Monk: Zagat travels from New York to Lockhart, Texas to understand why post oak is so instrumental to that style of barbecue. Post oak – so named because it grows straight enough to make fence posts – is native to central Texas and in this video is referred to as “wholesomely sweet” and the “terroir of Texas barbecue.” The host even spends time with the hardworking laborers who have cut down and split it for Kreuz Market since 1975 before treating them to a meal there (a nice touch).
Description: Texas’ Hill Country is known as the center of American barbecue culture thanks to an abundance of amazing local ingredients. And while most people recognize cattle as the secret to the state’s legendary cuisine, it’s Texas Post Oak that helps put everything in motion. The wood is so popular that restaurants like New York City’s Hill Country Barbecue Market won’t use anything else, even if it means having it shipped over 1,700 miles every week. Zagat traveled to Texas’ famed Kreuz Market in Lockhart to discover what makes this regional wood a favorite amongst pitmasters – and why making that beloved brisket is a lot more dangerous than we think.
Name: Revenge BBQ Date: 9/19/19 Address: 48 Main St, Irvington, NY 10533 Order: Lone Star Sampler (1 lb brisket/pork/ribs, mac and cheese, custard corncake), jalapeno cheddar sausage (link to menu) Pricing: $$
Monk: While the Hudson Valley barbecue scene is apparently burgeoning, it’s still a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to quality according to Eater food critic Robert Sietsema. One hidden gem he found a few years back was Revenge BBQ in the town of Irvington, and having the occasion to pass through the Hudson Valley last week, it was the obvious target for me.
Revenge BBQ is a Texas-focused barbecue joint a few blocks from the Hudson River in downtown Irvington that’s been in operation since 2017. They import sausages from Kreuz Market in Lockhart, they smoke dinosaur beef ribs on the weekend, and feature both a “Lonestar Sampler” platter for 1-2 people as well as an even bigger “Texas Trinity Feast.” So yes, Texas is the main concern at Revenge. Co-owner Jacob Styburski (a former senior director of design at PayPal and one half of the husband and wife owner duo along with his wife Catherine) has even done his time in Texas, both at Texas A&M’s Camp Brisket as well as interning under Russell Roegels of Roegel’s Barbecue in Houston.
That work and research shows through in the meats I tried that day, all of which are smoked in an onsite Ole Hickory smoker. The brisket (both lean and fatty) had a proper peppery bark, with both cuts of meat maintaining their moisture. The pork ribs were nice and peppery and adhering to Texas tradition thankfully avoided being sauced.
As I mentioned above, Revenge BBQ imports their sausages from Kreuz and the jalapeno cheddar ring sausage was properly spicy and one of the best I’ve had. Keeping with Texas tradition, the pulled pork was perhaps a bit of an afterthought and thus the least successful of the meats. Not bad, but nothing comparable to NC barbecue (which would be a tall task).
The creamy mac and cheese was good but the real star of the show was the custard corncake, a new and different version of cornmeal from the hush puppies, cornbread, or cornsticks found in NC. I won’t stay that it topped hush puppies for me, but it came pretty close. I loved the sweet and creamy custard texture and will be thinking of that side for a while.
Revenge BBQ (named after their son’s middle name) is located on Main Street on an idyllic town on the Hudson River and is well worth the detour if you are looking for above average Texas barbecue.
“By cutting costs of operation, our long tradition of serving great eastern North Carolina barbecue and good food will be resumed quickly,” he says, adding, “I hope all our loyal customers will return when our doors are open again.”
Robert Moss on the reader-voted South’s 10 Best Barbecue Joints; Southern Soul BBQ in St. Simon’s Island in Georgia again takes the top spot
In Memphis, you’ll be surrounded by some of the most finger-licking delicious barbecue joints in the country. Whether you prefer brisket, pulled pork, or a slab of baby back ribs, more than 100 barbecue joints across town are ready to wow you (mostly with pork since that’s what Memphis-style is all about). The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest each May draws more than 75,000 barbeque-loving attendees. While in town, sign up for a class with Memphis Barbecue Supply, including free classes on how to cook competition-quality pulled pork and pork ribs. Yum.