Bison County Smokehouse And Grill

very good

16 Reviews
Bison County Smokehouse And GrillBison County Smokehouse And Grill

Type: Bar, Eatery

275 Moody St.
Waltham, Massachusetts, 02453
United States

(617) 642-9720 | map

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Added by John

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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 26
Photo of parris
5/5  rDev +26.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Bison County has spectacular food and a great beer selection with an occasional hard-to-find tap/can (BA Firestone/Backlash/Heady etc). The bartenders are mostly beer geeks and wicked cool either way. This is one of the best places to get beer on Moody St.

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Photo of MichaelinFishers
3.29/5  rDev -16.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Visited 8/25/2010 for just beers. Bartender was Hillary.

Decent tap selection, but not huge. Bottle selection looked like it might have been better, and the sign out front touted that it was recently increased, but there was no bottle list and Hillary didn't know all of them. She did pull some of the newer ones out for me to look at.

Looks like it could be a hoppin' place at dinner time or on another night. As it was, it was moderately busy with a couple tables drinking after dinner and a handful of us at the bar.

Hillary was very attentive and responsive, but as mentioned above, wasn't extremely knowledgeable about the beer. In addition to not knowing the bottle list very well, she didn't know exactly which Palm beer they had on tap, only that it was Belgian.

They had just tapped a new keg of Berkshire Steel Rails. My sample had a very off smell and taste (a friend concurred). When I mentioned it to Hillary, she smelled and tasted and said it couldn't be right. She poured and dumped a pint or two, then pulled another sample that was much better. Not sure what the problem was, thinking it was something in the lines. So she gains points for this, but still disappointed a bit on her overall beer knowledge.

I'm out here for business frequently. I'd like to come back for the food some time and update my review. Maybe they'll have a bottle list.

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Photo of BeerGood
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

calling bison county a beer bar, in my opinion, is a bit of a stretch. i really do like this place, but it seems like the last three times i've been in there i stared at the tap list for five minutes, and ended up ordering a hop devil each time. and last time i was there pretty much everyone around me was drinking bud and coors light. they do have a nice selection of bottles and that includes your standard belgians, but my philosophy is draft when out - bottles at home. all the bbq i've had has been decent, good sized portions for the cost. sides are some-what predictable and unexciting. i've never tried any of the tex-mex because there are much better options in the neighborhood. apps seem to be the most consistent - catfish nuggets, buffalo shrimp, arizona egg rolls are my faves. great place to sit at the bar and watch a game while enjoying a beer and an appetizer. hope to see more of a draft selection in the future.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Got there ahead of my party so I got to sit at the bar and have a couple. Decent bottle and tap selection, with a mix of local, US, and foreign brews. Beer menu was a bit out of date, but they rotate enough through where there are beer specials, both tap and bottle. Runs the gamut, from a bunch of crappy Mexican beers to Chimay (I saw blue and red). Good selection on tap, Smutty, BBC, Magic Hat, Young's Double Chocolate Stout, etc. plus the usual Bud light. This establishment does lean toward better beer, though.

Quality and Service roll in together on this one. Got a recommendation from the bartender on Stone Mill, and got a pint. It was shit-awful sour, and he immediately noticed i wasn't drinking it. He tasted it himself and we both knew it was a bad keg. He gave me an alternative beer on the house and later, after I was seated with friends, gave me a sampler so I knew what it tasted like. he gets a 5.0, but the person serving the food kinda screwed up our orders. Nothing horrific, but it takes a little out of the meal (no BBQ sauce to go with the pulled pork/chicken, wrong sides). We ate it, but she blew it.

Food qualty is good. I've eaten here many times, and the food (taste) is always top-notch. I got the bison tips, and the quantity for $16 was a bit skimpy. Delicious, but when I got home, I had to eat. The straight-up bbq that everyone else got was plentiful.

Not killer in the price department, but you need to pay attention to what you get. This is the best of the bbq joints in Waltham. Parking is free and easy in the parking garage, and the place is right across the street. Overall, with a try for the brew and chew.

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Photo of j37geogaddi
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Man I miss this place big time. I haven't been there much since I moved but can't figure out why, other than convenience.

The BBQ is generally excellent and very underrated considering you don't typically hear this place mentioned when good local BBQ spots are discussed. The food may be the focus, but they have a nice selection of beers on tap and a lot of good bottles as well; Dogfish IBA, Midas Touch, Delierium Tremens, etc. For technically being a non-beer bar its about as good as it will get.

Good service, fun and relaxed atmosphere to watch a game or just enjoy some good food and beers. Bison also has very reasonable prices for beer and food. Their pulled chicken is also the best. I think I'll go back this week...

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Bison County is a must stop when you are in the Waltham area. If you go to Watch City for the Beer, be sure to eat at Bison County beforehand.

Beer selection is very good with about a 12 beers on tap and many more available via bottle.

Victory and Berkshire brewing selections help greatly with the variety. Not a classic beer bar, but one with an interesting selection and excellent food.

Get the Jumbo South Carolina Wings. Probably the best wings I've ever had. Everyone I take there also raves about these.


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Photo of gwood
3.95/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The BBQ smell was in the air and the bar was almost empty when I showed up but by the time I was halfway through my meal the bar was full (the Celtics were on). This place has an intimate feel that suits it well, license plates on the wall, old beer add signs, and a generally agreeable vibe.

The food is a mix of grill and smoke as the name denotes. Qaulity is good if not a bit on the spendy side. I had the Cowboy and Indians which is a mix of ant two smoked meets. The pulled pork was quite moist and came with a good texas style sauce and the brisket was strips with a South Carolina sauce, also very tender and properly smoked. The sauce is the only thing that didnt put thr food over the edge for me.

Beer selection was better than I expected with a good fourty or so bottles and fifteen or so additional beers on tap. I started with a Smutty pale, then a Victory Hop Wallop, and finished with a Brooklyn Brown.

Good service (by the owner). He was very helpful, answer any questions honestly and in good detail. All in all a good place, I'll be coming back.

EDIT: Made a mistake on the selection score. Corrected.

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Photo of YonderWanderer
3.95/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Walking into Bison County, you're greeted by a good sized bar, several large TVs, and a giant bison head on the wall, along with multiple beer signs. Sitting down at the bar, you'll find about 10-12 different taps, some macros, but more craft brews. Victory, Berkshire Brewing Company, and Old Speckled Hen to name a few. They have a good selection of bottles as well, including Chimay, Abita, Boulder Brewing, and several more. The food is also quite good, and price-wise, it's fair for Moody St. Overall a good place to go drink, have a bite to eat, and watch the game.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.91/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This was the last stop on our Moody Street pubcrawl on Saturday 6/30/07. I haven't been in here for about 3 years (love the food), and I was disappointed to see they've closed half of the restaurant (the seating area) and have just the bar area and the tables near the kitchen. The place just seemed a lot smaller. There was only a few people in here, so we grabbed some seats at the bar. The selection of beers was a pretty good for a bbq joint, with a good variety of beers on tap such as Smuttynose, two Berkshires, Wachusett, Victory, and Old Speckled Hen. The most fun part of our visit was the bartender, who we nicknamed El Pelon. The place was dead and he just wanted to chat with people. We talked with him for a while and he turned out be a really cool guy. Nice way to end the night, with a couple of BBC pints and some good conversation.

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Photo of Truh
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

“I’ll see you guys in there,” Jim said and took a hard right into the Lifestyles video center. “I’ve got some business I need to take care of.

Kumar shook his head and we continued to Bison County. Moody St. was awash in the flotsam and jetsam of Waltham; locals, students, and young professionals mixing in a great sea of just hidden rage and desire. The same could be said of the interior of Bison County; the place was an absolute meat market. Somehow, we managed to find a few seats at the bar, a jagged cut on the left as we entered, with about sixteen free-standing tall-backed chairs. The rest of the bar area proper had about nine tall tables of four, while the back dining area had low tables and booths with an open kitchen serving as a backdrop to the whole scene. Off to the right there seemed to be some kind of function room with a private shindig taking place in it.

“What do you think he’s doing in there,” Kumar asked as we scanned the tap handles.

“I don’t even want to know,” I said and ordered a Victory Hop Devil. They had about fourteen draughts, among them Brooklyn Brown, Red Tail Ale, Smutty Shoals, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, and Wachusetts Blueberry. They also had a hefty amount of bottles, over twenty, but I was more interested in grabbing another bite to eat as it had been a long day of swilling. The bartender had possessed the foresight to give us some menus when he took our drinks order; a nice change of pace from the Skellig. The menu was Tex-Mex themed and I immediately decided on the beef brisket, while Kumar hemmed and hawed for a bit before deciding on the boneless buffalo wings.

“Hey,” Kumar grabbed my arm, turning me, “isn’t that Dennis Leary?” Kumar was always thinking he saw some kind of celebrity when in reality it was just some poor schmuck who would end up having to deal with his inanity. This guy, though similar in look, was clearly not the comic actor.

“Huh, yeah,” I said, “I think it is.”

“Keep an eye on my beer,” Kumar said and slid off his stool. “I’m going to go get his autograph,” and with that he disappeared into the crowd. I surveyed the rest of the place, content to have a moment’s respite from both of my friends. The whole place was done up in wood, from floor to ceiling. Steer skulls and horns jutted out of the bar’s wall, which was festooned with license plates from across the country. A huge American flag was painted on the wall next to the windows that fronted on Moody St. I wondered if that had been put up after 9/11. There was some breweriana here and there, but not overly done. With the REM and Hootie and the Blowfish playing over the PA via the bartender’s iPod, the affair had a jazzed up roadhouse feel to it. The one thing that stood out the most to me though was how deathly frigging cold the place was. Despite how crowded the place was, I found myself blowing on my hands after every swig from my pint.

“You-ess-of-fucking-ay,” Jim yelled and pointed to the flag on the wall, clapping me on the shoulder. Somehow, Jim already had a pint in his hand. Just then the bartender served up our food. I dug into my brisket, which was quite good, while Jim didn’t hesitate to sit down and start sampling Kumar’s buffalo wings. I grabbed one too for good measure and found them to be some of the best I’d had in a while. We finished our pints with the food and ordered another round, with Jim insisting on Lemon Drop chasers. Drinking that would surely prove to be a bad idea, but I quietly acquiesced, knowing I could somehow get rid of it without Jim’s knowledge. There was no way I was going to drink that sickeningly sweet stuff.

“Where’d Kumar go,” Jim asked wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his torn UNH sweatshirt. The wings were gone, only a few desultory sticks of celery left. “He’d better not be off whoring around, if he knows what’s good for him,” he said scanning the crowd like a hawk. Kumar appeared out of the mass and rejoined us at the bar.

“Fucking guy wasn’t Dennis Leary,” Kumar grimaced. “I could have sworn it was him.” Kumar scanned the bar top, taking in the refuse that was left over from our gustatory attack. He looked slowly from me to Jim, and repeated the process one more time, before his gaze settled on the smear of hot sauce Jim had missed on his stubbly jaw.

“All right, jerkuleeze, you’re buying me another order of boneless wings,” Kumar commanded.

“What did you just call me, a jerkuleeze? In your fucking dreams,” Jim laughed and sauntered off in to the crowd towards the function room. “I’m going to go check out this party.”

Kumar stared at Jim, eyes wide with rage, hands clenched by his sides. “That’s the last time he…” Kumar said and strode off after Jim. A few seconds later I could hear some yelling and things crashing about in the side room. What the hell, I figured, and threw back my Lemon Drop. It was turning in to one of those nights.

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Photo of n0rmann
3.23/5  rDev -18.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5

For a restaurant, there's a good beer selection here. When I'm in Waltham, I'm more likely to go there for a beer or two rather than to eat.

The last time I was there, they had a couple of different Victorys, as well as Abita, Magic Hats, and several other beers from good breweries such as Harpoon, Sam Adams and Wachusett.

I've eaten there twice. The first time, I got catfish, and it was ok. The next time, I got a chicken Ceasar salad and it was terrible.

I'll go there again. It's a pretty good place to sit at the bar, have a couple of brews and catch the games on a couple of the televisions they have.

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Photo of RoterTeufel
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Waltham's Beer Friendly Atmosphere:
Bison is a smoke house - its the first thing you notice when walking through the door as you take in a whif of that burning wood & cooking barbecue smell. Now remember that! It's not a place I'd take a first date.
Food is good, if not great; I've had amazing barbecue - and it's hard to come by in these parts. Bison does a good job - I recommend the Arizona Egg Rolls & the Pulled pork, not the brisket - a bit dry (but so is most brisket in the northeast).
Service is hit or miss - sit at the bar if you want attention & your drink always full.
You have a good selection of BEER & bar-b at reasonable prices, and quite a few quality brews on tap & bottle.

I might have to consider Bison my neighborhood bar & first or second choice every time; I'd grade them with a "B" - not to put them down, but there are improvements to be made.
I go there about every other week - folks there are friendly & will help you with your selection if you are unsure.

Also, they tend to close before their posted closing time - has happened to me more than once.

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Photo of carln26
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I live just down the block from Bison County, but I've not had much oppoirtunity to eat there. Coming home this evening, I realized I didn't have anything in the fridge, so I walked over for a quick bite and a few beers. The atmosphere is "southern BBQ" Lot's of wood, old southern license plates hanging on the wall, and a few other momentos of the south to spice it up.

Nice beer selection. They always have Victory Hop Devil, and something from Brooklyn (Brown Ale this time). Usually something from Concord (Rapscalion) on the tap as well as 9 - 10 others. A nice 20 bottle selection to go along. The drafts always seem fresh, I had fresh tastes of Spaten Oktoberfest, Post Road Pumpkin, and Rapscallion.

The staff seems friendly, they could attend a little better.

Food is good. I had a brisket sandwich which was quite good, a small salad, and some sweet potato fries. Last time I was here, the BBQ was a little dry. It was better this time. Sauce on the side would be nice.

Overall nice place. I do recomend the food, It's not Redbones from a food or beer level, but not bad.

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Photo of fdrich29
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Tonight....The Bison! I love this place, and feel lucky to have it right here in town. A Sunday night staple for me and my friends. I love being able to watch them prepare the food, which is done in the back room dining area for all to see. Creates a very nice atmosphere for hanging out with friends.

The bartenders and servers are all very friendly, fast and attentive. We are always amazed at how quickly the food arrives after ordering, which for me is always the pulled pork combo. They have Carolina style BBQ sauce for those who are all about vinegar.

Beer...they have a lot of it. Great selection on tap, Brookyn Brown, Victory Hop Devil, Stella, Kilians, Guinness, Sam Adams, Spaten, Smuttynose, Blue Moon, Pabst Blue Ribbon (yum), Bass and Magners. Last week they had Rapscallion on tap, but it was replaced with Post Road Pumpkin this week.

Word to the wise, they shut people off here faster than you can say "See ya". If you're doing the Moody Street Shuffle make Bison the fisrt stop for dinner and a few good brews before moving on to partake of the good Lord's bounty.

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Photo of mschofield
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The food is great - BBQ in Texas and South Carolina styles, the usual suspects tips, ribs, pulled pork & chicken. And the namesake Bison. I like the pulled pork and chicken myself.
Rattlesnake eggs (battered jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese) and the wings are the top appetizers.
If you sit in the back room the grill is open for you to view.
And a far better beer selection than most restaurants.
On tap Young's Double Chocolate Stout, Victory HopDevil, SN Pale Ale, the usual macro suspects, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Murphy's Irish Stout etc.. A number on bottle, but with good selections on draft I didn't bother with those. The draft selections change but they always have the HopDevil, thats a nice beer for BBQ.
Diagonally across the street from Watch City

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Photo of John
3.83/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This place is borderline for the beer bar category, so conservatively, I think bar/pub is the best classification. Bison County has a respectable selection of good brews on tap. 18 or so taps with notables being Victory HopDevil, Belhaven Scottish Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale and Brooklyn Brown. The usual suspects round out the remainder Guinness, Bass, Sam, Blue Moon, other macros, etc. Noteworthy bottles – Anchor, Magic Hat, Flying Dog. Casual atmosphere and good service. I had some of the tastiest wings ever here…be sure to try the smoked wings (I had the “crazy hot” Fire Wings, which were not all that hot). A couple pints of fresh HopDevil washed them down effectively. They offer some other very good menu selections including, you guessed right, Bison. If that’s not your thing don’t worry there’s also beef, pork and chicken. Definitely worth a try.

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Bison County Smokehouse And Grill in Waltham, MA
3.95 out of 5 based on 26 ratings.
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