Cookouts and barbeque are on the menu for many today. If you're in the Boston area, you may not find a whole lot to choose from—and unless you’re game for waiting in line for the M&M truck at the SoWa weekend market, there’s really only one reliable bet. The good news: Sweet Cheeks, the most recent debut by Top Chef alum and once Texas resident Tiffani Faison, is easily one of the best BBQ restaurants to open anywhere this side of the Mason-Dixon.
Start with an order of biscuits for the table—you’ll get a massive bucket overflowed with precisely four biscuits and a side of honey butter. Maybe you’ll compare the size of each one with your palm (or your head) for a laugh… but then you’ll fall silent with your first bite, giving way to a chorus of swoons. (It’s happened to me not one, not twice, but a good three times.) They’re among the best this butter-and-carb-lover has ever encountered.
You’ll smell the meats on the smoker long before they arrive at your table (how’s that for an amuse bouche?) so it’s no surprise that Faison’s very low and very slow method yields fall-apart pork belly and ribs—not to mention pulled pork and brisket that make a fine, if difficult to manage, sandwich on Texas Toast. The chef’s done her due diligence, with a thorough road trip that paid patronage to all the Lone State’s best, and it shows. Save space for the giant nutter butter, a not-overly-sweet finish that’s big on nostalgia, but expect to roll yourself out the front door—this isn’t exactly light eating.
Nikki Goldstein is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.