Having worked a boring desk job in downtown Boston for the eight months of my life I like to refer to as The Dark Ages, I'm all too aware of the lack of decent, moderately priced lunch and dinner options within quick walking distance of the Park Street station.
There's Chinatown, or perhaps an overpriced sandwich from Sam La Grassa's. There's the over-hyped Chilean sandwiches from Chacarero, or the food court underneath the Orpheum theater. So I'm always happy to see a newcomer come around, if only because it lets me empathize with the desk jockeys who never made it out of downtown.
The newest comer to throw their hat into the downtown Boston lunch ring: Back Deck. A partnership between Brad Fredericks (owner of the 20+ year-old Fajitas and 'Ritas) and chef Paul Sussman (of Macondo Latin Grill and Z Square). The concept is one I dig: everything on the menu from apps to side dishes to mains sees grilling action in some form or another.
Walking through the kitchen is like going through a live catalogue of wood-burning equipment. Three different massive wood-burning grills dominate the kitchen, each one used for a different purpose.
Sussman makes one thing clear: though smoke permeates every dish on the menu, this is decidedly not a barbecue joint, rather a grilled food restaurant.
Back Deck Boston
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.