Restaurant Review: RUB BBQ
The other night me and old friend, Peter Vermaelen, and corporate chef Mark Slutsky, both of McCain Foods, went to R U B for part of our grazing through New York City's downtown barbecue triangle.
What's the downtown barbecue triangle? Well, it's the triangle formed by RUB, Hill Country NY and Blue Smoke. All three are within walking distance and make a great BBQ crawl. (More on that later!) And yes, there are other BBQ triangles in NYC.
We were in an eating frenzy that night and at RUB we decided to focus on the ribs, pastrami, bacon and the duck. Pastrami, bacon and duck in a barbecue restaurant? Only in New York kids, only in New York. But they are unique to RUB and no visit would be complete with out tasting them.
We started with the bacon; BBQ Bacon Chunks house cured and triple smoked Berkshire black pork belly bacon (nitrate free) This is always one of my favorite appetizers at RUB. This night it was served cooked to the point where it resembled cracklings. Melt in your mouth cracklings!
For the ribs, there was much discussion on what type to get. RUB offers beef ribs, but we were here for the pork. From the menu here are your choices, Pork Spare Ribs St. Louis Style the barbeque standard, whole slab; Short End last 7 ribs off the slab-the tender end; Long End the first 6 ribs off the slab-meatier; Rib Tip these are the meaty upper part of the rib, lightly sauced; Baby Back/Loin Back Ribs small tender ribs off the pork loin. the whole tender slab.
It turns out that Mark isn't a fan of baby back ribs, but Scottie convinced him to try them, so we ordered it all. And I'm glad we did. All of the ribs were nothing short of outstanding; easily and by far the best ribs I've ever had at RUB and in the top 10 of all bbq ribs I've ever had. Be warned, the ribs arrive without sauce, but there are multiple sauces on the table for you to customize your rib experience. IMHO, they didn't need the sauce, but it's there if you want it.
Next up was the duck. I was really looking forward to this as every other time I've been in the restaurant, the duck was already sold out. Duck is one of my favorite foods and RUB's duck didn't disappoint. It was spicy, sweet, moist tender and flavorful. It was the best restaurant duck I've ever had. My only complaint is that I wanted more of the glaze. In the legs however, I found the perfect marriage of duck meat and glaze. I suggested to Scottie that they offer duck legs as an appetizer. I hope he takes me up on the idea.
The pastrami is made in-house and according to Scottie, the pit master at RUB, it is more "traditional and authentic than any other found in NYC." And it's pretty damn good. Are you listening Katz?
We didn't have any side dishes, appetizers or vegetables. We didn't take any pictures. We weren't looking to review this restaurant only to feast upon the meat. And feast we did. And you should too.
We finished the meal with deep fried Oreos. All in all a great and memorable meal.