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Hometown BBQ

454 Van Brunt Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(347) 294-4644

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category: Brooklyn BBQ, Red Hook BBQ, Billy Durney

 

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This preview offers my initial impressions after my first visit to Hometown BBQ. For the full review based on multiple visits, click here.

 

 

(09/25/13)

Brooklyn BBQ: First Look at Hometown BBQ

Hometown BBQ in Red Hook has been open only a month or so, but has quickly established itself as one of the heavyweights in the exploding Brooklyn barbecue scene. After studying barbecue with some of the medium's brightest stars, pitmaster Billy Durney has developed a multiregional and multicultural barbecue menu to appeal to varying tastes. I visited the former warehouse a few weeks into the operation and had one of my best meals of the year there. I'll keep the descriptions brief and let the photos do most of the talking until I follow this "first look" up with a full-fledged review after a few visits.

 

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Billy Durney handles the meat.

 

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Brisket, babybacks and pulled pork.

 

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A closer look at the brisket. You can see how voluminous and coarse that rub is, and the flexibility of the slice.

 

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A closer look at the brisket. As tender as it gets while still retaining structure. Juicy too, with fat rendered into lubricant.

 

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A closer look at some slices of brisket. The aggressive rub assaulted the taste buds while never upstaging the beefiness. One of the best renditions in the city if not the very best. Time will tell.

 

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Half hog: pork belly, shoulder, rib meat and rinds.

 

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Half hog. Good tenderness, juicy, nice porky flavor with a little less pop than the rest but still well rounded and pleasing.

 

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Babybacks, left: a lot larger than most and a little firmer than most but still tender. These were more gently dusted with a finer, sweeter rub. Beef rib, right: a little over, but tenderness galore.

 

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Pulled from the bone; need to discard that fat. Rub crustiness and flavor galore.

 

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Moist, beefy strings.

 

A little saucy on the beans but a nice tingle to the heat. Greens are straightforward and left in large pieces. Just the right consistency: neither firm nor mushy.

 

Cornbread is soft, moist, cakey, corny and sour in a good way. They say it's cornbread crack.

 

 

 

 

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Study the menu, enter the cafeteria line.

 

The smoker is a massive Ole Hickory.

 

The main bar.

 

Main dining room.

 

Double doors to the entertainment room. Barthroom on right.

 

The entertainment room.

 

Bar #2 in the entertainment room.

 

Back to bar #1.

 

Billy Durney.

 

There are times when I wish Brooklyn were my hometown.

 

 

The Outlook

 

"Let's not put this kid in Canton just yet" was a familiar Bill Parcells refrain used when sportwriters got prematurely excited about one of the coach's flashy rookies, but it's hard not to wonder whether Hometown BBQ might land a spot in the First Tier the next time the PigTrip New York City BBQ Rankings get updated. There's still still some room for improvement on the doneness front, so for now I'll only guarantee Second Tier, but flavor (dazzling at times, especially the beef) and texture (ditto) have me optimistic about their chances for more rarified air.

 

 

 

 

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