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Redbones Barbeque

Not Rated.
Redbones BarbequeRedbones Barbeque
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

132 Ratings
Ratings: 132
Reviews: 114
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.59%
Taps: 28
Bottles: 40
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

55 Chester St
Somerville, Massachusetts, 02144-3001
United States
phone: (617) 628-2200

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @redbones

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 132 | Reviews: 114 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PZuke
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%

Had to check this place out after reading about it on BA. It is a small place with seating on the first floor and the basement. When I went during the weeknight the first floor was very family orientated. The basement was were the bar was and they had a few tables about in a very dark room. Have read and heard about the beer and I was not disappointed at the selection. Ever changing taps of hard to find imports and exports beers. The bartender will be happy to give you a sample if you ask. The beer was fresh and of high quality. The only downfall of the beer is the fact that you get all your beers in the same types of glasses. The beer selection is good but I felt the best thing about Red Bones was the food. They have an excellent southern menu with all the tradition foods that you will not find around Boston. Was very excited to see Corn Fritter and Hush Puppies on the menu. Reminded me of trips to Florida as a kid. I had the ribs that were very good with a couple of nice helpings of sides. This place is cash only and while I would go here to eat any time it would not be my first choice for beer.

PZuke, Sep 17, 2003
Photo of John
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%

Redbones is very similar to a place called Dinosaur BBQ that Rochester and Syracuse BAs know well. In terms of beer section, the edge goes to Redbones. An interesting and rotating selection of 24 draughts keeps the BA’s interest peaked. Very good selection of bottled micros and Belgians as well as cans of some "classics" like Schlitz and Genesee. Last visit I especially enjoyed the Concord IPA, Rapscallion Blessing and the Stoudt’s Abbey Triple. The food is outstanding. The bar staff is very friendly and accommodating providing samples of beers and food! I was curious about how the jerk pork tenderloin was last Thursday and the reply was: “want to try it”. Very cool. One of my favorite places in the Boston area. I’ll be back here again and again. Highly recommended. Cash and personal checks only. No credit cards!

John, Sep 08, 2003
Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev -4.1%

True southern BBQ and great beer, what more could you want.

The atmosphere, on the lower level, is dark and almost a little spooky. Dark walls painted in white and florecents are complimented by the low lighting. A very small L shaped bar on one side of the room, with a few spots to stand along the walls and a few higher tables around the bar. The rest of the small room is your standard seating area 4 person tables. Very laid back and simple. Nothing fancy.

The food here is probably some of the best, true to style, BBQ you're going to find in the Boston Area. Hush Puppies, Corn Fritters, Fried Catfish (fried with a true cornmeal batter), pulled pork, ribs, chicken and more.

The 2 dozen or so tap beers and equal numbered bottles are pretty evenly split between your good ol' micro/macro standards and much more obscure belgians, germans and craft brews. What really makes redbones stand out though is that they have a constantly revolving selection of beers you're simply not going to find at any other bar. The newest Dogfish Head you havn't heard of yet on tap, or that bottle of Westvletern abt 12 you've been looking for. Basically you're almost always guaranteed to find a beer you've never had before here.

Really the only issues with Redbones are that they serve all their beers in the same small assortment of glasses, they are cash only and the seating is very limited at the bar.
But beyond that, If you're in or around Davis Square and are looking for some good food and good beer, Redbones can't be missed.

taez555, Aug 09, 2003
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%

Finally...I made it to Redbones. I didn't know what to expect concerning the atmosphere...I've just heard so much about it. I did know however, that I would get some kickass barbeque and some top shelf beers, many of which have a difficult time finding in the PA area.

I was right on with that. Upon arriving, my friends and I were told it would be about a 30 minute wait for a table. So of course we went downstairs to Underbones to have a few pints while we waited. It ended up only taking about 15 minutes, and we got a table downstairs where we were waiting. The wait staff was very friendly and quite knowledgable about both the beer and the food.

I love the atmosphere of this place...its down-home and southern, yet I would not feel out of place walking in here after work in a suit and tie. Redbones is for everyone! The crowd was of all ages, and everyone was lively and enjoying the food, beer, and company.

The bbq is some of the best I've had. I had to get ribs (I went with the Memphis style) in addition to some pulled chicken and hushpuppies. The food is messy and simply wonderful, and the prices are easy to deal with. The beer! They had around 20-25 beers on tap, which is a fair amount, but it was the beers themselves, not the quantity, that made me happy. Some tough to find beers were the highlights. They previously had some Gose on tap but I just missed it. I sampled a Dogfish Head Weedwacker Wit and a Paper City Blond Hop Monster. $3.50 a pint each was pretty impressive as well. Decent selection of bottles as well, but the prices are higher.

I would like to make this a stop everytime I am in the Boston area. The service and food are awesome, as is the rotating selection of quality brews. Not to be missed!

IrishRedRock, Aug 06, 2003
Photo of vitesse
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

what a great place. i convinced my girlfriend to come here for dinner on the promise that the food would be good (she's not into the beer), anyway, i wasn't let down.

seriously amazing barbecue/soul food. big enough portions to have for lunch the next day. cool atmosphere. good prices.

and did i mention the beer. when i visited they had rogue dry-hopped red ale and one of the heavyweights on tap. as well as a good selection of micros/belgians/etc.

and the service was really great. our waiter brought us free appetizers when he asked if we could change tables to make room for a big party. that was mos def appreciated.

definitely worth going way way out of your way for.

vitesse, Jul 28, 2003
Photo of Tchuck
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%

Like Pat, I don't know what to say that hasn't been said before, so a few thoughts:

1) Probably one of about three places in Boston that will have something on tap that I've never had before. Some places have more taps, but aren't as daring, or don't have what they advertise in stock.
2) You can't go wrong with the food, but some items bring it to the next level: catfish fingers, sausage o'the day, collard greens, hushpuppies, pulled pork, brisket, and the pecan pie.
3) On Sat. nights in April, they have a guy from The Union Bay Oyster House selling oysters at the bar. Good times.
4) Try sitting at the counter in the back of the main restaurant. The chefs are always friendly, and will often throw samples your way.
5) Go early or during the week to avoid crowds to the extent you can.
6) I'm grateful I live only a few miles away, and that my wife is always willing to drive home afterwards.

Tchuck, Jul 20, 2003
Photo of PatandDavid
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%

What can I say that hasn't been said before??

We are lucky: we are locals. That means they know us by name when we come in, we know practically every bartender, and they always treat us right.

First: the beer. Redbones has a rapidly rotating beer menu, which means there is something new on almost everynight. It's where I discovered Belgians, it's where beer is an event...I've had so many different and wonderful beers here, I can't even start...One can always find something to drink here, and if the draft list looks boring (rare, but when you go a couple of times a week...), well, they have been expanding their bottle list.

The food: The barbecue is great, but I find the portions are just way huge (appealing to some folks, just plain too much for me). Go for the BBQ if you want. Check out the daily specials. I would also recommend the grilled tuna, or any of the fish, it's very good.

What a local can tell you...ask for a sample of the beer! they will always be happy to pour you a sample, why order something you will not like. As far as the cask beers go: they can be hit or miss, so again, ask for a sample.

Also: If you've always heard that the beer selection is great at Redbones, it is. If you think you are going to get the perfect glass to go with with each indiviual beer, you're not. They do not have the room, so you will get your beer in a pint, or a half, or this little 10.5 glass for the Belgians, or your Rapscallion in one of their glasses, but that's it. You are not going to get every beer in the perfect glass, but I say: who cares.

Redbones is hard to beat: unpretentious, friendly people, and a desire to please the customer. I recommend it, and take any family visiting to it for the RBs experience. I've made many friends there, and love running into fellow BAs there. Pat

PatandDavid, Jul 07, 2003
Photo of slander
4.38/5  rDev +5%

Bar.
Buh.
Cue.

Had to go. Have wanted to go for some time now, and the AOBF afforded me the opportunity. Headed out with Davo, Spesh and Heather after a long long day and caught a great damn meal.
The place was jammin' but that's what you get for rolling in on a Saturday night after 7 PM. Spotted the beer wheel, and thought better than to spin after I saw some of the things on it. Took a Stone Smoked Porter because I could and we headed downstairs to wait upwards of an hour for a table (which is by no means whatsoever a complaint, we knew what we were getting ourselves into). The lower floor is seating area with a bunch of close tight tables and a bar area. The whole room is a collage of these oddly cartoonish aliens and animals (and "Spock") with painted brightly colored everywhere. It's like Keith Haring on paper (you either get that or you don't. I make no apologies). Got a good look at the beer wheel. Not crazily great, although reasonably with rotations, it can go hit or miss. Finally, a table. There's just too damn much on the menu to easily chose for. Ribs, ribs, ribs, ribs and ribs. I went with some sampler that afforded me a ridiculous amount of food. I think there were beans and slaw nestled beneath but I never got down that far. The food was outstanding. A must if you do the barbque thing and you're within 100 miles of Somerville.

slander, Jun 08, 2003
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%

Finally able to visit this mecca of the Boston area...

Visited early afternoon on a Friday. Only 2 or 3 other people in the bar, with nobody in the restaurant. Bellied up to the bar and took a look at the beer menu. Unfortunately, I wasn't horribly impressed by the selection, but, in looking at the numous Alstrom bothers reviews, the selection must be excellent at other times. I was too afraid to spin the wheel for a beer, as PBR was on tap and I don't think I could have handled that. Unfortunately, the cask-conditioned beer wasn't quite ready, either.

Soon we discovered that the Boston ban on smoking in eating establishments doesn't apply to other areas, for we just received our beers when another guest sat down next to us and lit up. Off to the restaurant side!

Grabbed a table (not that it was crowded) and ordered some food. Holy dog snot! This is some seriously good food! The BBQ was very tasty and messy, the beans and slaw just added to the enjoyment of the meal. Not to mention a quality cold beer to wash it all down with. Excellent food at a very, very reasonable price.

Service was excellent as well. Friendly staff quickly took our orders, got the food, and checked in on us during the meal.

I can only imagine what this place must be like on a Friday night. Great beer, great food, and great music. Another "must-see" place to visit in Boston. Take the T from downtown and you are there in 10 minutes.

OldFrothingSlosh, May 29, 2003
Photo of drewbage
4.38/5  rDev +5%

Mmmm... RedBones is a godsend. Especially when you're a poor Southern boy trapped in Boston and missing a good bit of BBQ. Now that was the reason I first walked through the door of RedBones, way back in the day. Sat down and rolled up a plate of pork and collard greens.

Came back for that and the beer. This is easily one of the best places in a great beer drinking town. They always seem to be moving ahead of the game and getting something new in to tease your taste buds.

drewbage, May 28, 2003
Photo of LiamStLiam
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%

Redbones has two particular strengths.

One is the beer selection. They've got 24 beers on tap, and it's always a very well-rounded collection. It's a great place to go sampling.

The food is some of the best barbecue in Boston, and there's plenty of it.

It can get a bit crowded at times, especially in the bar, but the staff is talented and knows the beers well.

Davis Square also has other good bars, including the Burren, and one of the best used bookstores in Boston, McIntyre & Moore, is there, too.

LiamStLiam, Feb 17, 2003
Photo of bennybrew
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%

12.12.4 EDIT increased the score fer service. i dig redbones.

beer. bbq. what more could you want? lots of beer? good bbq? well then, my friend, you've found your place.

and when i say lots of beer i don't mean bud, bud light, bud ice, michelob, mich lite, busch, busch lite, miller .... you get it. i'm talking dogfish head, rogue, the biggies. i think there were 15 taps and a great selection of bottles including many belgians. if you can't decide what to have they have a wheel o beer to decide for you.

the food was some tasty as well. i had me some pulled chicken sandwich which came with slaw and some fine beans.

the bartenders were great but the waitstaff was a little overwhelmed when the room got full.

go and go often. i go every time i'm in sommerville.

bennybrew, Feb 14, 2003
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%

Redbones is a great place to go for some beers or for some great barbeque. There is usually a very good to excellent selection of micros on tap to choose from, and they often have special theme periods (e.g., beers of the Pacific northwest, or English ales, etc.). They have about 20+ taps, and a good selection of bottles, including several great Belgian beers. You can even sometimes find Belgian lambics on tap here. They also have special events (sign up for their mailing list online). The bar upstairs is comfortable but gets crowded and loud on busy days. The restaurant is not fancy, but the food is very good. Of course, their specialty is barbeque. I particularly like the fried catfish and the fried okra. The service is usually good to excellent. Overall this is a great place.

8/31/03
After many more visits this year, I decided to update my ratings. This place is still great, and one of my favorite places to have a beer!

UncleJimbo, Dec 06, 2002
Photo of CharlesRiver
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%

This is my kind of place. I honestly think of different ways to talk my girlfriend and friends into going. The quality and selection of their tap beer is top notch. I love how they always seem to have local, regional and imported beers on tap that rotate constantly. It is actually an easy place to get to if you take the Red Line to Davis.
The food is great as well. I normally have the pulled pork or chicken but I have heard the ribs are great as well. Try the Jerked Chicken if you like it hot!

CharlesRiver, Nov 11, 2002
Photo of Myk
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%

on the recent pub crawl, we all went to this fine establishment. My favorite place on the crawl. environment upstairs/ redbones, seems very family style eatery. underbones/ the downstairs part, is much more fun. the walls covered with colorful, outlandish art with a see, and hindu theme. very interesting. the beer selection is pretty good with 20 or so rotating taps and more bottles of very tasty malt based beverages. always something new and fun on tap. food- terrific, i lived in the south for many years and i would have to say the BBQ at redbones can battle with southern cooking easily. good stuff, check it out.

Myk, Sep 23, 2002
Photo of Todd
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%

The Beers: There's around 20 beers on tap, that are constantly rotating out -- quality and selection can be hit or miss at times, prices are reasonable. Chances are you'll always find something on tap. There's also a nice handful of bottled beer, that also rotates now and then.

The Food: is probably some of the best BBQ available in the Boston area - down and dirty style. Portions are large, prices are cheap in comparison -- go for the catfish fingers and buffalo shrimp. Some of the meat is served too dry though.

Underbones: is the name of the downstairs, and it's a totally different environment than the upstairs dining area -- dark, arty, peaceful. If you're going to go to RedBones, you have to hit Underbones. Upstairs is fine, but always busy and not comfortable for an evening session of imbibing, eating and discussion.

RedBones is also known of their beer dinners where a theme is picked, speakers are brought in (usually brewers) and you get to feast on some kick-ass BBQ and quite a few special brews brought in for the event and/or month. These events are highly recommended and you get a lot of value for your buck. Check out their website for dates and details.

Worthy for anyone visiting Boston who enjoys good beer and/or good BBQ, just don't expect to be wow'd all the time by the beer quality and selection. This is a restaurant first.

Todd, Sep 22, 2002
Photo of StevieW
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%

My favorite place of all the different spots on my recent vacation. Redbones is definitly one of a kind. Not much I can add that hasn't already been described, except my outstanding service experience. I went there with my girlfriend to meet a few of her old friends. I went downstairs under the brother's recommendations. While waiting, I had a McNeil's IPA and Theakton's Motor Oil Stout on tap. Both Unbelievable. Once we were seated, it became obvious that our dinner order was lost, finally our food arrived. I had the BBQ Combo and couldn't finish it. Great BBQ, coming from a BBQ lover that has been all over the South, that is saying something. Then we it was time for the check to arrive, the manager came over and apologized and picked our check. That was totally unexepected. They showed they care about customers. So far 2 stops in Boston and 2 comps.......time to play the lottery.

StevieW, Sep 22, 2002
Photo of doerickson
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%

Tough to add much after all the great reviews this place has already gotten...outstanding beer selection on tap--seasonals, local/regional beers, beers from all over the country, Belgians, often something on cask...and an eclectic bottle selection to boot. I really like the fact that you can check their daily tap selection on the web before you go:

http://www.redbones.com/brews.html

Make sure you eat some bbq while you're there. The downstairs bar, Underbones, can be smoky as hell, and I got spoiled going there all summer when Tufts was on summer vacation and the crowds were down, but you really can't beat this place.

doerickson, Sep 19, 2002
Photo of Longstaff
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%

Great beer selection that keeps changing. You will never leave this place hungry if you order food. Good bbq and killer catfish sandwiches.

----

Wow, how times have changed since my initial review. Recently the beer list has been stagnant with too many 90's style imports and the same ole IPA's that they have on tap every single day. Seems like if its the beer guys favorite breweries, then you see alot of beer from those breweries. Portion sizes have drastically been reduced on the food, and the bbq isn't all that - maybe slow cooked, but no smoke in the ribs. Biggest rub lately is the pricing - seemed to have taken advantage of the recent wholesale price increases by adding $1 - $2 onto every pint. $6 now for anything not local and $6.50 for an Avery porter? c'mon I was born in the afternoon, but not yesterday afternoon.

Longstaff, Aug 05, 2002
Photo of BillyBrew
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%

What else does a beer lover need? Many great beers rotaing and changing frequently. Belgians, sesonals, locals, uniques and different offerings from great breweries. Cask Harpoon, draught Brookyn Penant Ale, Rogues, Dogfish Head, Chimay and, of course, PBR. The food is fantastic. Meaty BBQ fare for carnivores and fish offerings for the herbies. The service is prompt and friendly and food is up in minutes. The scene is more artistically 'ghetto' than actually ghetto.

All thumbs up all around. A must for beer advocates. Cheers!

BillyBrew, Jul 31, 2002
Photo of Bierman9
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Redbones is a very interesting bier-bar, indeed!! Quite the odd decor, especially downstairs at Underbones... Bones has a most decent selection (usually 22 or so) of micros; mostly from the local area but also from the west coast and Europe. Decent bottle offerings, too (Schlenkerla Rauchbier! Aventinus!! Mmmm!!) They even do a cask-conditioned bier from time to time. I do wish they'd serve 'em less cold, though. BBQ is verry good, with great lunch specials. A must if you're in the area! Zum Wohl!!!

overall: 4.5
atmosphere: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$

9

Bierman9, Apr 29, 2002
Photo of Murph
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%

This is quite possibly my favorite place to go in the greater Boston Area. Only been there twice but both experiences were really great. Always an excellent beer selection, and they rotate a few seasonals in. You can always find a few different things here. The food was amazing and the service was also good. I can't wait until I can finally make it to one of there beer dinners.

Murph, Mar 24, 2002
Redbones Barbeque in Somerville, MA
93 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.