A couple weekends ago, we met up with indie-film-loving and Coolidge-Corner-Theatre-membership-carrying friends Brad and Caitlin. Because we haven't been taking advantage of the free after 6 p.m. Sundays perk to our membership.
We started our dinner and a movie night at Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q in Arlington, our taste buds skeptical but hopeful. It's gotten rave reviews, but we keep in mind that New England good barbecue isn't always the same as Midwestern good barbecue.
This was good barbecue period, and decently priced to boot. Ian and I got sandwiches (TX brisket and KC burnt ends), two sides each, and drinks, plus cornbread and a slice of pie to share, all for under $25.
Tips: don't miss their delicious homemade pickles at the condiment table, and make sure one of your sides is a potato option (mashed or salad), because they really know how to make a spud taste good.
The place is tiny but full of character. Most customers called in their orders and/or took their food to go. There isn't a lot of seating, but it wasn't too cold to take advantage of their outdoor tables.
After we couldn't eat anymore, we licked our fingers, wiped our faces, packed up our leftovers (including our still-untouched slice of sweet potato pie), and drove back to Coolidge Corner, just in time for the 7 p.m. showing of Drive.
The last time we went to the Coolidge expecting an action/thriller, it turned out to be an awkward and disappointing character study that fell flat. Drive is also a character study masquerading as an action/thriller, but the similarities end there. Drive received it's R rating for a small handful of short, Quentin Tarantino-esque bursts of violence, not uncomfortable hooker scenes. It also had an 80s vibe in music, typography, and color (the cars, on the other hand, were not stuck in the 80s). The script was pared down to only the essentials, relying on the incredible acting to give it body. Everything in the movie seemed so purposeful. Even though I felt most of it went over my head, it provided depth.
Be prepared for a few violent scenes — they are short and spread across the movie. Only the middle few are extremely graphic; the crescendo and decrescendo of depicted violence seems, again, purposeful, but I haven't deciphered it yet.
This was a fantastic film that didn't disappoint; we couldn't stop talking about it the whole way home. Overall, I give dinner, movie, and great company four stars.