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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.

Friday, January 30, 2009

BBQ Joints: Southern Hospitality

Southern Hospitality
1460 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10021
(212) 249-1001

Southern Hospitality on Urbanspoon

Southern Hospitality, Pit Master: Dr. BBQ, part owner: Justin Timeberlake, (Strange, I can't find any pictures of them together? Are they one in the same?) location: frat bar row, Upper Eastside of Manhattan. Sounds like a recipe for disaster doesn't it? Umm, could be.

But it ain't. A recent lunch visit found the good Dr in the kitchen and let's just say the results are pretty damn good. If this is what they're serving at every meal, the place deserves some major respect. A full review will come when I dine there on my own dime, but in the mean time take a look at this food. Hungry yet?

Brisket - Lean and Fatty

Right out of the smoker

Beale Street BBQ Chicken

Memphis-Style Dry Rubbed Spareribs

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Thursday, January 29, 2009


Phoenix, Ariz. -- To protest the Cattle Industry Annual Convention and National Cattlemen's Beef Association Trade Show taking place at the Phoenix Convention Center this weekend, a PETA member wearing nothing but red and black body paint will lie on a "barbecue" with a "Meat Is Murder" banner hanging from it. PETA's point? That all animals are made of flesh, bone, and blood, just as humans are, and that eating meat entails eating the corpse of an animal who was an individual with feelings, a family, and a distinct personality.

Where: Phoenix Convention Center at E. Monroe and N. Fifth streets
When: Thursday, January 29, 12 noon

"Flesh is flesh, and animals feel pain and suffer just as humans do," says PETA spokesperson Lindsay Rajt. "What revolts people about the idea of eating other humans should also apply to the idea of eating other animals."

If we weren't meant to eat animals? Why are they so damn tasty?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

BBQ Restaurant: Spanky's Closing

This just in from Eater via PigTrip....

"Heartland Brewery's barbecue joint Spanky's will close its doors tomorrow after a private farewell party. They'll replace it in March with HB Burger."

Damn. Another of my recommended BBQ places closing down. In my original review I wondered how long Spanky's would survive, but they had a pretty good run for a NYC restaurant, around 3 years. While their BBQ wasn't the best, it was OK and I was rooting for them. Let's just say the outstanding Heartland beers paid for a myriad of sins!

But unfortunately I found myself returning only for the beer and not the food and I guess others must have felt the same way. So long Spanky!

PS. The folks over at Heartland don't waste anytime. Take a look at Spanky's website and you'll be re-directed to the new HB Burger menu. And I must say that I find the new menu rather boring and predictable. There's nothing there to attract me to the new restaurant, but I still wish them well.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

BBQ Joints: Virgil's

Virgil's Barbecue
152 W 44th St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 921-9494

Last week I mentioned that I joined Gary from PigTrip for a mini crawl through two of Manhattan's BBQ joints. We had a mission when we set out on this trip, but unfortunately we didn't meet any of our goals. But, we did get to eat some fine food.

I know I'm doing this out of order as our second stop of the day was Virgil's BBQ in Time's Square. I should really start with post about Southern Hospitality, but not today.

Virgil's may qualify as the grand daddy of real barbeque in New York City. Some people give Blue Smoke the credit for sparking the barbecue renascence in NY, but Virgil's set the fire, Blue Smoke, Daisy May's and RUB stoked it. Before Virgil's arrived decent real wood smoked barbecue was not found in Manhattan.

Back in the day, I used to frequent Virgil's frequently as I worked at MTV just up the street. Back then Virgil's was good, but very inconsistent in its quality. Some days the food would be so burnt and dry it was almost inedible, others the food was close to perfect. It was a real crap shoot. So when the new kids arrived, I stopped going to Virgil's. The new places were so much better.

In my quest for the best barbecue in New York, I would be remiss to dismiss Virgil's based on its past performance. How's it doing now was the question that Gary and I tried to answer.

But we were thwarted by our own gluttony. As I mentioned, earlier in the day we stopped into Southern Hospitality for a sampling of their food and we were feted by the ever hospitable Dr. BBQ. I'll talk about that visit in another post, but let's just say that we rolled out of Southern Hospitality with our bellies and heads full.

We arrived at Virgil's without much if any, of an appetite. But in the name of research we trudged on. We ordered the Texas Red Chili and the BBQ Chicken wings. Both were good, but neither were the best of NY. The chili had some nice flavor which was dominated by Ancho chili, a little heat, but was not smokey at all. It also contained a smattering of beans which are not included in a bowl of traditional Texas Red.

The wings were good, but as with most smoked wings, the skin was a bit rubbery. They were sauced just enough for my liking, but unfortunately I wasn't a big fan of the sauce. There is a citrus base to the sauce that becomes overwhelming if you eat more than one.

That said, the wings were intriguing. The crust was nice, the smoke level good. They were good enough to raise other questions; how's the ribs? The brisket? The grilled hot dogs? Look's like another visit is in order. Gary? You ready?

Virgil's Real Barbecue on Urbanspoon

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wood - An Essential Ingredient

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Give the People What They Want

I ran into some disturbing news the other day over at Pigtrip...

"Smokin' Al's (Bay Shore and Massapequa Park) was the winner for the barbecue category (sixth time) and the ribs category (fourth time).

In the barbecue category, Zorn's (Bethpage and East Meadow) finished second and Adam's Rib (West Babylon) finished third. For ribs, The Spare Rib (Commack and Hicksville) finished second and Zorn's finished third. Remember, this is a reader's poll.


This is truly disturbing news. I can't tell you how upsetting this is to me. I grew up on Long Island and I would like to think that the people of Long Island have a fairly discriminating palate, but this "reader's poll" changed my mind.

How the hell can Smokin' Al's win for best BBQ for the SIXTH time? I've eaten there twice and both times I left most of my food on the plate. One time the pulled pork was so excessively sweet that I demanded a refund. The dining experiences were both abysmal. But the place was packed.

At least Smokin Al's has a real smoker. Zorn's and The Spare Rib don't, which in my mind immediately knocks them out of the barbecue race. You can't cook BBQ without smoke!

Readers of this blog will have noticed a previous post about Zorn's and their "BBQ" ribs; boiled, tough and tasteless. In a word, disgusting. Yet the readers of the Long Island Press declare Zorn's ribs the 3rd best on Long Island. WTF? I'd hate to taste the 4th best.

And Adam's Rib? Ugh.

The people of Long Island need to wake up. Is this what you want? Boiled, steamed, baked crap?

It breaks my heart when I hear of the purists failing. Long Island has lost too many real barbecue joints; Willie B's and Poppa Ricks come to mind. I'd put either of those lost restaurants food up against any of the "best" and I'd bet dollars to doughnuts you'd agree that real barbecue is superior to the stuff that's being foisted on you. The men behind Willie's and Poppa Ricks' understood barbecue and knew the magic of the flame and smoke.

Long Island has a handful of true BBQ joints that need to be nurtured. Go to the joints that cook with wood!

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Restaurant BBQ

A quick post until I get near a real computer and away from my phone. Right now I am exploding from a whole lot of New York City Restaurant Barbecue.

I did a mini-crawl today with my buddy Gary tasting a good portion of the menu at 2 BBQ restaurants. It was way too much BBQ meat for this city boy.

Now I understand why Gary calls his website Pigtrip!

Details to follow.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, January 18, 2009

President Elect Obama

I can't make my daughter to understand how historic this day is.

A celebration at the Lincoln Memorial? I only remember protests in my life time.

God Speed President Obama! You've set some very high standards for yourself and our nation. I hope we all succeed.
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IKEA Special

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Friday, January 16, 2009

BBQ Recipes: Lemon-Ginger Tofu Steaks

This came into my in box today from our fine friends at Weber. I'm wondering though, are they fine friends? Friends don't let friends eat tofu! Go meat!

Lemon-Ginger Tofu Steaks with Carrot Salad
“Steaks” of tofu can be a delicious alternative to meat. Buy extra-firm tofu so that it holds together well on the grill.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Marinating time: 3 to 4 hours

Way to grill: direct high heat (450° to 550°F)
Grilling time: 6 to 8 minutes

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce, such as Sriracha

2 packages (14 ounces each) extra-firm tofu (not silken-style)

2 cups coarsely grated carrot
1/2 cup roughly chopped cashews
1⁄3 cup minced scallions, white and light green parts
1⁄3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce

1. In a medium bowl whisk the marinade ingredients. Remove the blocks of tofu from their containers, leaving the liquid behind. Cut each block lengthwise into 4 slices, each about 1 inch thick. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a rimmed platter or in a baking dish.

2. Pour the marinade over the tofu slices and brush the marinade on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours, turning the slices over once or twice.

3. In a large bowl combine the salad ingredients and mix well. Set aside at room temperature.

4. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat. Brush the cooking grates clean. Lay a large sheet of aluminum foil, about 12 by 16 inches, directly on the cooking grates. Lift the tofu slices from the platter and arrange them in a single layer on the foil, reserving the marinade for glazing. Grill the tofu over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until both sides are nicely caramelized and the slices are warm, 6 to 8 minutes, turning once and brushing occasionally with some of the reserved marinade. Using a spatula, transfer the slices of tofu to serving plates. Stack the salad on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

BBQ Events: Super Bowl Tailgating Class

Looking for something to do in the dead of winter? Well, here's something that came into my in box the other day that looks like it will be a lot of fun.

Super Bowl Tailgating Class

Wednesday January 21, 2009 @7pm

Come join Southern Hospitality NYC on Wednesday January 21st 2009 at 7pm as our very own Dr. BBQ hosts our first annual Super Bowl Tailgating Class.

Y'all come and learn the true Southern Form of tailgating from the legendary pit master Dr. BBQ who will demonstrate the right way to make the tropical pork chop sandwich, mac and cheese soup, famous Memphis style dry rib, yummy coleslaw, vegetarian beans and the Bloody Doctor which make every party a success. All these great recipes are from DR. BBQ's NFL GAMEDAY COOKBOOK.

So join us as you learn to make your Super Bowl Sunday a new Southern Tradition.

$45 per person (to purchase tickets log on to www.southernhospitalitybbq.com/store)

Southern Hospitality
1460 Second Avenue (between 76th & 77th)
New York, NY 10075

Photo courtesy of Josh Ozersky of The Feed Bag.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Zorn's what happened?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Boiled Ribs

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New England BBQ Society

Some partial results from the Board Of Directors elections tonight.

President = Ken Dakai
VP = Brendan Burek

Congratulations to both!
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Friday, January 09, 2009

Nibble Me This

There's a new food blog out there that I'm watching with a close eye. Check out my buddy Chris's new blog Nibble Me This. Lots of Q over there. Chris is a frequent commentator on my posts and now I can return the favor! he he he.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


It's that time of year again for me. My daughter's school is having a magazine drive and I'm trying to figure out which of the many food magazines I should renew and which ones I should drop. Saveur is one of the magazines I'm keeping. I've only been a subscriber for a year, but I love this magazine and talking it over with my wife, this magazine that I usually take recipes from.

Saveur stays.

Why does Saveur stay? Well take a look at this article about the Weber Kettle...

Keepers of the Flame
When given a choice between grilling with gas and grilling with charcoal or wood, we'll take the latter every time. Sure, you have to wait longer for the heat, but it's always worth it. As we keep telling our gas-grilling friends, it's about more than touching food to flame: those glowing coals of oak or mesquite or even plain black charcoal impart smoky flavors of their own that a gas flame can never deliver. There are plenty of charcoal grills out there—low-riding hibachis, ten-dollar pan grills, tall Brinkman grill-smokers—and we've used them all, even loved a few of them, but, really, we'd always rather build our fires in a WEBER KETTLE GRILL.

Uncovered, this sturdy, bowl-shaped grill, introduced in the 1950s and more or less unchanged since, lets us cook foods like steaks, burgers, fish filets, and vegetables at exactly the right distance from the coals, and the Weber's broad, grated bottom makes it easy to mass the coals off to one side so that we can put our food on the other and cook it gently over indirect heat. When we throw on the domed cover, the Weber transforms into both an oven and a smoker, preventing flare-ups and allowing food to cook slowly and evenly as the coals fade. We get such good results with our Weber that we'll haul it out and build our fire in the dead of winter just to, say, grill a chicken. After nothing more than a rubbing of olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt, we lay the chicken on the steel grate away from the coals, secure the cover, open the vents enough to keep the fire alive, crack open a beer, and let the Weber do its work, cooking the bird in its enameled-steel cocoon until the meat is tender, juicy, and infused with mouthwatering hints of smoke.

The prototype for this midcentury marvel was created in Chicago in 1952, when George Stephen, an engineer at Weber Brothers Metal Works, an outfit that supplied the Chicago Park Service with metal buoys for the city's harbors, concluded that he'd burned one too many roasts in the brick fireplace he'd constructed behind his house. Looking for an outdoor cooking vessel that would allow him to control the flow and intensity of heat more easily, Stephen cut a steel buoy in half, added a few adjustable vents, fitted one half with a rounded lid, welded a handle to it, and set the contraption on a tripod. Intent on convincing the public of his invention's merits, Stephen loaded the grill into his station wagon and went on the road to spread the Weber gospel.

"It's the story of the American entrepreneurial mind's thinking, 'I can do better,'" said Stephen's son, Jim Stephen, CEO of Weber-Stephen Products, the Palatine, Illinois–based company that his late father went on to found. The company has since expanded its line, adding fancier—and, in some cases, fanciful—models of both the charcoal and gas varieties, but we've never seen much need to change such a near-perfect invention.

Article about the Weber Kettle, from Issue 117 of Saveur Magazine. Go buy it. Now.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Truth in Advertising?

I receive a fair amount of emails from various manufacturers of food related items announcing new products or various promotions. If the item is barbecue or grilling related I usually find a way of working them into a blog post.

Sometimes I get requests for me to do a product review and I received another one of these the other day. Here's the email, the names have been changed to protect the not so innocent...

Saleswoman to me

Hi Robert,
I would like to send you a sample of a product called fire. Fire is a green alternative to using lighter fluid to start your fires for grilling. The product prevents dangerous flare ups and improves the overall quality of your food because there is no petroleum aftertaste.

May I send you a box to try out and possibly review for your site?


Media Relations



OK, sounds interesting even though I don't use chemical fire starters when I cook, but I know many people do. This would make a good read for you my faithful viewers. So I respond with my standard response...

brooklynq to Saleswoman


Sure I'm always interested in new products.
However, please be aware that my accepting the product for review does not guarantee a favorable review. If I like it I say so, if not I say that too.

And that's where it ends. Unfortunately this happens far too often. It always amazes me that so many PR people are not willing to stand behind their product. Cowards.

Photo courtesy of MountCope

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