Spork Rating: 4
- Neighborhood: Kenmore/Fenway
- Cuisine: BBQ
- Price: Affordable. Appetizers $6-10, entrees $10-20.
- Hours: Daily 11:30-10pm or later.
- Reservations: Yes. Via phone or on their website.
- Recommended For Dining With: Infants, toddlers, kids
If you have been lucky enough to experienced true Texas barbecue (think Salt Lick), the food and surroundings at Sweet Cheeks will be familiar. A welcome change from the predictable sports bar venues in and around Fenway, this Boston barbecue restaurant manages to combine the simple decor of large barbecue halls with a more industrial feel that reminds you that you’re smack in the middle of a New England city. When you walk in the door, the smell of smoked meat immediately wafts over you. You’ll notice large communal tables as well as high tops and standard dining tables spread throughout the casual dining space. Dig in and get ready–the whole family will likely want some wet naps when this dining experience is through. It is a good thing.
Are you a Top Chef fan? Season one finalist Tiffani Faison is the chef/owner here and you may see her working in the kitchen or circulating through the dining room.
Really good. The staff is ready to accommodate kids of all ages with a smile. Most items come out pretty quickly, but if you’re dining with impatient eaters, make sure to ask what takes longer (like the hush puppies).
Many of the tables here are “high tops” which means you’re sitting at bar stool level. If you need a high chair or your little ones are too squirmy to safely dine an extra foot off the ground, make sure to request a regular table.
Vegetarians beware–this is barbecue. Meat, meat and more meat take center stage. Channeling the spirit of a Texas barbecue hall, Sweet Cheeks smokes and slow cooks their meats in the name of flavor. The menu offers “trays” where you select your meat and a choice of one “hot scoop” and one “cold scoop” (sides), sandwiches on Texas toast, or you can go old school and simply order up meats by the ¼ lb increment along with a selection of sides. Meats are responsibly sourced and all are gluten-free (with the exception of the fried chicken). Ask your server for suggestions on portions. Overall, portions are large, so come hungry. Don’t miss:
- Bucket o’ biscuits
- Berkshire pulled pork
- Ribs (pork and short)
- Farm salad (cold scoop)
Who needs a kid’s menu when you have this many delicious sides to choose from? The little guys will get a kick out of making a meal out of the sides (called hot and cold scoops). If you want to loop in some meat, get a ¼ lb of one of the offerings–just be ready to take some of it home as even this is a lot of meat.
Sides kids will love include:
- Broccoli casserole
- Blackeyed peas
- Mac n’ cheese
- Fenway Park
- Riverway/Olmsted Parks
- Boston University, Simmons and countless other colleges
- Longwood Medical Area
- Easy entrance/access for strollers
- Stroller storage
- High chairs
- T accessible
- T accessible from the Green Line’s Fenway station
- On Red Sox game days, parking is near impossible to find for under $35. Visit on a non-game day and you have a pretty good chance of scoring a metered spot within walking distance.
- There’s a parking garage located in the same building. Enter on Kilmarnock St.