Several weeks ago I was invited to the Boston launch of SeamlessWeb.com, a a new (to the Boston area) online restaurant ordering system for delivery and take out. Actually, the people over at SeamlessWeb are pretty fantastic and invited the whole city of Boston to their launch- if you work in the city you may have received a free cup of coffee from them during your morning commute! They set up coffee trucks all over town and warmed up some very chilly walks! Back to my original point, during the launch party I attended, I was given a $20.00 gift card to use towards an order on SeamlessWeb. Now, if you follow ABFD at all, you might realize that I very, very rarely order take out. My reasoning is three fold a. the food usually takes forever to arrive, b. the on line system is confusing, sketchy or difficult to customize, and c. I prefer (obviously) to cook. However on Monday, I decided, for reasons far more appropriate for a humorous blog on dating then a blog dedicated to food, to order myself some BBQ.
I immediately remembered my fortunate gift card, and logged into the SeamlessWeb site. There it was, towards the bottom of the long list of restaurants able to deliver to my address: Soul Fire. Soul Fire is a small BBQ spot located on Harvard Ave in the Allston neighborhood of Boston. It prides itself on making their own dry rubs, their own pickles, etc, and taking the time to smoke their meats for the perfect length of time- upwards of 16 hours. I clicked into the menu on the SeamlessWeb site and was immediately impressed by both the options available from Soul Fire, and by the layout and detail provided by SeamlessWeb. It seemed each item had a detailed description if hovered over the word, making it easy to order the best items. Clicking on the item provided you with easy customization options, and possible complimentary items. I clicked away to get to my $25.00 minimum order, and ended up ordering a combination plate including ribs, pulled pork, brisket, cole slaw and pickles. Then I got a little crazy and added a few of their specialty sauces to the order and a container of collard greens. I entered my gift card number, my credit card number for the bit that I went over, and hit submit. The website informed me that delivery would be about 60 to 75 minutes. I groaned a little, but started in on some yoga to help pass the time.
I was mid plank (ugh) when my phone rang and the friendly delivery person informed me that he had arrived with my food. It had been 20 minutes since I place the order- that was FAST!
After finishing my yoga practice (albeit begrudgingly), I immediately tore into my BBQ dinner. Starting with the good: the pulled pork was delicious. It was tender, smoky and full of beautiful pork flavor. I heavy handed the addition of Soul Fires Fiery Sauce described as "We take a traditional South Carolina mustard sauce and kick it up a couple notches with our habanera devil relish. Best on pulled pork!". This sauce lived up to its name providing a perfect tangy kick to the pork, a wonderful contrast to the rich meat. The pickles were also great- nice and tart without that metallic taste that I often find pickles get "infected" with during the curing process. They also served as a perfect compliment to the pork. They sent a long a chunk of corn bread that I didn't place an order for, but happily accepted. It was perfectly grainy, while containing lovely corn kernels and giving off a sweet taste. It was very tasty corn bread.
On to the "Ok" items. The Brisket had great flavor, deep and meaty, but I felt as though the smoke ring fell a little short, and therefore the meat just didn't have the deep smoke flavor I was looking for. Otherwise though it was tender, and delicious, especially when paired with the SoulFire Sauce. SoulFire Sauce is described as: "A Kansas City style sauce that has a strong tomato base complemented by a vinegar and pepper kick. Best on beef brisket!". As you can see- I took their suggestions to heart. The cole slaw was also ok. It had a lot of lovely carrots in it which I often find lacking in cole slaw, but there wasn't anything remarkable about it.
Rounding out-the very "Meh" items. The ribs are the downfall here. I found them very dry. Somehow dry meat on ribs just ruins them for me, four were included in my order, I had one and was done with them. The flavor was there, the texture was not. The collard greens were also a disappointment. They were very tender, however the predominant flavor was very sweet. Even the pieces of bacon that they had cooked the collards with were somehow sweet. Very odd.
Overall, I found Soulfire to be pretty decent BBQ, especially here in Boston where it is really lacking. If the urge strikes again, I can definitely see myself ordering from them again, or stopping by their restaurant location.
SeamlessWeb I loved. Fast, efficient, and easy to use- that is a great ordering system. When I do order, as rare as that might be, SeamlessWeb will be my go to!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
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