Jake & Earl’s Dixie B-B-Q US Map & Phone & Address

1273 Cambridge St. Cambridge; (617) 491-RIBS (7427)

Tip-free

This Inman Square hole-in-the-wall is simply the other side of the kitchen and a cheap alternative to the pricey East Coast Grill next door. Both are popular spots, noted even in People magazine as one of the ten-best barbecue restaurants in the country. They pack a ton of atmosphere in a tiny space: The walls are lined with license plates, old-fashioned advertising signs, a bust of Elvis. There are about five stools along two walls, and that’s it. The place is really best suited for take-out.

What’s good here? You guessed it: Ribs! Memphis Dry Rub Ribs ($8) are a house specialty a half-dozen pork ribs coated in spices and slow-cooked to a smoky, not spicy, taste. They’re served over a slice of white bread that’s down home. All plates come with cole slaw, some zingy pork and beans, and a hunk o’ watermelon.

The limited menu also offers a pulled pork sandwich plate ($4.25), marinated pork so tender that it’s easily pulled off the bones and stuffed into a nice, messy sandwich; there’s even a Burnt Ends version for those who like their meat really well done.

Mine also likes the Jamaican jerk chicken ($7.50); try it with some banana guava ketchup. If you’re brave, bottles of Inner Beauty Real Hot Sauce stand waiting to enhance your enjoyment. It must take a special kind of glass to contain this fiery condiment. Yow!

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