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Entries in ribs (1)


The Marathon Restaurant  

The Marathon Restaurant

25 Hayward Street (Off South Street)
Hopkinton, Massachusetts 01748


EMC is without question a major employer in the area.  With a headquarters in Hopkinton, MA, they occupy a sprawling campus with “overflow” to local towns including Westborough and Franklin.

In the shadow of EMC is a restaurant location popular with the EMC crowd. For years, it was named O’Tooles, followed for a short period by Cafe Italiano, and for the last three years The Marathon Restaurant.

I’ve been pleased with every visit to The Marathon Restaurant, and this visit was no exception.

The restaurant is located at the corner of South Street and Hayward in Hopkinton, far from the starting line of the revered Boston Marathon. Parking is in the back of the building, accessible from South and Hayward.

Even though it was a beautiful summer day, the outside patio on asphalt didn’t beckon. Approaching the building, signage directs patrons to either the bar or the dining room. The bar seemed appropriate today, and ten flat panel high definition TVs were welcoming.

“Nicholas” quickly greeted, and an adult beverage was immediately presented. The Marathon’s menu was a large, heavy paper two sided affair, offering a great variety of American Bistro food, including burgers, lobster mac & cheese, and a handful of fish options. Nicholas politely pushed the hot soup (not exactly appealing on a hot day) and declared everything on the menu was good.

I have a basic distrust of the “everything on the menu is good” statement, so I had to look closer myself. There were a large number of intriguing options, including salads. “Nicholas, do I want the pan seared cod, the fish and chips, or the BBQ ribs.”  Uttering a low whistle, I could see Nicholas was struggling with the choice. “I’d go with the ribs…after all, we have our own smoker!”  He went on to recommend a half rack because it is already a nice size portion.

The young couples around me were occupied in quiet conversation with occasional glances at the College Baseball World Series on the TVs. Nicholas commented he was surprised the bar wasn’t more of a sports bar with all the TVs…and frankly I was happy to enjoy a quiet dinner without rabid fans around me.

My dinner was a generous sized portion of baby back ribs, served on a bed of shoestring French fries (a slight miss…the bed was more like parts and pieces than whole fries) and cole slaw.

The ribs were, in a word, fabulous. While they were “fall off the bone,” they tasted fresh and were not mushy (as often found when ribs are boiled in their preparation.)  There was a nice smoke ring in the ribs. The BBQ sauce served on the side tasted like KC Masterpiece, a blend of tomato, molasses and spices.

Ribs need to be accompanied by really tasty cole slaw, and The Marathon’s was very tasty.

I left the restaurant asking myself why I didn’t head there more often. Great service, great food, and decent prices…a winning trio.


Restaurant 11:30am-9pm
Bar 11:30am-10pm

Restaurant 11:30am-9pm
Bar 11:30am-11pm

Restaurant 11:30am-10pm
Bar 11:30am-12am

Restaurant 12pm-10pm
Bar 12pm-12am


The Marathon Restaurant gets a GREEN LIGHT…go and enjoy.

About the RAG scale:

       Green Light – Go and enjoy

       Amber Light – Use caution

       Red Light – Save your time and money