The Don's BBQ [Watertown, MA]

Well, they’re not kidding about the brisket. It was plentiful, tender, nice peppery outer layer. Melt-in-your mouth. Two of us went for lunch. First timers excited about the prospect of bbq not too far from home. We each had the brisket plate and took home enough for another meal.

I ordered collards and creamed corn for my sides. Corn was whole kernels of corn in a creamy sauce. OK. Not great. No seasoning. The collards had been cooked with some bacon or other porky thing. So salty they were inedible for both of us. When the owner asked how our food was, we told him about the collards. He said he’d tasted it and it was fine. Just no. About 10 times saltier than we could eat. Perhaps they were cooked too long with the salty meat and it all got intensified as it cooked down. I don’t know. But attention must be paid.

BFF ordered the coleslaw (which I tasted). Not a real coleslaw in my view, just shaved white/green cabbage flooded with vinegar. She loved it. Me, not so much.

Here’s the thing. A bbq joint should be warm and welcoming and generous of hospitality. At Dom’s you order at a counter, go get your own utensils and hot sauces at another station, and get served when it’s ready. Sides are served in paper ‘boats’ and cool quickly. No effort paid to creating an atmosphere of celebration…a sense of welcoming…a fun experience. I generally don’t like focusing on a restaurant’s faults but this seemed basic and not in a “Yay, we’re at a bbq picnic!” kind of way. Dom’s has replaced Strip T’s – a place that could always be counted on for creative scrummy food. Dom’s has a long way to go to delight customers who order more than just the brisket. Finally – and it’s just me being cranky here – after we told the owner (who is not the chef) about the inedible collards, we were not offered a replacement/substitute nor, say, a dessert. Hospitality is the name of the game to succeed in today’s restaurant world and that takes attention to details, in my opinion. Sorry for this report and no haters need reply.

brisket 2



Well written, and I agree about the hospitality issues. Thanks for the post. They have been on my “got to try” list since they opened. Haven’t happened, maybe it’s the Add $5 for the brisket notice on the website.

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Do you mean The Don’s BBQ on School St in Watertown?

Yes. That’s the one.

We revisited the Don for a second try very recently. The brisket was no longer tender and a bit salty. Now, the potato salad was overly salty. The creamed corn was as before. But here’s the thing. At the end of the meal, the owner (wearing a cowboy hat) came over to explain the idea of a lagniappe. Something one offers as a sign of hospitality. In his hand was a single praline in a white cupcake holder. We split it two ways and it was good – but really. Then I remembered that at our first visit, we’d been offered a lagniappe: a 1" size piece of a kind of porky candied belly. One piece for the two of us to share. Yes, it was delicious, but honestly, a 1" piece to share? Kinda defeats the notion of a lagniappe. I just don’t think we’ll return but I’d like to hear others’ experiences there.


I went there on your recommendation Suzie around Xmas and thought it was just OK (dry meat and not a lot of smoke) and haven’t been back. Sorry not to post on it. BT’s smokehouse in Sturbridge (and also Worcester) is so much better
but a trek to get to unless one is on teh way somewhere. i was surprised recently by the Smoke Shop pork ribs could scratch the BBQ itch closer to home.