What could be a better food match than barbeque and beer? M&M BBQ knows that, and that is why the catering and takeout company is opening its first brick and mortar store in Dorchester on January 20.
The BBQ joint will be located inside the newly expanded Dorchester Brewing Co, where the former food-truck turned restaurant will be offering its full menu. The menu includes pulled pork sandwiches, brisket, fried chicken, and more, all cooked with in-house seasoning blends, rubs, and vinegar plus ketchup-based barbeque sauce.
Currently run by Dorchester native Deo Lambert, the company was founded by Marion and Maurice Hill (Lambert’s grandparents). The company was earlier known as M&M Ribs. Lambert’s grandfather is from North Carolina and her grandmother from Alabama, which allowed them to fuse the flavors of both the cities and come up with something special.
“I’m Boston born and bred, so I put my spin on a lot of the old dishes that they had,” Lambert said.
M & M BBQ uses pickled purple package instead of the regular coleslaw on the pulled pork sandwich, while the brisket sandwich is topped with smoked onion and smoked cheese sauce to make it more flavorful. The company has upgraded its menu with Dumpster Fries loaded with barbeque chicken, smoked cheese sauce, scallion, and house-made ketchup, along with bratwurst and sauerkraut sandwich brewed with Dorchester Brewing Co V1 Double IPA and topped with honey mustard barbeque sauce.
For 27 years, the Hills ran the company through a food truck parked on the corner of Columbia and Quincy Street in Dorchester and two restaurants. Later, they passed the business to their daughter, Leona, Lambert’s mother. Similarly, Lambert helmed the business in 2010 and rebranded it as M & M BBQ.
After Boston passed an ordinance to allow food trucks in 2011, M & M was one of the first trucks to be permitted, at Lambert’s efforts.
“I was trying to find different ways for us to grow and do more catering and food truck festivals,” he said.
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Before opening his store, Lambert worked with Dorchester Brewing Co, with his truck parked in the streets serving construction workers. M & M was among the first rotating line of food trucks to be parked on the by the front patio of the brewery, after they started serving craft beer fans in July 2016. The mobile eatery was close in 2018 and decided to facilitate catering and pop-up events. “The food truck was brutal in the wintertime,” he said.
Lambert admits to not wanting to open a restaurant because he had seen his grandparents struggle with the same. Nevertheless, Dorchester Brewing Co’s owner came to him at the end of 2018 and presented him with the idea of opening a quick-serve restaurant onsite.
“I was like, ‘hell yeah, I’m interested,” Lambert said. “We have a really good following in Dorchester, and I feel like we don’t have anything like this in Dorchester,” Lambert said. “Beer and barbeque just go together, and it seemed crazy not to take advantage of the opportunity.”