Food escapades in modernist cuisine

Sweet Cheeks Q

Sweet Cheeks Q
1381 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
(617) 266-1300

My wife and I recently moved but for several years we lived in the Fenway. A spot we enjoyed going to was Sweet Cheeks, one of the few southern barbecue restaurants in Boston. Located on Boylston Street, it is a short walk from the ball park and a great place to get a decent meal before a game.

The restaurant is owned and managed by Tiffani Faison who is most famous for her appearance on one of the first seasons of “Top Chef". Given her culinary resume and pedigree, the choice to open a more casual barbecue restaurant as a first solo project might come as a surprise. However, Faison grew up in the south, so in my opinion, this is as much about her returning to her roots as it is making a smart business decision - namely, filling the BBQ void in the Boston restaurant scene.

What we like most about Sweet Cheeks is that it's a fun, chill place. The music is loud and eclectic, ranging from old school 90s rap to more modern pop and rock. The bar menu is large and drinks come served in mason jars. The restaurant is one big dining area, and there's an unapologetically strong smokey smell - barbecue is prepared in a 4,700-pound smoker in the open kitchen.

Meats are available by the pound, in sandwiches, or on metal trays. Prices are a little on the high side for barbecue but reasonable overall in my opinion for a meal in the city. Prices are largely dictated by quality of ingredients, including hormone-free beef, Berkshire pork, and halal chicken.

Having gone multiple times, we've tried most of the menu. Biscuits are generously sized, and the honey butter that accompanies them is absolutely delicious. Trays come with both hot and cold sides, my favorite of which are the farmhouse salad and mac and cheese. As for proteins, the barbecued meats like brisket, ribs, and pork belly are surprisingly not the stars of the show. While they were good, what we loved initially and keep going back for is the fried chicken - succulent, moist meat with a super crunchy coating. It's some of the best fried chicken I've had.

If you are ever in the area, I would certainly give Sweet Cheeks a try. And make sure you get the fried chicken!


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