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.
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!