RW's BBQ satiates seekers of sauce with a menu of hickory-smoked meats, homemade spice rubs, and four made-from-scratch barbecue gravies. Owner Ron Wishna pit roasts butts and briskets for more than 12 hours and chicken and ribs for more than four, producing proteins so tender they swan dive off the bone into a savory side of sauce.
Wings over Springfield's friendly staff paints its menu of winged masterpieces with a delicious palette of 18 flavors and five buffalo-sauce styles. Chomp on the seven-wing paper-airplane plate ($5.99) while your in-flight crew devours the 60-wing B-17 bomber ($39.99). Boneless wings are hand battered, sold by weight, and provide countless hours of fearless feasting for dining dentures. Beat your personal best by speed-eating a half-pound DC-3 of boneless bites ($6.49), or gather a group of airship aficionados to demolish the 6 lb. zeppelin of spineless wings ($59.99), adding orders of french fries ($2.49 for a small) and onion rings ($2.99 for a small) to dam up teriyaki and honey-mustard reservoirs. Flight-phobic diners can stay grounded with hamburgers ($5.99) and half racks of ribs ($8.49), sharing napkins and sticky high-fives with their wing-eating amigos.
Winner of more than 400 awards for its barbecue, Famous Dave’s caters to carnivores with a menu of hearty, flavorful American fare. Kick off the mouthcapades with a starter of sweetwater catfish fingers ($7.99), which pair the whiskered swimmer's cornmeal-crusted phalanges with rémoulade and jalapeño sauce, or begin by using onion strings ($6.99) to weave yourself a lightly breaded palate poncho. A 12-boned slab of St. Louis-style spareribs ($22.99), pit-smoked for three to four hours over a hickory inferno, gives sauce-slathered fingers the chance to enjoy an endless string of napkin hugs, while a Texas beef brisket sandwich ($8.49) provides a bread buffer for the benefit of tidy tasters. A sugary slate of desserts, including Dave's famous bread pudding ($5.99) with pecan praline sauce and vanilla-bean ice cream, give sweets-loving stomachs something to blog about to their gastro-friends.
BJ Ryan's BanC House satiates cravings for both fresh coastal catches and savory wood-smoked meats that exude Southern charm. The slow-smoked pulled pork calls to taste buds from the plate where it sits slathered in homemade sauce and dry rub, and savory shrimp and grits blend dry rub and cheddar flavors. The talented chefs pay a special tribute to fresh crab, which can be added to any entree, steaming dishes such as the BanC crab cake, dungeness, Alaskan king, or blue crabs, which come dressed in homemade roasted-garlic sauce, ginger caramel, or inner-harbor spice.
Not to be overshadowed by the succulent food, BJ Ryan's dark, varnished wood and black-lacquered furnishings effuse a low-key, yet carefully kept dining environment marked by old photos and broad chalkboards listing the day’s specials.
Whether beneath the thatched roof of the tiki hut or at an intimate table surrounded by bamboo shoots, Papaya Thai and Asian BBQ’s tropical themes pervade the eatery’s confines. The barbecue bar grants diners a front-row seat to watch chefs expertly grill marinated meats and veggies on wooden skewers, wielding the power of fire like Prometheus to cook beef to its tender best state. A variety of Thai tasting plates and main dishes include classics such as pad thai, sizzling chicken in a thai barbecue sauce, and skewered chicken satay. From the tiki bar, bartenders pour tropical drinks such as papaya thai-ritas made with sweet mango and nutty monkeys, an almond-rum-banana concoction the staff delivers to tables by way of swinging through the rafters.
Though he’s a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America whose resumé spans stints across the U.S., Brian Treitman has never lost his affinity for one food—roadside barbecue. At B.T.'s Smokehouse, Brian pays homage to multiple styles of Southern barbecue, starting with dry rubbing each cut of meat, from the pork shoulder and beef brisket to both types of ribs, in a blend of spices. He then places the slabs into a Southern Pride smoker, where the velvety plumes from local apple and hickory wood slowly cook the meat for up to 14 hours.
The cuts emerge with a crisp, blackened exterior surrounding a juicy, fall-apart-soft interior, and are plated with cornbread and sides such as collard greens and mac ’n’ cheese. Brian's approach has earned him a loyal following, a spot on Worcester'sBestChef.com's 2011 People's Choice Awards, and at least two awkwardly long hugs from diners.
Chef Buck of Buck's Roadside BBQ smokes beef, pork, and chicken with fruitwood and seasons each juicy cut with house-made dry rubs and sauces made from scratch. As proteins such as beef brisket or pulled chicken pile atop platters for two, cornbread squares swap crumbs and numbers with sides including mashed sweet potatoes, collard greens, and baked beans. Five sauces stored in squeezable bottles coat meats and fingers before greeting taste buds with sweet and intriguing knock-knock jokes.