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

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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.