For a birthday celebration and a return to a former life south of the Mason Dixon line, we lunched at Sweet Cheeks recently because the restaurant is well reviewed and has Texas-style BBQ in Bahstahn. The space is acoustically loud, which makes it difficult, at times, to converse, and the Mason jar "glasses" brings some of that Kountry Kute to downtown. But, the real reason to dine here is the smoked meats. Unlike smokehouses in Texas, the meat at Sweet Cheeks has a bit more than a hint of wood rather than the taste of the several hour infusion at low temperature one expects. Nevertheless, their ribs are juicy and tasty, with the fat rendered to the point where it falls off the bone. Might this be a function of finishing the meat in an oven after the initial smoking? The Carolina-style BBQ sauce is acceptable, but not anything to write home about, and the "hot" serrano pepper sauce is neither hot nor peppery. This is a shame because a good hot sauce on their delicious collard greens would enhance the deep south experience. Overall, Sweet Cheeks provides a good substitute for southern-style BBQ, at a premium Boston price.
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