Frankie D’s BBQ and Grill
164 Summer St. (Route 3A), Kingston
Open Monday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 1 a.m.
Major credit cards accepted
Accessible to the handicapped
Carnivores are in heaven at Frankie D’s BBQ and Grill, but even vegetarians can dine happily here, as long as they have no objection to the smell of savory meats smoking over a wood fire.
The four-year-old restaurant and bar is the labor of love of Frankie Dixon and his wife, Deana, whose combined New Yorker-Texan charm easily make you forget that you’re in a Super Stop & Shop plaza between a UPS store and the Backyard Bird Watchers shop.
Frankie D’s seats about 80 people, with a bar and high tables in front, and a quieter space behind with tables and wood-slat benches. Family pictures line the walls, along with old-timey advertising art and seasonal decorations.
The Dixons had been at Mount Blue in Norwell and brought chef Dan Simpson with them when they opened their own place. Simpson does most of the cooking, with assurance and flair.
But Frankie, whose résumé includes jobs as bouncer and Dallas police officer, also was a cook, and he steps in occasionally to fool around with combinations for new specials. Both he and Deana wait tables, tend bar, and keep conversation flowing.
Frankie D’s has a robust bar scene at night, with live music five times a week, as well as trivia contests on Tuesdays and karaoke on Sundays. We chose to visit midday, though, for lunch. We didn’t want to be distracted from our main focus: the food.
Good decision, we congratulated ourselves an hour later as we eased ourselves away from the table, gathered our bags of leftovers, and dreamed of the reheated-barbecue bliss that would be dinner that night.
Frankie D’s menu is weighted heavily toward meat, with the emphasis on Texas-style barbecue. The meats are cooked slowly in a smoker over a low-temperature wood fire. Ribs stay in for five hours, chicken, 2 1/2 to three; brisket and pork for 14 hours.
The results are fork-tender - knives at the table settings are more decorative than necessary, though the paper towel rolls are appreciated - and surprisingly subtle in flavor.
We ordered the two-meat combo plate ($17.59) with pulled pork and brisket, and it arrived beautifully arranged. The pork’s tomato-based sauce had a kick, but it didn’t overpower the smoky flavor. The slices of brisket were buttery. The accompanying coleslaw was light - not too much mayonnaise - and the biscuits with brown gravy were sinfully cake-like.
An appetizer portion of burnt ends ($6.75) was nothing like the name. The thick chunks of brisket cut from the ends were juicy, tender, and slathered in a spicy barbecue sauce.
We couldn’t resist trying the fried pickles ($6) and were instant fans. Dill pickles coated in a tempura-like beer batter arrived piping hot, and the combination of textures and flavors went perfectly with ranch dipping sauce.
Cheddar fries ($6) topped with bacon and scallions were listed as appetizers, but fed our entire family. A bowl of Frankie D’s chili ($5.25) with cheese, scallions, and jalapenos cleared our sinuses and came with mouth-calming corn muffins and honey butter.
We didn’t get to the signature Frankie Bowl ($9) - macaroni and cheese mixed with beef brisket, topped with beef gravy, and served with a side salad.
Nor did we have room for the poached pear salad ($7) - a lovely-looking mix of greens, poached pears, candied pecans, and crumbled blue cheese, tossed with a raspberry vinaigrette. Vegetarians also have a choice of two other salads, corn fritters, and sweet potato fries.
There also are daily soup, sandwich, and quesadilla specials. And then there’s that open-faced, smoked meatloaf sandwich, served with mashed potatoes on Texas toast and covered in gravy. That was awfully hard to resist.
I guess we’ll just have to go back.