the bone but before it has a total change of heart. Chefs then dress each dish in a choice of barbecue sauces from around the nation, from the peppery, vinegar-laden notes favored in North Carolina to the tomato-heavy flavors beloved in Kansas City.
While they soak up extra sauce with a side of house-made cornbread, diners can revel in the sound of owner Wyeth Lynch’s other passion––soul music. Lending an air of authenticity to the restaurant’s Memphis–inspired vibe, the sultry grooves are left on 24 hours a day at the request of the marinating meats, which take inspiration from the tender croonings of Al Green.
“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.
At each of Oliveira's Steakhouse four locations, the crackling sizzle of roasting meat ring’s out like a starter’s pistol, signaling the beginning of Brazilian-style churrasco feasts. Weaving between tables, servers garbed in black shirts and scarlet neckerchiefs trot out flame-kissed chicken, pork, sausage, and rodízio steak presented upon a meat-laden short sword suitable for speedy delivery or elevating a busboy to knighthood. A salad bar supplements meaty mouthfuls with plates of leafy greens, rice, beans, and sauce-laden noodles.