Take 10 - New England's best barbecue
A relative newcomer (it opened in November), United has flourished in the down economy. Chef-manager Nat Hughes attributes the success to offering “lots of food for little money, which as a father of two I know I appreciate.’’ The gas-fired hickory log rotisserie smoker also makes a difference. “Smoking barbecue is a lot like braising,’’ says Hughes, who came to barbecue from a career in fine dining. Like many New England pit masters, Hughes has an eclectic style, making Carolina pulled pork, Texas-style brisket, and Memphis-style pork rib racks. Purists might be aghast, but Hughes also makes vegetarian barbecue (Tofurkey kielbasa and dry-rub seitan, or wheat gluten). “We’re in an area with a lot of students,’’ he explains, “so we try to look out for the vegans. We make sure the seitan never touches the meat.’’
146 Ives St., Providence, 401-751-9000, www.unitedbbq.com. Open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner. $4.99-$18.