Your guide to BBQ joints in Boston, New York and everywhere in between

 

 

 

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Archives - August 2009

 

 

(08/31/09)

Connecticut BBQ: Good Ink for Flaggstead Smokehouse in Farmington

Less than two months old, Flaggstead Smokehouse (Farmington CT) has received much attention in the last few weeks. The Texas style joint a little west of Hartford has been the recipient of praise on Chowhound and some favorable reviews in the Hartford Courant and the Hartford Advocate.

 

I visited Flaggstead Smokehouse this weekend and not once did I see the counter line dwindle to zero during my entire 2-hour visit. The cumulative buzz from all the reviews increased the restaurant's business sixfold that Saturday, according to the owner. With such a huge demand, most of the barbecue items ran out, but that's a good thing. I'd rather see a "sold out" sign on the chalkboard than be served reheated leftovers anyday. Based on the fact that several items ran out and the fact that the activity that night was quite hectic, I'll give them an incomplete for now. But I'll say this: although not without some flaws, the visit was extremely promising and I'm looking forward to a quick return.

www.flaggsteadsmokehouse.com

 

 

 

(08/28/09)

Joints Directory Madness

Here's the latest batch of barbecue Joints directory activity, spanning five states. This time there are three new joints, one closing, one re-opening, one new website and one move.

  • Hog Heaven (Clifton NJ) has been closed for a few months now. Thanks for this info go to BBQ Bob, who visited once and didn't find it that good.

  • T&G Smokehouse BBQ (Carlstadt NJ) not only relocated but made the longest distance move in PigTrip history. They've shut down their digs in Waterville ME and travelled nearly 400 miles to set up shop in New Jersey.

  • Tar River Barbeque (Colchester CT) is a new joint that's open weekdays only from 11:00AM to 7:00PM. I discovered them while doing a Google search for the area and visited them on Wednesday, so look for a review early next week. www.acateredaffairct.com/id3.html

  • Flaggstead Smokehouse (Farmington CT) had already been announced earlier this month as an addition to the BBQ Joints directory, but I've now found and added this Texas style joint's website. www.flaggsteadsmokehouse.com

  • Jessie's Roadhouse (Merrick NY) has risen from the ashes. After shutting down and changing its ID to Johnnie's Food and Spirits earlier this year, they've re-hoisted the Jessie's sign. The original claim to fame for this joint was a barbecue sauce once featured on Emeril Live. Thanks to Vinny for the heads-up. www.jessiesroadhouse.com

  • Express BBQ (NYC) is a new fast food take on barbecue located in the Financial District. Thanks to Sledneck for the info and early report.

  • Cambridge Street Victuals (Nantucket MA) is a funky looking place with colorful artwork, a bar emphasis and a fascinating menu with Asian, Italian, Greek and Middle Eastern touches in addition to barbecue. The proof is in the eating, but this just might be that "something for everyone" place that actually works. Thanks to Chuck from Long Island, who shocked me by not having visited it yet.  www.cambridgestreetnantucket.com

 

 

(08/26/09)

Mr. Momo Risin'

It's been a strange ride for Andy Husbands (Tremont 647) on Hell's Kitchen. He performed well this week, yet just barely avoided an elimination that would have been attributed to his cumulative performance rather than any specific deed from this episode. After flying so low under the radar in episode 1 that he got virtually no airtime, the Fearless Chef encountered misfortune more often than all the other Blue team chefs combined in the next five episodes. Red-faced, sweaty and tentative under the pressure, Husbands managed to bungle chicken (underdone, miscut), garlic bread (too slow), lamb (underdone), dessert (not decadent enough) and halibut (underdone, unattractive, overdone). As if the errors of his own doing weren't enough, he even took it on the chin for overcrowding a pan with scallops, even though it was another chef's mistake (more specifically, his "morbidly obese" archnemesis's mistake).

 

At least Husbands is in good companyearlier this year on Top Chef: Masters, fellow Bostonian Michael Schlow (Radius, Via Matta, Alta Strada) was just as sweaty, just as red and even less successful, but you know what? Like Husbands, Schlow can cook for me anytime.

 

What's been more surprising than the cooking issues has been the lack of testicular fortitude in the heat of battle and even outside the kitchen. On the chopping block last week and asked by Gordon Ramsay why he should remain, Husbands merely blurted out that Ramsay was making him nervous. He should have said, "Because I'm the best [bleeping] chef here, and if you'd give a [bleep] about trying to find out who can chef rather than creating a bunch of [bleeping bleepbleep] for a [bleeping] TV show, you'd see I can outchef all those [bleeper bleepers]. That's why, chef."

 

And that's the crux of the matter. Arguably the most accomplished chef of all the contestants, Husbands had been hanging by a thread in the last few episodes, miraculously avoiding exile. In that last sentence I used the word "contestants," which implies the word "contest." The contest in this case is to determine which chef is the most worthy to head the restaurant Araxi (British Columbia) in time for the 2010 Olympic Games. Most of the challenges so far have only demonstrated who the best line cooks are, or perhaps only who the best line cooks are when thrust into an environment with built-in mayhem. Yes, I know I've said as much before, but I'll say it again: the contrived challenges on most of these "cooking reality" shows make about as much sense as having a bunch of would-be CEOs racing against each other to put trash in a dumpster and then awarding a company to the winner.

 

Last night it was archnemesis Robert Hesse who got the boot, largely (no pun intended) for turning out raw and miscut lamb. Husbands had already done that and more, so Hesse's intangibles (would anybody want to work with or for this guy?) were the more likely reason. And so the Fearless Chef lives to fight another week. I'll be tuning in for "next week's shocking episode," but the only thing shocking to me would be if the challenge had anything to do with being an actual chef.

 

 

 

(08/25/09)

New York City BBQ: Updated Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Review

Today I posted an update to my review of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (New York NY) to include photos and commentary from my last three visits, update some prices and tweak the whole to reflect my current outlook. After one visit, I wondered what the fuss was about. After four visits, I saw glimpses of the greatness and enjoyed some excellent sandwiches, sides and hospitality along the way. I still wish those glimpses were more consistent, but I now consider myself a fan of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.

read my updated Dinosaur Bar-B-Que review

 

 

 

 

 

(08/24/09)

Boston BBQ: Big Ribs Back at Blue Ribbon

Fans of Blue Ribbon (W. Newton MA) who miss the bodacious spare ribs of yore can rejoice in the fact that 1800 cases of the boned behemoths will be churniong through the Blue Ribbon smokers over the next few weeks. www.blueribbonbbq.com

 

New York City BBQ: Sledneck Previews BBQ Express

Express BBQ is a new barbecue joint in Manhattan's financial district, and Sledneck has posted many photos and a brief review on his BBQ Illuminati blog. The meat is smoked offsite and (gasp) micriwaved onsite, but the lowdown so far is that it's better than you'd think.

 

Photo courtesy BBQIlluminati.com. Used with permission.

 

See Sledneck's coverage of Express BBQ on BBQ Illuminati

 

 

 

(08/21/09)

Long Island BBQ: A Guest Review by "Chuck From Long Island" of Big Daddy's

Here's another "guest review" from my friend Chuck From Long Island, one of the few people I know who is as obsessed with barbecue as I am. He's been to just about all of the joints in New York City and Long Island, and has even extended his barbecue research to Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas. After two barbecue meals and much barbecue discussion I've determined that he also has a very similar palate and philosophy. So when he gives me his take on a particular joint, I value that opinion highly, and I hope you do too. This time he visited Big Daddy's in Massapequa,

Big Daddy's in Massapequa is a festive restaurant that specializes in the food and drink of New Orleans.  The menu includes items such as gumbo, alligator boudin, crawfish etouffee, blackened catfish, creole jambalaya, shrimp po' boys, muffaletta, "genuine pit BBQ", etc.  I've eaten there in the past, but have only tasted their Cajun/Creole foods.  This time I was there for the barbecue.
 
Big Daddy's brick and wood panelled walls are decorated in the colors and trappings of Mardi Gras.  Colorful beads, lights, and decorations hang from the walls and ceilings along with brass musical instruments typical of the jazz age.  As I walked into the bar area upon entering the restaurant, Blues music was playing over the speakers, and I caught the easily recognizable aroma of Cajun cooking.
 
When I arrived the restaurant was just starting to seat people for dinner.  (There was a Tuesday-night special on Louisiana fried chicken:  all you can eat for $14.95.)  A large plastic bottle of Louisiana hot sauce was on the table.  I couldn't decide if I wanted a Pat O'Brien's Hurricane or Cyclone to accompany my dinner.  (I went with the deliciously authentic Hurricane.)
 
My dinner selection was a no-brainer: "The Big Pig-Out." This is described as "a generous serving of pulled pork, Texas BBQ brisket, BBQ chicken, St. Louis Style spare ribs, and andouille sausage" (with cornbread, BBQ beans, and slaw). I ordered everything "dry" with the sauces on the side. My entree arrived as one heaping plate of meat on top of the cornbread with the beans and slaw served in small, ceramic ramekins. 

 

I immediately went for the ribs which had a nice dark crust and cried out to be eaten.  They had a nice somewhat spicy dry rub and the meat had a nice pork flavor, though it was difficult to taste any smoke over the seasonings in the rub.  No sauce was needed.  The ribs pulled apart easily, maybe a bit too easily, but had a faint smoke ring.  I felt that the ribs might've been cooked just past their peak, causing them to fall off the bones and into my hands when I tried to separate them.  Still, I really enjoyed them and they were my favorite part of the meal.
 
The Texas brisket was also pretty good.  The pieces were sliced thin and there was a some dark bark of the rub on its edges. The brisket had the smokiest flavor of all the meats and had a decent amount of marbling to give the beef a good flavor.  Unfortunately, these too may have been cooked just a little too much, causing them to be slightly dry.  The thin Texas-style sauce brought out to accompany the brisket was flavorful and bold without being too sweet, and was the perfect accompaniment to the meat.
 
Pulled pork was separated into very large pieces (of mostly the pink inner pieces) with just a few pieces of bark.  There was little flavor coming from the rub, but I could taste the smoke.  It wasn't dry, but I needed to add the North Carolina vinegar sauce to give the pork some flavor.  (The sauce was of the western N. Carolina variety with a bit of tomato & seasoning added to the cider vinegar & hot sauce.)  I liked the sauce: it wasn't too sweet and it wasn't too acidic from the vinegar.  It perfectly complemented the pork.
 
The BBQ chicken was a dry-rub crusted thigh and leg.  The crust and skin easily came off the chicken, but it had a nice flavor (similar to that of the rub used on the ribs).  The meat was tender and had a smoky flavor, but it wasn't really juicy.  Not exactly dry, but it wasn't ideal.  It should've retained more of it's moisture during the smoking or reheating process.
 
The andouille sausage was sliced into two halves.  It had a delicious spicy flavor, with grill marks across the slices.  Although it was charred from the grill it was hard to taste the smoke over the spices and the sausage was a bit dry.  

 

Cole slaw was interesting: pieces of white cabbage, onions, carrots, and green peppers were shredded in a red vinegar. BBQ beans had a typically sweet baked beans flavor, but there were some nice chunks of pork mixed in with the beans and sauce. Cornbread was dry and fell apart easily in my hands (too bad, because the jalepeno pieces in it gave it a nice kick).  
 
My overall impression of the barbecue: pretty good.  I'd rate it within my top five or six Long Island BBQ joints within the second tier (below Swingbelly's and Smokin' Al's, but comparable to Harbor Q, Smoking Sloe's, and Bobbique).  I think Big Daddy's has the flavors and textures right, but the execution needs some work, particularly when it comes to keeping the meats and breads moist (the loaf of table bread put out before the meal was also dry).  Big Daddy's knows barbecue and they do a great imitation of Louisiana's local cusine, but on my visit the cook needed to get the food to the table before it had lost much of its moisture.  This may have been a result of the reheating or keeping process for previously smoked meats.  Nevertheless, I recommend this restaurant if you're in the area. 

www.bigdaddysny.com

 

 

 

 

(08/19/09)

Massachusetts BBQ: High Street Grill Reviewed

The site's 162nd barbecue joint review is now available for High Street Grill (North Andover MA). Check it out via the Reviews page or link to reviews using the red icons in the Joints directory.

 

This review holds the distinction of having the most visits to the restaurant before being posted for the first time. Much of that has to do with the major revamps to the menu and recipes within High Street Grill's first several months of operation. Ribs changed from St Louis cut to spare ribs. Burnt ends sandwiches looked drastically different from visit to visit. Wings got added, first smoked, later fried. Sauces got tweaked. Cornbread changed more often than I could possibly track. The pricing structure improved. Things have settled down now and things are mostly good.

 

 

 

Connecticut BBQ: A Brief Addendum to the Sunset Ribs Review

Last week I received an email from a manager at Sunset Ribs (Waterford CT) letting me know that my review came at a time when they hired "a new chef that hurt us more than helped us this year." The manager went on to say that "we have let go everyone including the chef at that time and now have a professional chef working for us and no longer have the dry pulled pork and ribs."

 

I must not have been the only one who suffered through a bad meal there.

 

Just how moist the pulled pork and ribs are remains to be seen, but when a restaurant recognizes a problem and makes an attempt to correct it, that information is worthy of being passed along. So while I stand by my original review, I added a brief addendum to indicate the change in personnel.

 

 

 

(08/18/09)

Recipes: Pickled Zucchini Matchstick Slaw

Now that the hot weather is finally upon us, it's time to start thinking about lighter mealsor at least lighter sides to accompany the heavier meats. Whether you want to call this a zucchini slaw or pickled zucchini is a matter of semantics. But regardless of its name, this dish from last weekend was light, summery and refreshing, with a little heat thrown in to keep things interesting. I usually just grill zucchini, but this dish will get some vegetables and bold flavors into your meal without using as much oil, without hogging valuable grill real estate and without the inevitable casualties that fall through the grates.

 

 

This dish had two inspirations. The first was a cold zucchini appetizer I enjoyed at Tremont 647 last year that had similar matchsticks but with Italian flavors. The second was a Korean carrot salad from a recent visit to Silk Road BBQ, a street food take on Central Asian barbecue. Combining the cutting methods of the former with the flavors of the latter, I arrived at a dish that can be used as a salad, side or sandwich condiment.

 

3 zucchini, peeled and cut into 1.5" matchsticks as thin as possible
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced as thin cross sections
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 0.75" matchsticks as thin as possible
4 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons black sesame seeds

 

The instructions are simple: cut the vegetables to specification, add the liquid ingredients, add the sesame seeds, then refrigerate for several hours, inverting the container periodically to disperse the liquid evenly. You'll eventually wind up with more liquid than you need, so this can be discarded well before serving. You can go with a more potent pepper and hot sauce than the jalapenos and Tabasco I chose, but the milder approach keeps the dish accessible to all palates. Toasting the sesame seeds is optional; I strongly recommend reserving half the seeds and adding immediately before serving. I also recommend making this in small batches and not storing very long, as the zucchini doesn't have the firmness and lasting  power of cabbage.

 

 

 

(08/17/09)

New York City BBQ: Great Brewers Festival at Southern Hospitality, August 18

Tomorrow night Southern Hospitality (New York NY) will be hosting a Great Brewers Festival starting at 7:00PM. The event will feature

10 different brewers: Abita Beer, Sixpoint Craft Ales, Sierra Nevada, Lindemans, Samuel Smith, Blue Point Brewing Company, Ayinger, Duvel, Magic Hat and Chimay. The $20 fee includes a raffle ticket and a taste of 20 different beers.

 

 

www.southernhospitalitybbq.com

 

Rhode Island BBQ: Newport Storm Dinner at Smokehouse Cafe, August 25

A week from tomorrow, Smokehouse Cafe (Newport RI) will host a dinner that they are calling "the perfect marriage of BBQ and beer." I'm not fit to comment on any marriage, but I can say that the menu looks interesting (smoked hog wings, chicken kebabs, mini duck tacos, smoked duck breast, smoked spare ribs with tropical sauce, Texas beef brisket, banana bread pudding with caramel sauce), with each course paired with a different Newport Storm beer. The "BBQ from around the USA" event starts with a cocktail reception at 6:30PM and dinner at 7:30PM. The cost is $42 and reservations are strongly suggested.

www.smokehousecafe.com (website not working lately)

 

Boston BBQ: 7 Nights, 7 Pins at Redbones, Starting Tonight

Tonight Redbones (Somerville MA) kicks off its 7 Nights and 7 Pins promotion that features a different cask conditioned beer from Harpoon each night. The new beers (announced here) will be tapped starting at 5:00PM nightly through August 23.

www.redbones.com

 

 

 

 

(08/13/09)

Hudson Valley BBQ: Westchester Magazine Spreads the BBQ Love in its 2009 Best Eats Issue

The August 2009 issue of Westchester Magazine on the stands now, and the "Best Eats" honors aren't limited to just one barbecue joint. Recognizing that each place has its own strengths and weakness, they selected winners in multiple categories: Memphis Mae's (Croton-on-Hudson) for ribs; Bob-B-Q's (Shrub Oak) for pork; Ribs On The Run (White Plains) for chicken; Barnacle BBQ and Fish Shack (Mamaroneck) for brisket.

I suppose an argument can be made that selecting multiple winners was merely a ploy to cultivate advertisers, but I found the full barbecue article interesting. My favorite part was the not-so-surprising revelation from Ribs On The Run that they don't use a smoker and that they do use liquid smoke and commercial sauce on oven-baked ribs.

 

read the article in Woestchester Magazine

 

 

Massachusetts BBQ: Holy Smokes at Montague Old Home Days, This Saturday

Holy Smokes BBQ (formerly of West Hatfield MA) was one of my favorite barbecue joints before it closed in 2007 when a fire destroyed the building. This Saturday at the Montague Old Home Days in Montague MA (not far from the former restaurant site), Holy Smokes will be serving up smoked St Louis pork ribs, pulled pork sandwiches and cole slaw. They'll start serving on the common around noon and finish when the food runs out.

 

 

 

(08/11/09)

More Thoughts About Buildings and Food

Well, maybe not so much about the buildings.

 

  • In food writing, the word "ubiquitous" is getting awfully ubiquitous.

 

  • Most restaurants with the word "Famous" in the name aren't even close to being famous, and don't deserve to be.

 

  • I confess to having a sweet tooth, but I'm not a desserts guy. I'll take a well executed chocolate chip cookie any day over confectionary creations that are trying too hard to be fancy or ground breaking. Yet even something as simple as a chocolate chip cookie can be ruined by some overzealous baker who doesn't understand the concept of balance. I like chocolate as much as the next guy, but there is such a thing as too much chocolate in a chocolate chip cookie. The cookie dough itself should be integral to the overall flavor of the cookie, not just a vessel for the chips/chunks of chocolate. The chocolate should enhance, not dominate. And just like a perfect rib or a perfect burger, the cookie's crusty exterior should border on (but not be) overdone while its soft, tender center should border on (but not be) underdone, with the full spectrum of textures in between.

 

  • Never become a corn thief, because there's going to be evidence.

 

  • I'm 300% more likely to eat in a Chinese restaurant with "Sichuan" in its name than "Szechuan." And if the name "Panda" or "Jade" or "Tiki" or "Dragon" is in the name, I keep on driving. "Garden" and "Palace" can go either way.

 

  • I like the excitement of a food "event," but more often than not, a restaurant-related food event just isn't as good as if you just went to that restaurant on a regular night for their regular menu. New Year's Eve or Valentine's Day? Forget 'em. Longer waits, tighter spaces, higher prices, rushed service and inferior food just don't cut it for me, regardless of whatever lure is in play. Restaurant week? Sure, the tariff is lightened, but so is the menu: fewer choices, smaller portions, less interesting main ingredients, all in the name of offering a deal but breaking even. I much prefer choices, and would rather pay the higher price for the better meal.

 

 

(08/09/09)

Connecticut BBQ: Roundup of Connecticut BBQ Joints in the New York Times

Last Friday the New York Times ran an article that profiled some of Connecticut's best and best known barbecue joints, including Big Frank's (Waterbury), Black-eyed Sally's (Hartford), Bobby Q's (Westport), Danny's Little Taste of Texas (South Windsor), Smokin' With Chris (Southington), Wilson's (Fairfield) and Wood's Pit (Bantam). There isn't much deep discussion or commentary on the food (you can refer to my reviews for that), but there are some interesting quotes from the owners revealing their thoughts about the business of barbecue. Other Connecticut barbecue joints I would have liked to see represented are Big Bubba's BBQ (Uncasville; arguably the best in the state), Chester's BBQ (New London; a real up-and-comer) and Uncle Willie's BBQ (Waterbury; one of the earliest practitioners of real barbecue in the whole Northeast).

read the New York times article on Connecticut BBQ

 

 

 

(08/07/09)

Massachusetts BBQ: Roast Pig Tonight at Route 7 Grill

Tonight Route 7 Grill (Great Barrington MA) will be hosting a pig roast featuring local heritage breed pork, local vegetables, local watermellon, house made cookies and live music. The all-you-can-eat event starts at 5:30PM, with music at 7:00PM. If you can't make it tonight, note that Route 7's seasonal menu now includes smoked duck, smoked tofu quesadillas and PEI mussels in wine.

www.route7grill.com

 

 

 

(08/05/09)

Recipes: Stunted Caraway-Fennel Slaw

A few months back, I promised that I'd be eating lighter, losing weight and posting some recipes for lighter fare. I kept my promise on the first two, but am only now getting around to the third (and I promise there'll be more down the road).

 

Unlike previous recipes I've posted here, this one is my own creation. I get extra pleasure from the fact that this recipe includes two ingredients from my sponsor, Dr. Gonzo's Uncommon Condiments, and from the fact that this recipe appears in the current issue of Chile Pepper magazine.

 

 

Here’s an outside-the-box slaw that’ll grab you as much by its fragrance and licorice notes as it will by the subtle delayed heat. It’s the perfect accompaniment to barbecue.

 

3 large fennel bulbs, thinly sliced

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1 carrot, grated

3 tablespoons Mayonnaise*

3 tablespoons Dr. Gonzo’s Drunk Stunt Mustard**

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup white vinegar

juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground

1 tablespoon caraway seeds, whole

1 teaspoon Dr. Gonzo’s One Hump Dry Rub**

salt and pepper to taste

 

1.       Wash the fennel, trim and discard the fronds, cut each bulb into 6 equal sized pieces and slice thin using a sharp knife or mandolin. Place in a bowl large enough to allow all ingredients with room for stirring.

2.       Slice the celery, grate the carrot and add to bowl.

3.       Toast the fennel and coriander seeds in a pan until lightly browned. Allow to cool, then grind using a spice grinder.

4.       Add Mayonnaise, Drunk Stunt Mustard, vinegars, seeds, lemon juice and dry rub.

5.       Stir until ingredients are well blended, then store in an airtight plastic container.

6.       Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, inverting the container occasionally to distribute the condiment.

 

* I substitute light or fat-free Mayo to keep this light.

 

** You can substitute 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon Tabasco if no Drunk Stunt Mustard is on hand, and substitute your favorite dry rub for the One Hump Dry Rub, but I prefer to stick to the original.

 

 

 

(08/04/09)

Rocking Out the Reviews, Getting Urban

This is probably going to be a light week post-wise, because I'm working on completing a few different barbecue joint reviews. As I update some of the older reviews to include more recent photos and commentary, I'm linking them to Urban Spoon, which is a nice site for searching restaurants in a particular area. It provides the basic restaurant info and map, along with user reviews, critical reviews and blogger reviews.

 

It's been fun watching my Urban Spoon blogger ranking climb for the various cities like Boston (#17), New York (#73), Hartford (#2), Providence (#7) and Portland (#2). My ranking for New York City could stand some improvement, but there are hundreds of bloggers there reviewing a wider array of restaurants than just barbecue. I still have updates of RUB, Hill Country and Dinosaur on the way, so maybe that'll propel me upward (and I'm not going to rest easy until I pass you-know-who). In Boston, I still need updates of Redbones, Blue Ribbon, Firefly's and a few others.

 

Urban Spoon main site

Urban Spoon Boston barbecue restaurants

Urban Spoon New York City barbecue restaurants

 

 

 

(08/03/09)

Joints Directory Madness

Here's the latest batch of barbecue Joints directory activity, spanning four states. This time there are four new joints, three closings, one "effective closing" and one move.

  • Dixie's Smokehouse (Kings Park NY) is now open, as reported a few weeks back. Early intel on this joint has not been positive but things may improve. Thanks to Eric for the info. www.dixiessmokehouse.com

  • Flaggstead Texas Smokehouse (Farmington CT) is a Hartford area joint that's received a few mentions on Chowhound.

  • Brunswick BBQ and Brew (Troy NY) is a joint that brews its own beer. It's been around a while but only recenty crossed my radar, thanks to John.

  • Pig Pit (Cohoes NY) has moved to a larger location after the 4th of July. Thanks to both John and Ben for alerting me.

  • Smitty's Smokehouse (Lyndhurst NJ) is a now closed. Thanks to John (a different one) for the lead.

  • Village Grill and Seafood (Cambridge MA) is closed. They were hardly a barbecue joint to begin with, so it's no great loss.

  • The 402 Food and Drink (Easton MA) closed not too long after opening. Thanks to Steve for the info.

  • Foody's (Water Mill NY) is, according to Chuck from Long Island, a place known for grilled pizza, grilled meats/fish and barbecue. It's owned and run by a chef who previously worked at Cafe Boulud (NYC) and Nick & Toni's in East Hampton. Chuck calls the barbecue "average... but definitely not true barbecue. I would be more comfortable calling the selections grilled meats."

  • Front Street Smokehouse (Elizabeth NJ) hasn't closed entirely, but the kitchen closed in early May, so it looks like the barbecue can no longer be had there. Front Street has ceased serving lunch and dinner, but according to their recorded phone message is open Thursdays and Fridays starting at 5:00PM for "drinks and appetizers." On Saturdays they open at 7:00PM for drinks, appetizers and dancing. And they can be booked for private parties. Thanks to Robert for the lead. www.frontstreetsmokehouse.com

 

New York City BBQ: Playboy Names Virgil's One of America's Best for Barbecue

Playboy's A-List this month offers a roundup of America's Best Barbecue, and New York City's Virgil's made the list. The only representative from the Northeast earned that honor as much for their Trainwreck Fries as their smoked meats. While I can think of a handful of barbecue joints in New York City alone that I would rank higher, I was glad to see Virgil's make the listI'm a fan even though it's located in the middle of the city's most touristy area and erven though there are newer joints that have endeared themselves more effectively to the media. Another familiar name on the list is 17th Street Bar & Grill (Murphysboro IL), run by Mike Mills, a regular participant at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party each June. Check out the article for mouthwatering food photos and supporting descriptions, but here's the quick list of honorees:

  • McClard's Bar-B-Q (Hot Springs AR)

  • Arthur Bryant's (Kansas City MO)

  • Jay Bee's Bar-B-Q (Gardena CA)

  • Germantown Commissary (Germantown TN)

  • The Joint (New Orleans LA)

  • Wilber's Barbecue (Goldsboro NC)

  • Angelo's Bar-B-Que (For Worth TX)

  • 17th Street Bar & Grill (Murphysboro IL)

  • Virgil's Barbecue (New York NY)

  • Smitty's Market (Lockhart TX)

 

see the list on Playboy.com (G-rated and safe for work)

www.virgilsbbq.com

 

 

 

(08/01/09)

Site Talk: Pigtrip Is Three Years Old Today

Three years, 161 barbecue reviews and 871 posts later, I still haven't run out of joints to hit and things to say. I have found myself struggling to find time to hit those joints and write about them, but I've refocused on what is the core of this site: reviews and restaurant news. July alone saw three new barbecue reviews, two non-barbecue reviews and updates for two older reviews and.

 

New York City BBQ: Updated Wildwood Review

Today I posted a slight update to my review of Wildwood Barbeque (New York NY) to include photos and commentary from my last two visits, update some prices, remove the photo of Matt Fisher (who has since moved on to RUB) and tweak the whole ever so slightly. I had Wildwood in my NYC top three or four last year, and that's right where I'd rank them again this year.

 

read my updated Wildwood Barbeque review

 

 

 

 

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Recent Eats (click photo to view larger image)

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Chopped brisket po' boy at Flaggstead Smokehouse, Farmington CT.

 

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Pulled pork sandwich at Smokey O'Grady's, East Lyme CT.

 

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Chicken, pulled pork, ribs and brisket on the Smokin' Sampler at Smokin' Rock BBQ, Rocky Hill CT.

 

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Ribs and pulled pork sampler at Tar River Barbeque, Colchester CT.

 

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Ribs at Tennessee's, Framingham MA.

 

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Spare ribs and brisket at Blue Ribbon, W. Newton MA.

 

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St Louis cut ribs at Redbones, Somerville MA.

 

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Pulled pork at SoulFire, Allston MA (Boston).

 

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Pulled pork sandwich at Silk Road, Belmont MA.

 

 

 

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