Open for Business: Bacon and Caviar BBQ (Melrose)
February 4, 2010
Earlier this week, I was in need of a late lunch and headed to B&C bbq, Melrose locale. (We’ve anticipated its opening here.)
B&C is on the southern corner of 8th Ave’s Kroger strip mall. The interior proper has a service counter, no tables, and a long bar for those willing to stand and eat (love that detail). There is an outdoor seating area that is covered and heated. But it seems like the operation is set up for fast to-go/pick-up service.
The menu at this location is simlar to their farmers’ market offerings. With the price point, I figured this would be the first of many spur-of-the-moment visits. The business is still getting into full swing (appetizers and beer not available yet). I ordered the jumbo pulled pork sandwich ($4.5). The pork had nice texture and moisture. The bun was warm, though too floppy to hold together all the pork in between. I added B&C’s mild and hot bbq sauce to the sandwich. Good bbq sandwich, though nothing to spark oohs and ahhs. My side of choice was the mac-and-cheese ($1.25). The pasta was periwinkle-sized shells with rich cheese. They got this classic dish right and spiced it up with a nice amount of pepper.
I’m willing to continue visiting B&C, particularly to try its daily specials: smoked salmon, the ribs, smoked chicken. Not to mention the other sides. I liked it enough to convince my Super Bowl party host to cater Sunday’s hyper-event with B&C goodies. Uber-good deals for catering: for example, pulled pork is $7.5/lb and pulled chicken is $8.5/lb.
Update review on the B&C bbq catered for the Super Bowl (posted on 2/12):
For the Saints’ victorious Super Bowl, the host of our party ordered pulled chicken (8.5/lb) , pulled pork (7.5/lb), and beef brisket (10.5/lb)–a pound each, along with some sides. An hour or so before the game, the food was ordered, while some provisions were picked up from Kroger. All of the food were neatly packaged in circular plastic containers. The three ordered meats were enough for eight people, all of whom had at least two sandwiches, and some had three servings. The overall consensus was a thumbs up for the food. Everyone noted the easiness and affordability of catering from B&C. There was particular enthusiasm for the hot bbq–as opposed to the milder version and the honey mustard sauce, which was still in the experimental phase.
For me, the meats had different varying degrees of dryness. I preferred the pulled pork the most. With the hot sauce the sandwich was good, but not great. The brisket was tender, but could have used more time in the pit to develop the smokiness and crust. My favorite side dish was the baked beans. They had a great, peculiar taste to them, perhaps a hint of Sriracha hot sauce (but don’t quote me on that). I recall some pizza-flavored grits, but that just sounded like Cool Ranch Doritos further chemically morphed into grit form. The others grits were garlic-cheese grits, which were rich and
well-balanced. Every day B&C offers different grits, which seem to have a drier, more polenta-like consistency than breakfast grits. My other primary side was cerveza, but we shouldn’t hold B&C accountable for that.
After keeping tabs on people’s B&C experience, my guess is: folks will cater or dine with B&C if they’re in the Melrose neighborhood or if they’re looking for a super affordable option. The food didn’t generate enough excitement for it to be a bbq destination. It’s a good neighborhood option that seems to be quite consistent in what it offers.
B&C will always be special to me: its bbq is my madeleine for a Who-Date victory!