BBQ International, Union Square, Somerville, MA

As I mentioned elsewhere, when we eat out [or do takeout] we gravitate to the same old chestnuts. They are all within an easy drive or walk from our home, are good value for money, and have fairly consistent and tasty food. I thought I might start to write up these spots just in case you find yourself in my neighborhood.

The old Jimbo’s Roast Beef space on Bow Street turned into BBQ International quite a while ago. Only recently did we decide to give it a try. To be honest, what peaked my interest was one of those horrid fliers that are left on my front porch regularly. At the very bottom of the back page it mentioned that the owner is the same as Singh’s Cafe in Wellesley, and everyone I know loves that place.

Our first visit, we ate in the space which is fundamentally an old school sub shop that happens to have a tandoor oven. We ordered the Tandoori Tangri Chicken, which they describe as the bottom half of a chicken. In reality, it was chicken legs. We also ordered a Dal Makhani and a garlic naan. As we waited they brought a pea-mint-yogurt soup which I really enjoyed. The chicken was well cooked with just enough spice to make you pay attention. The dal was fabulous, as rich as one expects for this dish. The basmati rice is cooked to a very dry consistency and has the longest grains I have ever seen! For the two of this, the amount of food was four servings, and it all reheated extremely well.

Since then we make regular orders of the Punjabi wings [spicy and spiced] roasted, the dal tadka which I just love, some bread, and every order includes that lovely soup. Last week we added the Tandoori Salmon which came with a masala sauce that was SOOOOOO good. All about the tomato and spices, not all about ghee and cream. This salmon didn’t need sauce. It was succulent, cooked just right, and delicious. The sauce found its way to the huge amount of rice that arrived with this order.

My only complaint is that occasionally, the dal are a bit too al dente for my tastes.

Otherwise, we have enjoyed just every single bite from this place. Unlike some other Indian restaurants in this country, they don’t rely so much on ghee and cream for flavor. The amount of fat in each dish is just not overwhelming.

I am going to keep exploring this menu which still has tons of other Indian dishes that I want to try. I have not even considered moving towards the American items but they might be amazing when prepared in that oven.

We always go to pickup our dinner so I can not comment on their delivery service.


Thank you for reporting on this place! I’ll definitely need to check it out, especially after seeing this line on their website:

Someone, someday might make tastier bread than this. But don’t expect to eat it in this lifetime.

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Wonderful review, SMT. Thank you very much! I’ll tell G about it and perhaps get him to pick up an order to reheat at home. I’ve made a note of your suggestions.