Boston Eats Food Review #2 – Sweet Cheeks & Gourmet Dumpling House

Last week, we knocked off a few more Boston-based restaurants that have been on our list – Sweet Cheeks & Gourmet Dumpling House.

Sweet Cheeks BBQ

What we ordered: Biscuit with honey butter

“Big Cheeks Tray” with MEATS: berkshire pork belly & great northern brisket SIDES: farm salad & cheesy grits 

We went to Sweet Cheeks early before seeing the much anticipated documentary (well by us anyway…) Welcome to Leith. If you’re interested, our review of this film is on Ep. 16 of our podcast.

We made a reservation to this tasty BBQ joint because the Yelpers told us that might be a good idea – but we didn’t end up needing it, since we were dining during the “early-bird-special” time. We ordered quickly and our food was brought out quickly. We knew we wanted to try the biscuit (obviously..) since that’s usually a good indication of how authentically “southern” a restaurant is. We also knew if they had pork belly we would order that because…because it’s pork belly.

Pros: Biscuits with honey butter! Really really good. They’re big enough to share, and could almost be a (pretty unhealthy) meal of their own. The meats were prepared well. Nothing particularly “stand-out” but simple and done right.

Cons: Sides and price of certain items. The sides we got (farm salad & cheesy grits) we’re decent, but again, nothing “stand-out” about them. The grits were a little runny and the salad was a little over-dressed.

As a write this, it seems like I’m being really picky – let me back-peddle a bit. We really enjoyed Sweet Cheeks (Alex a little more than me, but still). It’s the best BBQ we’ve had in Boston, and we’ve tried a handful of Boston BBQ spots. Even though Sweet Cheeks is the best Boston BBQ (in our opinion) I can’t help but think there’s someone from the southern part of the US reading this review thinking “ok…yea no…not real BBQ”. Maybe I’m wrong, but all I know is that growing up in Jersey, and then moving to the West coast and hearing people talk about the “amazing pizza” they tried last week, I was judging the hell out of them. You can’t beat East coast pizza, just as you probably can’t beat southern BBQ.

Gourmet Dumpling House

What we ordered: Beef wrapped scallion pancakes 

Mini juicy dumplings – pork

General Tso’s chicken

We had this Boston gem on our radar for some time, but never seemed to be in the right place/time to try it out. This weekend we were in the area and figured that we might as well see if we could get a table. Due to the popularity of this dumpling house, we expected a wait. We got there and were told our table of two would be seated in 15 min. Well, we did get seated, but not as a table of two, or in 15 minutes. Our wait was closer to 30 minutes, and we were seated at a table with four other diners. These circumstances didn’t deter us though, as the food that we saw coming out of the kitchen looked worth the wait.

Pros: Authentic Chinese food. If we lived closer to Chinatown, we’d be ordering take-out on a regular basis. We tried to order a little bit of all they have to offer; the dumplings, a traditional main dish and a signature appetizer. All were a step above most other Chinese restaurants, but as you may have guessed, the dumplings were the best part of the meal.

Cons: Cramped quarters. As mentioned before, we shared a table with four others, who all also ordered an array of dishes, so the table space quickly became tight. That’s the only real “negative” we experienced at Gourmet Dumpling House – the word negative in quotations because we knew what we we’re getting into and knew that would mean bumping a few elbows with other dumpling-eating patrons.


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