Hometown Bar-B-Que – Brooklyn, NY

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Name: Hometown Bar-B-Que
Date: 12/2/16
Address: 454 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Order: ½ pound pulled pork. ½ pound brisket, ½ pound lamb belly, beef rib, medium queso mac and cheese, medium collards (link to menu)
Price: ~$90 (for 3)

Speedy: NO SLEEP TIL BROOKLYN. That’s right, Monk and I took a trip to the big city to play hipster for the weekend, so what’s the first thing on our agenda? Barbecue, of course!

Monk: And not just any barbecue, but artisanal wood smoked barbecue in Red Hook! Friend of the blog Johnny Fugitt actually ranked Hometown Bar-B-Que #2 in his book, The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America. I wanted to check it out last fall when we spent 8 nights in New York but it just didn’t pan out. Mostly because we realized that Red Hook is just not so convenient to get to whether by Uber (much less on fixies, another approved transportation method), whether you are in Manhattan or even in a different part of Brooklyn (as we hipsters found out staying in Williamsburg that weekend).

Speedy: So we rolled up to Hometown, a standalone building near the Upper Bay. The atmosphere is supercool for a couple hipsters like us. It definitely reminded me of a Texas joint, with a cafeteria-style line, a separate bar, and a second dining room complete with a band setup (so hipster!). Monk and I immediately went to work and ordered a little bit of most things on the menu. The meat was cut and weighed right in front of us and we were good to go.

Monk: Well, good to go in the sense that they charged us a buttload of money just to get a decent amount of barbecue. But I guess that’s kind of touristy of us to complain about high prices in New York, so nevermind, back to hipster mode…

Speedy: The first thing to discuss is definitely the beef rib. It was definitely quite the piece of meat. It was seasoned well, providing some bark on the outside, and was cooked to perfection – tender but not overly so. Overall, this was a great start!

Monk: This was my first real beef rib and I agree that it was pretty great, though of course I don’t have the frame of reference that Rudy or even Speedy have. As for the pulled pork, it was fine minus the small pool of grease it was sitting in. This got more and more unappetizing as our lunch went on. I would rank it last of the meats we tried but it was still above average.

Speedy: The brisket definitely exceeded expectations. Monk and I got a cut off a fresh brisket, complete with extra outside.

Monk: Real recognize real…

Speedy: …It was oh-so-peppery and delicious. Not overly seasoned at all – just a really good brisket. The only drawback is that it was a little on the fatty side (we weren’t asked fatty or lean), but I’m nitpicking. This is one thing I’ll be ordering again if I ever find myself in Red Hook again.

Monk: Why would you find yourself in Red Hook again? Pre-gaming for a Bon Iver show or something?

The most interesting meat we ordered was the lamb belly, which was served pulled similar to the pork. In fact, if you weren’t paying attention it was hard to tell the difference between the two just by looking – just a slight variation in brown. It was very, very good albeit again I had nothing to compare it to. The texture varied slightly from the pulled pork and it was more succulent maybe? This being my first time, I’m not doing a good job describing it but I would order it again even if it did have the same pool of grease issue as the pork.

Speedy: I thought the lamb belly was excellent. I was expecting it to look/taste more like pork belly (the only belly with which I’m familiar), but it ended up being quite different. There was definitely a lot of flavor, some vinegar tang, and a little sweetness. I think it tied the brisket for me for my favorite meat of the day (something I try to pick out at the end of every day).

Monk: For a couple of wannabe hipsters like us, Hometown Bar-B-Que was worth the trip from Williamsburg and is now my favorite barbecue joint in New York over Arrogant Swine, Mighty Quinn’s, and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (still so mad about The Smoke Joint, which came up again during this trip).

Speedy: Totally agree, Monk. Overall, I haven’t been uber impressed with NYC ‘cue, but you could drop Hometown in the middle of Lockhart and it would pass just fine.

Ratings:
Atmosphere – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 3.5 hogs
Brisket – 4.5 hogs
Beef Rib – 4 hogs
Lamb belly – 4.5 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 4.5 hogs
Hometown Bar-B-Que Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Hometown Bar-B-Que

Friday Find: Could This Be The Most Expensive Barbecue In The World?

Eater’s The Meat Show visits Hill Country Barbecue to try a disctinctly NY style of barbecue thats a hybrid between a steakhouse and a barbecue joint.

This week on The Meat Show, host and professional carnivore Nick Solares visits New York City barbecue favorite Hill Country, to sample a meaty hybrid that’s right up his taste buds’ alley. Chef Charles Grund Jr. combines fancy steakhouse-quality beef, dry aging preparations, and barbecue techniques to create what might be the most expensive barbecue in America at $47 a pound. Is it worth it? Watch the video above to find out.

Monk

Linkdown: 7/6/16

– After their campaign stop Tuesday afternoon, Obama and Hillary stopped by Midwood for pork and brisket (Obama) and chicken and ribs (Hillary)

– Village Voice takes you behind the scenes with the pitmasters the night before the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

– Scott’s BBQ is closed this week, returning a week from today

– For the home smoker, an Epicurious writer says he’s over lump hardwood charcoal because “it’s expensive, burns too hot, and doesn’t last long enough”

– Monroe, NC gets its first craft beer bar, and it also serves barbecue – Southern Range Craft Beer & BBQ

– Food Republic has the lowdown on barbecue hash, with help from Elliot Moss among others

– Time has listicles of 8 Incredible BBQ Spots in Texas (with help from Daniel Vaughn of TMBBQ) as well as 8 Best BBQ Spots in the Carolinas (with help from Rien Fertel)

– Business Insider teams with Foursquare for their list of top 50 barbecue joints ranked

– Southern Living barbecue editor Robert Moss has released an updated 2016 list of the best barbecue joints in the south

Linkdown: 6/8/16

– Destination BBQ has put together a list of barbecue joints along the I-95 corridor in South Carolina

– Where to find barbecue in Cabarrus County (just north of Charlotte), including Barbecue Bros fave The Smoke Pit (our review here)

– For a short time last week, there was a Facebook page for Ed Mitchell’s Que at Brier Creek but it has since been taken down

– Grant’s latest stops: Owen’s Bar-B-Que in Tallapoosa and Adams Bar-B-Q in Cartersville

– Eater’s Complete Guide to the 2016 NY Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

– The Smoking Ho visits FullHouse BBQ in Georgetown, TX

– The Blue Ridge BBQ and Music Festival is this weekend in Tryon

– Morris Barbeque in Hookerton is 85 years young

 

Linkdown: 5/5/16

– Interesting from Anthony Bourdain, who had previously declared love for both Eastern NC and Kansas City barbecue

Where to find regional styles of barbecue in NYC, including North Carolina-style from Arrogant Swine

– Robert Moss on “early airport barbecue”

The period between 1930 and 1960 saw a great flourishing of barbecue enterprises throughout the South, as one resourceful cook after another threw up a canvas tent or wooden stand and started selling slow-smoked meat wherever they saw potential customers.

– Ed Mitchell is having a pig pickin’ for Raleigh Homeless next Thursday

– Here’s an example 3 day Lexington Barbecue itinerary

– Midwood Smokehouse once again lands on the Voters Choice for Best Barbecue in Charlotte

– Charlotte Magazine profiles the newly opened Seoul Food Meat Co.

Linkdown: 3/23/16

– North Carolina, y’all:

– Midwood Smokehouse is opening its 3rd Charlotte-area location at the Park Road Shopping Center later this year

– A new barbecue and music venue called Raleigh Roadhouse sets its grand opening April 1-2 in Raleigh on Glenwood Avenue

– John Shelton Reed’s upcoming Barbecue book is included in this rundown of upcoming books

– Grant visits Archer’s BBQ in Knoxville, a small regional chain

– Daniel Vaughn visits The Beast, a Texas-style joint in Paris, and is pleasantly surprised

– The Central Carolina BBQ Academy has begun meeting in Dunn at the old Harnett High School (for now)

In a small, smoky room of a long-closed school, Gregory Hamm is teaching heresy. His disciples, long familiar with the eastern Carolina dogma of barbecue, are being taught that there’s more to perfect pork than vinegar.

– Hugh Mangum of Mighty Quinn’s has Houston roots

– Southern chefs (and a couple barbecue men) ponder whats next for southern food

Friday Find: Assembling the Ultimate Meat Platter at Hometown BBQ

Eater gets Hometown to assemble a platter of all of their meats. Hate that I didn’t  get a chance to check it out during my week in NYC last October but its first on my list next time I return.

We can’t get enough of the expertly smoked meats and delicious sides at Red Hook, Brooklyn’s Hometown Bar-B-Que, so we asked them to build us a plate of all their favorites. Watch for a taste of the menu, and get inspired for your next visit.

Monk

Linkdown: 12/2/15

– Yahoo Travel goes on the hunt for barbecue in South Carolina

– The Infatuation’s list of best barbecue in New York

– The latest reviews from Marie, Let’s Eat!: Barbecue Kitchen, Mickey Pigg’s BBQ, and Tomlin’s BBQ

– Stubb’s Bottled Barbecue Sauce is suing Stubb’s Bar-B-Q

– TMBBQ explores the many briskets of Texas

– Attention Rudy: Eater’s got a map of where to get the best pulled pork in Austin

– Grayson Currin of The Independent says that Calvin Trillin’s recent New Yorker piece missed out on the best eastern NC “barbecue” in the form of  soy recreated to mimic the dish; I can’t say that I disagree with Calvin Trillin not trying it out while in NC

In fact, to my mind, he missed some of the best barbecue in the state, even if it’s not barbecue at all: soy, smoked low and slow, pulled apart by hand and drenched with a vinegar-based sauce. It is a regional delicacy, reinvented for reasons beyond upscale dining.

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ – New York City, NY (mini-review)

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Name
: Brother Jimmy’s BBQ
Date: 10/4/15
Address: 1485 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10075
Order: All you can eat ribs and Coors Light (link)
Price: $23.95

Being that Speedy, Mrs. Monk, and I are Panthers season ticket holders, I suggested that we find the quote-unquote Panthers bar in New York while we were there and watch the game after coming across an article about NFL team bars in New York. It was only a coincidence that it turned out to be a barbecue restaurant in Brother Jimmy’s BBQ.

Now when I say that Brother Jimmy’s is a quote-unquote Panthers bar, I should now clarify after having been that its a sports bar that will put on the Panthers game if you ask (as well as just about any other NFL game). It doesn’t turn into a true Panthers bar unless there is a playoff game, according to the bartender we spoke with while we waited for the rest of our party to join. Still, he was nice enough to give us a shot when he learned we were with the groom-to-be Boomsauce so thats worth an extra hog when it comes to atmosphere.

Our focus was truly on the game and drinking the pitchers of all you can drink Coors Light so there won’t be much to this review. I certainly didn’t take any photos – the one above was from Mrs Monk and I might have some complaint about the geography. From what I recall, the ribs were decently smokey and average. I didn’t take too much advantage of the all you can eat ribs special and ended up only having one half rack (again, focusing on the beer). Normally I’d let Speedy jump in here with his thoughts but he is abstaining from this review since something he had that day didn’t agree with him and he became sick that night.

For a good value and a decent atmosphere (provided you get there early enough to get a table and request your game), Brother Jimmy’s BBQ isn’t a bad spot for North Carolinians in NYC.

Monk

Ratings:
Atmosphere – 4 hogs
RIbs – 2.5 hogs
Sides – 2.5 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs
Brother Jimmy's BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Brother Jimmy's BBQ

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que – Brooklyn, NY

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Name
: Dinosaur BBQ
Date: 10/9/15
Address: 604 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Order: Pork and brisket combo platter, Ribs and sausage combo platter (link to menu)
Price: ~$40 for Boomsauce, Free for the Barbecue Bros!

Speedy: When you have two Barbecue Bros in your wedding party, it’s required that the dinner the night before the wedding is at a barbecue joint. Seriously – it’s in the contract.

Dinosaur BBQ is a joint that I’ve heard about for several years now. Basically when anyone I meet who has lived in New York City at any point in their life hears that I enjoy barbecue, they say “dude – you’ve got to check out Dinosaur BBQ.” The fact that this was my first trip shows how seriously I took that advice, but now, here I am.

Monk: On a Friday night in Brooklyn, Dinosaur was packed. And you could tell they were interested in keeping folks moving in and out. As soon as our table finished up and checks were paid for, we started to get stares from the wait staff and bus boys as a means to get us to leave. Not the friendliest thing in the world but whatever, on to the barbecue. 

Speedy: The first thing I dug into, as usual, was the pork. And it was actually pretty good! It was tender, pulled well, and had just a bit of smoke flavor. In Lexington, this pork would be average, but average Lexington pork is very good. So for New York, this was quite good.

Monk: The brisket was thinly sliced, pre-sauced, and generally was not up to snuff.  

Speedy: Monk is being kind. The brisket was terrible. I should note that it’s very clear that we got the flat side of the brisket and it was super dry. Meat from the point may have been better, but I’ll never know, as I’d never order it again.

Monk: Speedy and I did later find out that the folks at the other table of our party who ordered family style got the point and it was apparently much better than we got. Lame. Would have been nice to be asked if we wanted fatty or moist, but as such we weren’t given the option.

Speedy: The ribs were my favorite part of the meal. They were St. Louis cut and lightly glazed. They were cooked well, allowing for a nice, clean bite. There was good flavor, with a nice rub, and the meat was the star, as it should be. I have no complaints about the ribs.

Monk: I don’t recall much about the sausage other than enjoying it, but my memory could be foggy from spending 9 days in New York eating and drinking my way through the city. As for the sides, as with many dishes I had that week, it was very heavy handed with the salt. Other than the salt, not much stood out.

Speedy: Overall, this meal was better than I expected. I think as long as you stay away from the brisket, you’ll be getting a solid, if not spectacular meal from Dinosaur BBQ.

Ratings:
Atmosphere – 1 hog
Pork – 3.5 hogs
Brisket – 1.5 hogs
Ribs – 4 hogs
Sausage – 3 hogs
Sides – 2.5 hog
Overall – 3.5 hogs
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

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