Black-Eyed Sally's

0.64 miles
3.86 out of 5
28 votes
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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350 Asylum St.
Hartford, CT 06103 860-278-7427


For 17 years, Black-eyed Sally’s, owned and operated by James and Dara Varano, has pretty much owned the BBQ scene in the Hartford area. Still, according to owner James Varano, they’ve never rested on their spice-rubbed laurels. “We don't take it for granted,” James said. “I've spent more time this year working on ribs and pork. We now have a new cut of rib. We’ve always used a St. Louis style rib, which is the most trimmed of the spareribs, the closest to baby back.” While ribs and pulled pork are traditional top-selling menu items, Sally’s just brought in a new beef brisket. It all sounds scrumptious as-is, but that wasn’t good enough for the discerning owners, who’ve also reconfigured their Cajun spice rub. “We developed it ourselves and had the Spice Mill in Manchester make it for us,” Varano said. “It’s taken us to a whole new level.”

We all need a soul food fix now and again. If today’s your day, head to Hartford’s Black-eyed Sally’s, where blackened catfish, cornbread, collard greens, gumbo, cheese grits and fried chicken reign supreme. “We’re currently tweaking a classic shrimp and grits,” said owner James Varano, “so look for that to be a staple.” Varano and his family -- wife and co-owner Dara and daughters Eva and Ella, who rolls the silverware -- tend to equate soul food with winter time -- “When it's cold outside,” Varano said, “you want some stick to your ribs” -- but don’t think that has to be your personal soul food modus operandi: now’s a good time.

Winner of the Best Soul Food Award in the Hartford Advocate Best Of Readers' Poll 2012

Winner of the Best Ribs/BBQ Award in the Hartford Advocate Best Of Readers' Poll 2012


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