One of the best parts about summer is eating some delicious BBQ. Alas, most of us don’t have a backyard to barbecue in, so head over to these 5 picks for some truly delectable Southern favorites.
1. BrisketTown – 359 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg
Daniel Delaney brings traditional dry rubbed meats to Brooklyn with this quaint but fantastic eatery. Like most specialty restaurants, the menu is very focused and small. BrisketTown is the type of place that does what they do best; no more, no less. The star of the menu is the brisket which is dry rubbed to perfection and smoked for 15 hours, but you can also enjoy fall-off-the-bone ribs, pulled pork, turkey breast, and hot link sausage. You really can’t go wrong with any of them. Sides include southern potato salad (complete with mustard seed), mac n’ cheese, collard greens, cole slaw, and baked beans. I recommend going with friends and getting the Meatfest Sampler which is 2/3 lb of each meat on the menu, then add a couple of sides and you are in business.
2. Mighty Quinn’s – 103 Second Ave, East Village
This cafeteria-esque BBQ joint serves up a simple and delicious menu while staying true to its roots. Mighty Quinn’s is a casual eatery, sans table service, where you grab a tray, get some grub, a cold beer, and about 100 napkins before sitting down at (mostly) family style tables. All of the boneless options (brisket, burnt ends, pulled pork, and smoked sausage) can be made into tasty sandwiches, perfect for lunchtime. The bone-in options include spare ribs, spicy chicken wings, half chicken, and the signature Brontosaurus Rib. This is no ordinary rib, measuring at approx. 18 inches long; you will need some time to consume this amazing, fall off the bone meal. Top any of these delicious menu items off with sides of fries, baked beans, sweet potato casserole, or my favorite, sweet corn fritters. Portions are relatively small (minus the Brontosaurus rib) and somewhat pricey so be prepared to spend a little bit more here.
3. Hill Country BBQ Market – 30 W 26th Street, Flatiron
Hill Country has long since been known for being the place for Texas style BBQ outside of the Lone Star State. For a while it was also the only place to get Shiner beer in NY, but alas, now that it is available all over the city, you should still make a trip for the food. It boasts the largest menu of all of our top 5. Meats include brisket (which you get your choice of lean or moist), beef shoulder, short ribs, boneless prime rib, pork spare ribs, boneless pork loin, chicken, and three different varieties of sausage. Imagine that plus thirteen side options, drinks, cocktails, beer, AND desserts. It’s safe to say you won’t leave hungry. Hill Country is an order-at-the-counter type joint, where you eat at picnic tables. You can also enjoy live music while chowing down. Head down to the Flatiron district and enjoy!
4. John Brown Smokehouse – 10-43 44th Drive, Long Island City
If you’re not into Texas BBQ, but have a craving for more Kansas City-style, take a quick trip over the bridge to Queens and head to John Brown Smokehouse. JBS is the only eatery on our list to serve pork belly, pastrami, and foie gras. They aren’t your typical BBQ joint. You can get sandwiches or platters, salads or sides, but no matter what you do, don’t leave without tasting their signature burnt ends. They are said to be the best in the business. In case you are unfamiliar, burnt ends are crispy, tasty ends of the brisket that are cut off during the cooking process and then cooked some more on their own. They have a significant crust on them and are typically smothered in barbecue sauce. So whether they are your favorite food in the world or you’ve never had the pleasure, John Brown Smokehouse is the place for you.
5. Blue Smoke – 116 E 27th Street, Flatiron
Rounding out our list is an upscale option for us ‘cue lovers. Owner Danny Meyer is one of our favorites, as his restaurant Gramercy Tavern was featured in our Gramercy Neighborhood Guide as one of the best places to dine in the neighborhood. He brings that same finesse to Blue Smoke. This rustic but beautiful restaurant has a full bar and a plentiful menu. I recommend starting with the deviled eggs, a personal favorite of mine. Then you can move on to other small plates or go straight to the pit with spare ribs, pulled pork shoulder, pastrami smoked short ribs, brisket, baby back ribs and more. For sides you can’t go wrong with the buttermilk biscuits or the macaroni and cheese. Top off your meal with a beignet or a slice of their variety of cakes. Once you’re good and stuffed head next door to Jazz Standard to listen to some fabulous music while you come down from your BBQ high.