Rte 116, Sunderland MA

From Labor Day to Memorial Day
T-F 3:30 - 8:30
Sat 11:30 - 9:30
Sun 11:30 - 8:30

From Memorial Day to Labor Day
M-Th 4:00 - 9:00
F 4:00 - 9:30
Sat 11:30 - 9:30
Sun 11:30 - 9:00


On the Webt:


    Pigging Out in Style
A Meal at Bub's Bar-B-Q
by Michael Di Natale

I find that more often than not, when someone recommends a restaurant to you the actual experience is a let down to the hype that the person has buried the place in.  I can assure you that this is not one of those cases.

Long before I had been to Bubís Bar-B-Q, I had already decided that I would never eat there. Having driven past it may times while heading north on route 116, I had slowly developed a preconceived notion of the place.  It seemed to me, a seedy sort of place.  The building is a dark brown, and slightly run down in appearance.  To the right of the building is an outdoor dining area, consisting of a collection of red, wooden, picnic tables.  It looked dirty, and seemed like the kind of place one would expect to find the most stereotypical redneck-country-bumpkin imaginable.  I now recognize these same qualities as character, after all barbeque food is messy; it wouldnít feel right eating ribs in a fancy dining room. However, my change of heart was not a quick decision. One day, far away from the pioneer valley, I found myself visiting a friendís apartment.  During the visit a discussion began on the subject of the eateries surrounding our respective colleges.  Unbeknownst to me, his roommate was native to Hadley Massachusetts .  He had over heard our discussion and right away pointed out that I had neglected to mention what he believed to be the best place in the area.  This of course turned out to be Bubís Bar-B-Q and upon his insistence I committed myself to making a visit.  After all, according to his description the food was inexpensive and plentiful which is music to the ears of a college student.

The roommate was not exaggerating in the slightest.  Bubís was an experience that was familiar and new all at the same time.  The restaurant was contained in a small one story building.  A large portion of its space is occupied by the kitchen area, which to me explained the reason for the large outdoor dining area.  The inside was exactly what I had expected from what Iíd seen of the outside; minus a banjo player.  Everything had that muted old look, not necessarily indicating filth, just wear and tear.  All the tables inside were simple wooden bench setups or more picnic tables.  Adorning the tables were the usual condiments, a roll of paper towels instead of napkins, and a plastic table cloth with a red and white checkered pattern. It looked like the sort youíd maybe bring on a summer picnic.  The walls were easily the most distinctive feature of the building. Covered from head to toe with awards, good reviews, and mixed with the occasional sign for various brands of beer or pennant recognizing the accomplishments of Boston ís collection of sports teams.  One such pennant, for the Red Sox, was illegibly signed but what one would assume to be a player.  It made me wonder if the player had eaten here and signed it or if it brought here signed.  I suppose thatís the point of having something like that on the wall.  Despite this brief moment of intrigue, it was the awards surprised me the most.  I was genuinely caught unaware of Bubís 25-year history.  This place was advertising itself as local gem, and as I was about to discover; it was not unfounded. 

The menu at Bubís provides a nice variety of barbeque foods.  Divided into three sections you had the option of Dinners offering chicken, pork ribs, and steak; sandwiches of pulled-pork, beef brisket, and boneless chicken breast; limited seafood, relying mainly on shrimp but also containing catfish and the exotic gator tail.  You could also get a burger or combine some items to form combo options.   Any of these options entitles you to an extensive selection of unlimited sides from the hot and cold bar.  These bars, located adjacent to the counter, contain some of the best fixings Iíve ever had the joy of eating.  Barbeque ranch beans, dirty rice, collard greens, orange glazed yams, hickory smoked, potatoes, dill-potato salad, and much more.  The yams particular were quite a delight for me, as someone who has refused yams at the previous 22 Thanksgivings, I think my mother would be quite proud to know that I had finally found a batch I was willing to eat.

Since I was not dining alone, my cohorts and I decided to each get something different, thus expanding our knowledge of the menu for future reference. Our selections proved to be quite good, and with the addition of the sides from the bars, our meals were excellent.  I had a pulled-pork sandwich; the others had between them a cheese burger and t-bone steak.  None of us were brave enough to take on the fried gator tail.  However, I remain confident that we will meet again.  Price wise, our meals were very reasonable. 

For slightly less than seven dollars as I was able to make myself disgustingly full.  I didnít have to eat for a day.

Bubís Barbeque was a great meal, and a fun time.  Unlimited serve yourself sides, make it feel like youíre at a summer barbeque.  The atmosphere is familiar and welcoming.  Itís a place you can bring your family, and people do.  While I was dining no less than three families, each with multiple children, sat themselves at nearby tables.  Their kids enjoyed a jukebox toward the back which offered plays at no charge.  Being able to push as many buttons as youíd like, and having results every time; Iíd imagine that for a child that would be a tidy slice of heaven. 

Simply put, Bubís Barbeque is one of the best choices for dining in the valley area.  Anyone close enough to drive should consider coming making a point to have a dinner there, as I know Iíll be making a point of dragging everyone I know to it as often as I can, you included, if youíve not gotten there before I find you.



This website was created by the students of Journalism 375 at the University of Massachusetts 2005