Restaurant Review: Bourbon BBQ
First up, attentive readers will notice some housekeeping of the links and sidebars of the blog. I removed a couple of links that pointed to sites that haven't been updated in a while. I'm sorry to see them go, but I'm not going to point you to a dead site.
There's a new BBQ joint in Wyckoff, New Jersey. Now I don't know anything about the place or the owner and I usually don't post reviews until I've been to the joint, but I doubt I'll ever make it out there. This is posted as a heads up for my New Jersey readers.
Starters: Bourbon BBQ in Wyckoff
Friday, July 6, 2007
The Bergen Record
PETER MONSEES / THE RECORDGary Needham working on lunchtime orders at Bourbon BBQ in Wyckoff.
Starters is a first look at recently opened restaurants. It is meant to be a descriptive glimpse, not a critical review, of interesting new venues.
Chef Gary Needham learned the art of barbecue close to home in Louisville, Ky., but perfecting his repertoire took the chef to San Diego, Maine, Jamaica and more than a half-dozen other haunts.
Thirty-six years after starting his career, he brought his training to Bergen County, opening Ridgewood's Silver Oak American Bistro, which serves pastas and seafood in addition to home-cooked Southern favorites. And on Sunday he opened Bourbon BBQ, a new barbecue-only restaurant in Wyckoff.
"Barbecue was always my passion, but you can't come into town and open up a barbecue place when nobody knows your name," said Needham, who also sells his homemade barbecue sauces in Whole Foods and Kilroy's. "So I opened up Silver Oak [Bistro] to establish myself, and after a year and a half, I figured it was time to do this."
Needham's self-serve restaurant boasts all the airs of a roadside Southern smokehouse. Adjacent to the serving counter, the straightforward dining room holds orange bench seats and checkered tablecloths upon which meals are delivered on butcher's paper and in baskets. The restaurant's wooden walls hold vintage R.C. Cola signs. A peek in the kitchen, however, reveals more modern workings.
"We use an all-wood-burning, custom-made smoker," said Needham. "We only use hickory wood, and we can hold 1,500 pounds of meat ... These are the same size smokers the Army uses."
Emerging from this massive smoker are pork shoulder, brisket, barbecued chicken, St. Louis ribs, pulled chicken breast, smoked sausage and wings. For sides, there's fresh coleslaw, potato salad, beans, collard greens, fries and macaroni and cheese. Delta pickles, which brine in Kool-Aid, and desserts are also available.
"Some people say the menu is limited, but it's actually true Southern barbecue," said Needham, who plans to spend his days behind the smoker at Bourbon BBQ and his nights manning the stoves at Silver Oak. "Barbecue is a work of passion ... It's not about the decor or the front of the house, it's about the flavor, and we have plenty of that!"
Bourbon BBQ is at 529 Goffle Road, Wyckoff; 201-444-6661 or bourbonbbq.com. Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Credit cards: AE, D, DC, MC, V.