Thursday, December 17, 2015

Soulfire BBQ in Allston, MASS!

Quite recently I was disturbed to see a review for a hoity-toity, highfalutin, what-in-tarnation-the-dang-heck-is-this vegetarian bistro on our site. I could barely bring myself to read it, afraid that some kind of traumatic brain injury had suddenly afflicted Josh that would only become more apparent as I read on. Before I did, I decided to head out to my local meat shack in sunny Allston, MA, in a hasty attempt to regain credibility with our dear readers. Later I actually read his review and was actually quite pleased to see its meager C- rating. I should’ve known Josh wouldn’t have let me down like that! But at least the experience got me out to try a place in my ‘hood I’ve wanted to try out for a few months now. Ladies and gents, I present Soulfire BBQ.

I’ll start by saying this- if this review sways you to check the place out, you need to walk to it on the side street behind it. Not only will you avoid the riff-raff on one of the grungiest streets of Allston, Harvard Ave, you can enjoy one of the most pleasant smells known to humanity; the entire neighborhood smells completely of smoked meat. For those of you who have no clue what Allston is (99% of our readers, which equals out to about 4.8 readers), it’s a neighborhood in Boston on the B branch of the Green Line, close to Boston University.

If you find yourself in the city looking for quality grub but less crowds, it really is a great place to check out. Soulfire BBQ sticks out like a sore thumb on Harvard Ave amongst the mind-bogglingly numerous Korean restaurants and dive bars. And as I said before, take the right streets to get there and you can Toucan Sam all the way there.

I looked over the menu, salivating as I looked over all of the tried-and-true BBQ classics- ribs, steak, wings, etc. Then I saw something that caught my eye. A Reuben sandwich. Stay with me here, folks. Not just any Reuben sandwich, a Reuben with an intriguing twist. It had all the necessities- marble rye, coleslaw, and thousand island, but in place of pastrami these crazy BBQ brains replaced it with brisket!!

Brisket on a Reuben sandwich? NOW THAT’S CRAAAAAAZAAAYY

I said to myself, hey, why not. I like Reuben sandwiches and I like brisket. And if that’s not fat enough for the FGFB I’ll start myself out with some FRIED MAC+CHEESE, a novelty food so delicious it should be renamed God’s Testicles. That’ll do the trick.

But these didn’t look like omnipotent testes at all, for they were SQUARE!!


Kooky it was, reader. Because when I bit in to that thing, I wasn’t instantly covered by the cheesy Charlotte’s Web I had imagined when I ordered it. No, no. Disappointingly in its place I found only macaroni with cheese so sparse you would’ve thought it was a dystopian era of cheese Prohibition! And the restaurant was right across from the old-tyme police station! And a time-travelling cheese bandit had broken down his time machine there and decided to hit the place while he was salvaging parts!

No queso, NO BUENO

But, being the resourceful gentleman I am, I decided to use the disappointing Mac squares as a vehicle for sampling the five BBQ sauces provided on our table. There emerged the real star of this show, a truly delicious BBQ sauce known only as “Pitboss”. And call the pitboss I did because I had hit the jackpot of BBQ sauces. This BBQ sauce was so good the time-travelling cheese bandit tasted it and decided to give up his queso-hunting career, broke his time machine, and become a server at Soulfire where he could eat it any day to his heart’s content. Yeah- it’s a really good BBQ sauce.

Then came out my Reuben. The brisket was juicy, flavorful, and tender, and was complimented quite well by the peppery-semi-sour coleslaw, and sauce Pitboss.

While it was a great sandwich, I really should’ve seen through this shallow facade before I ordered. There’s a reason why pastrami usually comes with pastrami, because it’s probably the best meat paired with the other elements. The brisket was great by itself but altogether, it just didn’t really belong.

I’m going to have to stick this Soulfire experience with a C+, the plus coming as a direct result of that really excellent barbecue sauce. Maybe if the fried mac was a bit more cheesy, I could’ve chalked up my Reuben disappointment to a poor ordering decision on my part. But, as what should’ve been an easy home run ended up being a ground-roll double, it left this reviewer skeptical of the restaurant’s other offerings. Alas, eat and learn.


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