I'm cooking Pork Butt and Dino Ribs.
They'll be for sale tomorrow at Grillin On The Bay.
I hope to see you there.
WhiteTrash BBQ -- Real Pit Barbecue from New York City. This is the story of a fire obsessed guy, living in Brooklyn, with a dream of producing award winning, competition busting, real Barbeque. Come live the dream as I compete around the country in the KCBS Championship Barbecue circuit.
Organizing an event can take over your whole life. Right now, Grillin' On The Bay is doing just that. Tomorrow, I'm cooking 30lbs of pork butt and The Hampton Smoker has cooked chicken and brisket that all will be for sale at the contest. Grillin' On The Bay has grown from 10 teams to 24 teams from around the country. This is going to be a great time. If you're in the New York City tri-state area be sure to check it out.
This Saturday, March 31st, another page will be written in the history of barbecue in New York City. The St. Mark Sports Association will be hosting the second Grillin' On The Bay.
I found this today in my RSS feeds. It's a very interesting story about Elizabeth Karmel and BBQ summer camps. I've known about these camps for years, and from what I hear, they are worth every penny.
The latest project from the cooking instructor, cookbook author and creator of www.girlsatthegrill.com is a series of summer "camps" focused on barbecue in North Carolina (April 22-26), Memphis (Sept. 18-23) and Texas (Nov. 4-8). The trips cost $3,750 per person, excluding airfare. And there's not a pup tent in sight.
"With the luxury accommodations, it combines the highbrow and the lowbrow," said Karmel, author of "Taming the Flame." "That way you get the best of what the area has to offer."
To add to the atmosphere, the trips include such camp staples as making s'mores and giving out prizes to the campers.
"Everybody loves camp, right?" Karmel said.
The Camp BBQ tours are glorified field trips that grew out of Karmel's monthly Southern barbecue class at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City -- so popular that it has a year-long waiting list. Participation in each trip is limited to 20 campers.
First on the agenda, and in Karmel's heart, is the trip here to introduce campers to the glory of pulled pork. Based in the luxurious Fearrington House south of Chapel Hill, the campers will make forays east to Wilson, where pitmaster Ed Mitchell will serve up whole hog barbecue with a vinegar-based sauce, and west to Greensboro and Lexington for pulled pork with ketchup-based sauce at Stamey's and Lexington No. 1. In between, they'll dine at such local institutions as Allen & Sons, Crook's Corner, Mama Dip's and Magnolia Grill.
"People are always asking me, 'What's your favorite place?' so I thought it would be fun to take people down there to introduce them to my barbecue buddies," she said.
But over the years and the miles, Karmel said she has become an "equal opportunity barbecuer." Her second trip focuses on the ribs of Memphis, Tenn., and Murphysboro, Ill. As an added bonus, her campers will form a team with barbecue expert Mike Mills (co-author of "Peace, Love and Barbecue") to compete in the 20th annual Murphysboro Barbecue Contest.
The year's last stop is in central Texas and the Hill Country for beef, brisket and sausage. The area in and around Austin is known for barbecue that has been influenced by immigrants from Mexico and Germany, Karmel said, bringing together jalapeños and sausage.
"I love that sort of cultural mesh," she said.
Hill Country is also the name of the new Texas-style barbecue restaurant where Karmel is developing dishes as executive chef. The restaurant, on 26th Street in New York, will open in May.
Eventually, Karmel would like to add even more regions to Camp BBQ. "I would love to do Kansas City or California during the wine harvest."
Looking for something to do today?
This comes to us from the fine folks at Weber. Enjoy
Chipotle-Citrus Shrimp with Sour Cream Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lime
1 large canned chipotle chile pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle chile peppers
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds medium shrimp (31-35 per pound), peeled and deveined, tails on
1 cup light sour cream
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. In large, resealable plastic bag mix the marinade ingredients. Add the shrimp. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, lay flat in a rimmed dish, and refrigerate for about 1 hour. Meanwhile make the sauce.
2. In a medium bowl whisk the sauce ingredients. Set aside at room temperature while the shrimp are marinating. If desired, pour the sauce into small bowls for individual servings.
3. Remove the shrimp from the bag and allow the excess liquid to drip back into the bag. Discard the marinade. Grill the shrimp over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until lightly charred on the outside and just turning opaque in the center, 2 to 3 minutes, turning once and swapping positions as needed for even cooking. Cut open one or two shrimp to check for doneness. Serve warm with the dipping sauce.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Last night on my way home from work, I stopped in the Barnes and Noble bookstore on Broadway and West 81st Street in Manhattan. This bookstore always surprises me. Besides having all the latest books, it has one of the best selections of barbecue cookbooks in New York. They may only have one or two copies of a particular book, but I always find something new here. This Barnes and Noble seems to always have a barbeque cookbook I've never seen before.
I don't know if you're aware of Heritage Foods USA and The Slow Food movement. In a very small nutshell, both of these organizations are trying to preserve the food and cooking methods of our youth, parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
Heritage Foods USA is High On The New Q and Small Family Farms
New York, NY, March 2007 – Heritage Foods USA and Slow Food Atlanta are high on the hog about their NEW Q, the First Annual BBQ to celebrate local chefs, heritage breeds, sustainable farms and to raise money for the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
This event will pit together local chefs who make the best BBQ in town on May 5th from 1-5pm at Studioplex, 659 Auburn Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30312. Limited tickets are available in advance for $25 per person. To RSVP visit www.Xorbia.com/tickets/thenewQ or call 800-364-0644.
Participating chefs include: Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene, Shaun Doty of Shaun’s, Delia Champion of Flying Biscuit, Todd Mussman and Ryan Tuner of Muss & Turner, Michael Tuohy of Woodfire Grill, Ron Eyester of Food 101, Gerry Klaskala of Aria, Carmen Capello of Global Culinary, Cathy Conway of Avalon Catering, Robert Gerstenecker of Park 75, David Sturgis of Farm 255, Hugh Acheson of Five & Ten, Joe Truex and Mihoko Obunai of Repast and David Larkworthy of 5 Seasons Brewing.
Participating farms include Tamworth Farm in Dublin, GA, Newman Farm in Myrtle, MO, Lazy Farm in Glasco, KS, Riverview Farm in Granger, GA, Sequatchie Cove Farm in Sequatchie, TN, White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, GA, and Caw Caw Creek in Columbia, SC. Each chef will work with a local farm to come up with a delicious new take on BBQ. Beer from SweetWater Brewing will also be served.
The Atlanta Community Food Bank is making a difference in the lives of underprivileged Georgians by distributing over 2 million pounds of food and other donated grocery items to the public monthly. The New Q fundraiser will help the Food Bank continue its fight against hunger.The New Q is part of a series of new initiatives by Heritage Foods USA to bring awareness to the plight of small family farms raising sustainable proteins in the United States.
I found this recipe over at Matt Bites. It sounds very intriguing....
I've had some feedback about my new listings for barbeque restaurants that I recommend and I'd thought I'd take a couple of minutes and explain how hey make the list...
This came across my desk this morning. Very interesting. But I'd really like to know what's going on in the smoker category.
With winter breathing it's last gasp this week, here's a recipe for grilled chicken that uses all those winter flavors. I think I'm going to make this on Sunday.
|Hot Spiced Cider Chicken|
2 Oregon fryer chickens, cut into halves
Combine the cider, apple sauce, and Red Hots in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat until Red Hots have melted. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Place chicken halves on grill and cook over medium heat. Start basting chicken during the last twenty minutes of cooking time. Remove chicken from grill when done (internal temperature of 180F).
When I first started this blog, I didn't know anyone in the world of barbecue.
This just in from the New York Observer, another Barbecue Restaurant is opening in New York City.
New Hampshire native Alan Natkiel, 31, will open Georgia's East Side Barbecue at 192 Orchard Street in mid-May. Mr. Natkiel signed the lease on the Lower East Side space a few days ago, according to Misrahi Realty.
Georgia's East Side Barbecue will serve "classic Southern food like barbecue, hamburgers and hot dogs," according to Mr. Natkiel. "I've spent a fair amount of time down South," he told The Real Estate. "People in New York are not aware of real barbecue. New York's idea of barbecue is the same as Wisconsin's idea of New York pizza."
Mr. Natkiel is no stranger to the restaurant business, having managed Lodge and The General Store in Williamsburg. As the sole proprietor of Georgia's, however, he's going to need to sell a lot of hush puppies to stay afloat in the high-rent nabe. The 600-square-foot Orchard space, which used to be Cafe Trotsky, has a monthly rent of $5,500.
- Mark Wellborn
Grilin' On The Bay - 2007. Wow. This is going to be a great event. Look at this line up! There are some of the best barbecue teams and restaurants in the Northeast cooking in Brooklyn on March 31st. (Corner of East 18th Street and Avenue Z)
Sorry for the lack of posts this week. With the impending doom because of the switch to Daylight Savings Time a month early, this geeklad's been a little busy.
Trooper is our new dog. He's a 66 pound, 11 month old Shepherd mix that we rescued from The Town of Islip Animal Shelter. He's the third animal we've adopted from them and we couldn't be happier.
If you want to see more doggies, check out Weekend Dog Blogging over at my buddy Cate's Sweet Nick's Place.
This post is overdue.
It looks like America is getting a new region for Barbecue - New York City. It's about time. I'm tired of hearing from all the good ol' boys about how superior Southern barbeque is. New York is kicking ass and taking names!
AMOR was what she called me. Not honey, not sugar, not sir. Amor — as in Spanish for love — was what the counter woman tacked onto “thank you” when I paid my tab at the Ranger Texas Barbecue, which operates out of the back of a locals’ bar called Legends in Jackson Heights, Queens.
New York’s barbecue scene may be missing a lot of things — like dirt roads and screen doors and decades of deep-seated tradition — but love for barbecue in the city is strong. And in the past couple of years the product has caught up to the passion. Restaurants that hobbled out of the gate have hit their strides. The best pits in and around the city have gotten better.
That doesn’t mean you can walk into any haunt with a neon pig outside and expect smoked bliss from every corner of the menu. An awful lot of stuff around town still has no right calling itself barbecue, though the ratio has improved considerably. Some places dabble in too many styles. Out there where barbecue comes from, that doesn’t happen: the top places in Texas don’t dress up their pork shoulder in Carolina drag, and no one in Memphis is trying to outgun Texans at their own game.
To sort it all out, it seemed like a good idea to hit the road and see what’s where now. So I took advantage of a friend’s generous offer to drive — we packed six adults into his modest-size Mitsubishi for a 90-minute Saturday afternoon jaunt from Brooklyn to Big W’s in Wingdale, N.Y. Warren Norstein — the Big W — started dishing barbecue out of a truck parked on the side of Route 22 in Pawling, N.Y., in 2003. He moved the operation into a gently renovated convenience store up the road a few months ago.
One of the meats listed on Big W’s chalkboard is slow chickens. My friend puzzled aloud about this. “Slow chickens are easier to catch,” shot back Mr. Norstein, a burly Brooklyn-born bear of man with a borscht belt sense of humor. The chickens are smoked over apple and hickory wood for five or six hours, after being seasoned with a spicy rub that does wonders for their skin.
The one we got was gigantic, insanely moist and tremblingly tender, and it quickly proved to be the most compelling meat on the table, although it faced serious competition from a super-smoky slab of brisket so tender that I’m sure it would have shredded itself if I had stared at it long enough.
Fifty-four dollars bought us a “For the table” sampler that also included a full rack of pork ribs and a pound of pulled pork. It was a perverse amount of meat — enough to slay a tableful of hungry eaters and send everyone home with a to-go pack of smoky ’cue — and even with gas money figured in it was wildly cheaper than anything in the city.
There’s not a bird back in town that approaches Big W’s slow chicken, but if pulled pork is what you’re after, then make your way to Pies ’n’ Thighs, a closet of a kitchen in the back of a grungy bar in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge. Settling in with the best pulled-pork sandwich in the city and a side of greens (also the best in the city, at least in the realm of barbecue joints) might first require you to kick broken beer bottles and cigarette butts out of the way to get a berth at the bar, as it did for me on a recent Saturday morning.
If you do you’ll find that smoky meat, which spends eight hours over hickory chunks in an offset smoker and is then pulled into ropy strands, sauced with a North Carolina-style vinegar sauce and served on a white bread bun that does its very best to dissolve and get out the way of the pork. A minced cabbage slaw and a couple of crinkle-cut slices of neon green pickles add texture.
Pies ’n’ Thighs devotees may notice that the aggressiveness of the vinegar sauce has been tempered since the restaurant opened last summer, an adjustment attributable to the departure of one of the partners, Stephen Tanner, who sold his share in the restaurant to Carolyn Bane. Ms. Bane left the Spotted Pig to join forces with Sarah Buck, who still oversees the restaurant’s top-notch selection of pies, cookies and more.
For my money Daisy May’s BBQ USA is the most consistent and distinctive of all New York barbecue spots. Adam Perry Lang, the pit master and a partner, has a talent for concocting alluring but unusual riffs on classic sauces and rubs for his “production” barbecue (as some folks who have spent too much time inhaling around the pit call the smoked meat that’s available all day, as opposed to the made-to-order or “competition” barbecue).
There’s nothing Carolina about Daisy May’s Carolina Pulled Pork, other than how it takes a South Carolina template — a little chili heat, some mustard — and affectionately stands it on its head, adding molasses to the mix and a portion of Sriracha hot sauce in addition to cayenne pepper. But just because it’s not traditional doesn’t mean it’s not cravable. It most definitely is.
There is a significant step up between the good-to-very-good production barbecue and the excellent barbecue made to order for the reservations-only 8 p.m. seating, called the Big Pig Gig. Mr. Perry Lang eases up on the sauce and spice and turns out a roster of gently seasoned and perfectly smoked meat. Half and whole pigs are the most impressive offerings, served with a Chimayo chili powder and honey-based sauce that nimbly adds sweet, sour and spicy notes to the sweet flesh without getting in the way of its porcine goodness (though if he crisped the skin, those pigs would be even better).
If the untraditional barbecue at Daisy May’s doesn’t resonate with you and super-smoky barbecue does, Righteous Urban Barbecue, in Chelsea, is your place. R.U.B. has gone from a neighborhood asset to a contender in less than two short years. Its burnt ends — twice-cooked nuggets of the fattiest part of the brisket — offer the most deliciousness, ounce for ounce, of any meat the restaurant smokes.
A load of burnt ends goes into each batch of barbecued beans, pushing the beans out in front of the competition elsewhere. Each bite delivers an uppercut of deep, soulful smokiness that washes over you like a gauzy burst of smoke rushing out of a grill at a summer cookout.
If the combo of burnt ends with a side of burnt-end-spiked beans strikes you as overkill, the go-to dish at R.U.B. has to be the Baron’s Sampler, a $45.75 platter that includes eight smoked meats and two sides. (Beans and more beans would be my choice.) Though the menu says it feeds any number of people from “one to a gang,” in my experience it’s better when you’re not alone and it’s better earlier in the day, when a greater selection of meats is available. (When R.U.B. runs out of something, it doesn’t come back until the next day.)
I tried the sampler with only one friend to help me and, for the first time in my life, felt some kinship with those titans on the World’s Strongest Man competition. (Meals at R.U.B. come with a free side order of televised sports, particularly of the ESPN2 variety.) I imagined that there was a close parallel between my gluttonous flailing and ultimate failure to finish the platter and the strong man’s struggle to drag keg after keg out of the ocean, each trip more labored until, finally, he grimaced in surrender.
But barbecue tastes better the next day than the bitterness of defeat. Sampling the sampler — a tactic I’ve employed everywhere one was offered — didn’t always pay off, as when I visited Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a popular place tucked under a stretch of the West Side Highway in Harlem. Dinosaur is definitely the barbecue place to take the kids to: a waitress was infinitely patient when I visited with a friend, his wife and their two rambunctious youngsters.
As for the eating, there’s no question that the pork spareribs at Dinosaur are significantly better than everything else (and certainly good enough to warrant a visit). Order them by the rack and skip the menu’s other distractions.
The most refined of New York’s barbecue emporiums is Blue Smoke, but don’t let the fresh-faced servers and comfortable dining room fool you. Serious barbecue is practiced here. I found my sticky fingers most eagerly reaching for the Texas-style salt-and-pepper beef ribs and the smoky sweet Kansas City spareribs. Blue Smoke’s beef ribs are a little bit beef jerky, a little bit corned beef. How much more elemental does it get than meat, salt, pepper and smoke?
Though the beef ribs will be the ones that lure me back to the restaurant, the Kansas City pork ribs, glazed with a slick of the restaurant’s Kansas City-style sauce, are no mere consolation prize. Both styles outshone the St. Louis variety that rounds out the rib sampler, rendering that platter a waste of time: order the other ribs by the rack, skimp on the lackluster sides, have a nice bottle of wine and be done with it.
If you want your rib fix in less dandified settings — and sometimes that’s just the case — the city isn’t short on places to get it. For pork ribs cut in the St. Louis style, dusted with spice rub and grill-crisped with a touch of sweet, dark sauce, there’s Mo Gridder’s BBQ in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, where the dining room doubles as the office for an auto body shop that looks like the place cars go to die. The pit is outdoors, tacked to the back end of a competition-ready barbecue trailer.
The owner, Fred Donnelly, an avid amateur pit master before he opened Mo Gridder’s, drew up plans for a modest 10-foot-long trailer, but somewhere along the way it stretched out another 25 feet, big enough to house a fully equipped kitchen and a massive smoker. Though a rig of that size is wild overkill for the light foot traffic it attracts in Hunts Point, Mr. Donnelly said it handled its maiden voyage — catering a party for “800 hungry Teamsters” — without a hitch.
For beef ribs, there’s Ranger Texas Barbecue in Jackson Heights. The Stars and Stripes and a P.O.W.-M.I.A. flag dominate the front of the room. On a recent weekend a group of regulars were talking back to the televisions and loudly making fun of a hockey player’s last name for, I think, having too many consonants. In the back, Angel Dominguez and a small cooking crew turn out the only real pit-cooked commercial barbecue in Queens.
I can’t help thinking that the place’s odd locale and low profile contribute to some of the shortcomings of the meat: there’s clearly not enough turnover. But the beef short rib — a fantastically fatty and flavorful cut that almost no place in the city has found a way to mishandle — was absolutely spot on.
The Smoke Joint, a modest restaurant in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, also does a very respectable short rib. Judging by the early going (it opened this past fall), with care and time it is bound to get better and better.
And if it does, and as the barbecue scene in New York continues to improve, will the other places that have opened in the past couple of years do the same? Barbecue being the slow-cook business it is, time will tell the answer to that question and more.
Will Fette Sau, a long-delayed barbecue spot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, be as compelling as the bar Spuyten Duyvil, its bottled-beer sibling across the street? Will Joe Mizrahi finally convert his Smokin’ Joe’s True-Blue Texas Barbecue catering service into a pit stop and give Staten Island its first real pit-cooked meat?
We know that Justin Timberlake, who is putting his name on a barbecue-theme restaurant that will open in Manhattan this year, managed to get up close to Scarlett Johansson in his last video, a feat that I can’t imagine many pit masters pulling off. But can he ’cue?
And the last one: What’s the best? Barbecue is all about blue ribbons, and it would feel like a cop-out not to slap one on something. Something like the improbably amazing whole rack of lamb that’s part of Daisy May’s Big Pig Gig.
Over a dinner of three of those meaty whole racks of lamb (that four of us came within two ribs of finishing), a friend related a story of visiting Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Tex., one of the high holy shrines of Texas barbecue. He tried to describe the vibe in the room while he was eating: a low, throbbing, violent, ready-to-rumble hum that he felt and felt part of. (As he’s a long-haired Southern boy with a peacenik streak, he didn’t indulge it.)
I had never made that connection: when a barbecue place proclaims that its product is good enough to make you “slap yo’ pappy” or some other hokum, it’s alluding to a visceral reaction that only truly great barbecue can elicit. I have never had ruckus-worthy barbecue at any of the places that brandished that kind of sentiment.
After we’d finished the lamb, we headed back to my friend’s room at the Mercer hotel to digest in front of a Kenneth Anger DVD. Once we were in the elevator, he confessed that he had been struck by an urge to tackle someone, anyone, when we were walking through the lobby.
Sure, it could have just been the weekend crowd at the Mercer. But I knew better, because I felt the urge, too. It was the lamb, rubbed with a simple chili-inflected and mustard-based paste, cooked to a perfect tenderness, gently flavored with smoke.
Seeing things for the first time, I knew I had found the real deal: great barbecue in New York. And though in my mind that lamb has run away with the crown for the single best barbecue in the greater metropolitan area, it sits atop a heap of great ’cue the likes of which New York has never known before.
These were the best barbecue places in a sampling in and near New York City:
BIG W’S ROADSIDE BAR-B-Q 1475 Route 22, Wingdale, N.Y.; (845) 832-6200.
BLUE SMOKE 116 East 27th Street; (212) 447-7733.
DAISY MAY’S BBQ USA 623 11th Avenue (46th Street); (212) 977-1500.
DINOSAUR BAR-B-QUE 646 West 131st Street; (212) 694-1777.
MO GRIDDER’S BBQ 565 Hunts Point Avenue (Randall Avenue), Hunts Point, Bronx; (718) 991-3046.
PIES ’N’ THIGHS 351 Kent Avenue (South Fifth Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn; (347) 282-6005.
RANGER TEXAS BARBECUE at Legends, 71-04 35th Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens; (718) 803-8244.
R.U.B. 208 West 23rd Street; (212) 524-4300.
SMOKE JOINT 87 South Elliott Place (Fulton Street), Fort Greene, Brooklyn; (718) 797-1011.
It's great to see that New York's barbecue restaurants are finally getting the respect they deserve. Finally, the reviewers are reviewing New York's barbeque restaurants without comparison to their southern counterparts.
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