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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.

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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At 11:23 AM, Blogger aTanguay said...

We have the same issue here in Detroit. My best bud and I are currently doing a massive survey/rate of Detroit area barbecue places and the place voted number ONE (The Boneyard) is our LEAST favorite place so far...by far. It's really very strange.

We had tough ribs that I think were boiled, with weak, lousy sauce. Just terrible.

It's really confusing.

At 4:39 AM, Anonymous pigtrip said...

Boiled, steamed, baked crap isn't necessarily what Long Islanders want, but unfortunately that's all many of them know about restaurant barbecue, which historically hasn't been as well represented there as in NYC, Boston and even other areas of metro NYC. I offer some thoughts on the subject on today's Pigtrip.

At 5:25 AM, Blogger Vanderdecker said...

Right after that issue came out, I emailed the LIP about this sort of thing--not BBQ specifically, but the laughable results of their poll in multiple categories. I suggested that they ought to at least have an "Editor's Choice" mention where (I hope) they could mention a place that *deserves* to win.

No response as of yet.


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