Since opening in November (on the great date of 11/11/11), Sweet Cheeks has brought buzz and bustle to Boylston Street’s once dead-end stretch through the Fenway. Come Sox season, it’s likely there won’t be a seat in the house — so get your fix now.
Courtesy of been-there/done- that chef and owner Tiffani Faison (Rocca, Todd English, Daniel Boulud), this Southern-style barbecue restaurant is casual — but bib-free — and easy on your wallet. Take the all-in dinner trays, which are laden with a choice of meat and two sides, and two hunks of sliced white bread. It’s a meal and then some, but don’t neglect wonderful sides like crisply coated fried okra or green tomatoes, which are big enough for two or even three.
But the real value is the cooking quality, which starts with naturally raised animals. The pink, succulent St. Louis pork rib has a wonderful sweetness. It doesn’t need the piquant, house-made sauces that sit on the table. Though those are too good not to play with!
The beef short rib is great too. The slab is just short of black, but there’s no taste of charring because the color is due to a wonderful alchemy involving spices, heat, oak and the luscious fat of the tender meat. It’s rich stuff and filling.
A little goes a long way, but it’s unlikely you’ll stop at a little.
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No, we are not bad-mouthing you with that phrase in bold above, we’re good-mouthing Sweet Cheeks’ cranberry rum punch with that name. It’s got summer written all over it and is the perfect bar pal or dinner starter. To finish? How about a gooey, perfectly sweet pecan and chocolate hand pie, which is like a tur-nover. Ah sweet Southern accents will get you every time. Entrees range from $17 to $25.