It's almost 11 a.m. on a perfectly warm Saturday, and there's already a line starting to form in Cambridge's Huron Village outside of the Formaggio Kitchen storefront. The grills and tables are set up, and the food starts to make its way out as the aroma of smoked meat fills the air. It's not long before the orders start to come in, and the food makes its way into eager hands.
The line grows as the orders are taken. There's a feeling of merriment, and it may be because of the flawless weather — but more likely it's the barbecue spread laid out across the table that is responsible. There's everything one could need for a barbecue feast: Pulled pork sits in a large pot at the ready, alongside smoky and sweet baked beans and collard greens. Next to the grill, large, crispy pieces of fried chicken wait for their cue. There are oversized ribs — bearing a rich, deep brick red color and barely gripping the bone — comically hanging over the sides of a plate.
Further down the table, there are traditional fixings like cornbread muffins, potato salad, and cole slaw, as well as pretty much every edible vehicle in which to get the barbecued meat into one's mouth. There are buns, sub rolls, corn tortillas, and even lamejun, just to name a few.
By the time noon rolls around, the line has stretched all the way to the end of the street as people of all ages wait to place their orders. A father entertains his son in line by playfully tossing him up in the air. Someone walks past, wondering if the food is really "that good." The little boy stops what he is doing, looks at the person, and assures him that it is.
On the other side of the line, there is a makeshift condiment bar for anyone who wants to top off their Saturday meat treat with a little something extra. Just beyond that, there are a couple of tables that provide a place for people to enjoy their food. A couple of people are sitting, digging into ribs, but for the most part, people take their food and are on their way. At about 12:15, the Pearl hot dogs are 86'd, and the mac and cheese is getting dangerously low. The pulled pork that once was piled high is dwindling fast, but that doesn't stop people from joining the line.
The party continues every Saturday throughout the summer and into October before it goes on a hiatus until late March. The line starts around 11 a.m., and food is sold until there's none left, usually around 2:30 p.m. or 3 p.m.