Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Is Winthrop turning into the Brooklyn of Boston?-If so, is Blackstrap BBQ leading the way?...

One of the more noticeable trends in food in the past decade or so has been the elevation of food to the level of gourmet attention that previously had not gotten this kind of attention.  That might account for why you might turn to the pages of Bon Appetit and find recipes for high end tacos, grilled cheese and so on.  Noteworthy on this list is the inclusion of BBQ as a dish worthy of gourmet attention and the attention of great chefs and restaurants.  This has been particularly true in Manhattan and the northeast which seems to view this dish as a kind of romantically rustic relic of the south and southwest.  Being from not only the south, but North Carolina I have a kind of reverse snob outlook on this movement which goes something like this "There is no way some 3 Star Michelin chef in Manhattan, Long Island or Boston can make BBQ as good as they did at Skinner and Daniels." (an old school  BBQ place where I grew up in Wilmington)  For the most part I have been correct about this, however, a recent trip to see our family in Winthrop, Massachusetts has challenged my thinking on this.

It is there that the very fine Blackstrap BBQ has managed to replicate the tough to match vinegar based Carolina style of pork in some of their offerings like a BBQ sandwich and as part of a dinner.  Other side dishes include collard greens, green beans, cornbread (another bulls eye) and watermelon.  We merely got take out on one of the last nights we were there so there was much we didn't get to sample that seemed tempting like Buttermilk Fried Onion Rings, Sweet potato fries and Corn and Andouille Fritters; not to mention Blackened Catfish on a Po'Boy and Buttermilk Fried Catfish. 

Again, did I mention this is Winthrop, Massachusetts?  Is there a small renaissance in Winthrop where hip, forward thinking eateries hover just under the radar of Boston (as Brooklyn is to Manhattan for example)?  If so, Blackstrap is definitely part of this movement.

47 A Woodside Ave.
Winthrop, MA 02152

M & L

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I (Mark) have written for The Christian Science Monitor, Clear Magazine, Picture Magazine, Film Score Monthly, Dan's Papers, Rue Morgue, In Flight USA and a lot more publications that I can't remember.... My wife Lynn was a model with the Ford Agency and her photography has been featured in most of the publications I have written for...


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