Cuisine With Claire: Classic BBQ Done Right
By Claire Jen '10, Staff Writer
While I’m definitely not opposed to places like Chez Albert or Carmelina’s for Valentine’s Day, my trip with Ansel Orr ’10 to Bub’s Bar-B-Q was, in my opinion, just as epic of an evening*.

After a day of skiing at Berkshire East (which, for those of you who think snow in the Northeast is good for nothing or that skiing is a long-forgotten dream left in the Colorado Rockies, is a mediocre substitute if you need a quick skiing fix), Bub’s was the perfect stuff-your-face place to end the day. Bub’s is located literally on the side of the road (no, not Route 9, there indeed are other roads in Amherst). From Amherst you take Route 9 towards Smith, turn right on 116 North and continue until you see Bub’s on the right. It’s impossible to miss; they have a giant sign and usually a ton of white and red picnic tables that will be completely full in warmer weather. In the winter, the actual restaurant feels like a cozy log cabin, with wood tables and warm lighting, and they serve a couple different beers on draft from the local Berkshire Brewery, which definitely adds to its local appeal. We tried both the IPA and the Amber, both of which were refreshing and delicious, although the Amber was definitely smoother.

The place is family owned and operated and has reaped accolade upon accolade in its 30 years of life: The New York Times calls it “the best BBQ joint in New England;” The Valley Advocate writes that Bub’s has the best ribs and the best barbeque; the restaurant’s walls are decorated with other awards and articles. Even the restrooms are covered in accolades. Although the restaurant is known for its friendly, no-frills atmosphere, we definitely thought the servers could have been a little more considerate — they wouldn’t even let us take home our leftover sides we didn’t finish, which is totally not environmentally-friendly seeing as they’d just throw away the extras anyway.

To order, we walked up to the counter and chose from Bub’s menu which is basically full of different meat options: chicken, kielbasa, spare ribs, baby back ribs, pulled pork, the list continues. We tried the pulled pork and spare ribs combo — both items were incredible. Their spare ribs have more meat than their baby back ribs, which is why we picked them, and we were not disappointed. They, along with the pulled pork, were juicy and flavorful, and with plenty of BBQ sauce available for dipping, it really hit the spot. Ansel recommends his genius invention: put the pulled pork on a piece of wheat bread with BBQ sauce and pickles (you have to ask for the pickles, but it’s totally worth it) and eat as a sandwich, dunking the bread in extra BBQ sauce (he calls it “dipping sauce”).

I’m forgetting the best part though—UNLIMITED SIDE BAR. I mean unlimited BBQ ranch beans, unlimited dirty rice, unlimited collard greens, unlimited sweet potatoes, unlimited hickory smoked potatoes, unlimited coleslaw, unlimited dill potato salad, unlimited black-eyed corn, unlimited homemade soup, unlimited cottage cheese and unlimited bread and butter. Whoa. While the corn was not very good, the coleslaw was perfectly refreshing and crunchy to contrast the meatiness of the pork and ribs. Overall, the UNLIMITED SIDES makes Bub’s a true eating experience: you get to eat as much as you want, so you can never leave unsatisfied.

While the management should probably practice smiling at non-regular customers like us, the atmosphere and food made up for it by far. I highly recommend trying out this BBQ feast, but maybe wait for the spring when the picnic tables are open, so you can get the real Bub’s experience.

*Disclaimer: Okay, so he actually took me to a really nice place in Northampton the night before this night, but choosing to cite it in tiny print at the bottom of this review just makes the story much better.

Issue 15, Submitted 2010-02-17 01:31:38