Visit #2 to Firefly, and there have been sufficient changes that I've got to wonder if the owners are paying attention to this board.
When my companion and I walked through the door we were met with enthusiastic greetings by at least three staff members. We were seated immediately, and asked if we'd been to the restaurant before. When we both said we hadn't, the waitress went out of her way to describe the restaurant and answer any questions, as well as pointing out the condiment bar against the far wall of the bar. I'd noticed this on my last visit but it hadn't been mentioned and I'd assumed it was a salad bar. Orders were taken promptly, and for the rest of the evening the service was, if anything, overly attentive with multiple waitstaff, hosts, and one gentleman who may have been the manager, stopping by to check on us. A very, very different experience from my first visit.
So, on to the food...
First of all, with the benefit of the condiment bar I was able to determine that the sauce on the pulled pork sandwich from my last post was their Memphis sauce. Tasting it directly off the fork, there's definitely some kind of smoke flavoring added. It seemed a little less sweet this time, but it's still similar to any number of sauces you'd buy at the supermarket. I also sampled a bit of the South Carolina mustard/pepper sauce which was much better, in hindsight probably the better choice than the Texas sauce I had with my half-rack of St. Louis ribs.
My companion, a non-porkivore, ordered the Vidalia Catfish. For sides, we had two orders of the garlic mashed potatoes, one order of red beans and dirty rice and one order of collards.
Overall, it wasn't bad. The ribs were as meaty as advertised, better prepared than many other places that charge more for similar fare. The Texas sauce wasn't really noticeable, neither a positive or a negative. The ribs did have the distinctive pink ring that says that it had been smoked for at least some period of time, but as with last time, there was very little smoke flavor except in the sauce. This might be a function of the wood they're using, the time the ribs get in the smoker, or just the results you get from what I suspect is a gas-jet rather than wood-fired smoker. Definitely an improvement on the pulled pork, and adequate, but I'd hesitate to call it good barbeque, even for New England.
The Vidalia Catfish was deemed to be acceptible, although the way it was prepared, baked in a crockery dish, poached in liquid and onions, it was more of a New England dish than a southern one. The mashed potatoes were decently garlicky, and the collards had bits of pork that flavored them nicely. The beverages were, as before, gratifyingly large, though the iced tea was extremely weak, even before the ice had time to melt.
To sum up, Firefly's isn't outstanding, but neither is it terrible. The food isn't daring, but it's solid. The Framingham restaurant is visually interesting, and it seems well set up for families. It still feels like it's trying too hard to present itself like a national chain and I doubt it'll become a regular stop, but for this area, you could do worse.
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