Sunday, September 28, 2008

Give me some good RUB: A review of NYC’s RUB

Barbeque has always been good. But it hasn’t been until recently that it's had such fame. Its' peak came last year when Saveur Magazine named it’s top 100, #1 being, oh yes, you guessed it Barbeque. And since this southern specialty has been blossoming in the North, I have had the opportunity to gobble up this smoky meaty goodness. When I first came to New York, there was one place for Barbeque: Dinosaur Barbeque (which is simply incredible.) Since then, barbeque joints are sprouting up, Rub, Daisy May, Blue Smoke and many others. But this begs the question: are they any good? Are they as good as their Southern (to some more authentic) counterparts? Unfortunately, I cannot tell you whether these NYC barbeque shops match up to the south, since I haven’t visited the South. I know, don’t be upset Southerners. It has been long overdue and I cannot wait to go.
But for now, I have to settle for NYC Barbeque. I decided to try one of the most highly rated barbeque joints in NYC: Rub. The name is slightly deceiving because, it really is about two things here, there giant red smoker and their deep fat fryer. In all honesty their rub wasn’t the most impressive part of this barbeque equation. The red smoker is where all the action takes place: where cheap tough cuts of meat are turned into succulent, deeply flavorful, tender pieces of meat. The pulled pork reigns supreme, moist and slightly smoky, un-sauced, so you can add sauce or simply enjoy the pure flavors of the hog. The pulled chicken is also pretty tender yet less smoky. Their pastrami is not as moist at Katz, but is still fresh, warm and seasoned with a nice crust of pepper. The brisket was the only disappointing meat. It lacked all moisture, wasn’t able to fall apart (a tell tale sign, that 1. It could be old 2. It wasn’t cooked long enough.) Whatever the case, it needed some barbeque TLC.
The deep fat fryer provided amazing fried wonders. Crispy, slightly sweet and salty onions rings were highly addictive. Licking my lips after each bite allowed me to collect the salty particles left on my lips, while the sweetness of the onions dissipated on my tongue. The fried Oreos were equally sinful. Donut battered enveloped warm gooey chocolaty Oreos. I never had these before and it was quite an experience. Warm, soft and just plain delicious.
With Barbecue’s status comes a rightfully overdue appreciation for the craft. One that Rub accomplishes for the most part. I wish I knew how to make my own…to learn the craft like the barbeque masters. But for now I will leave it up to professionals. My adopted blogger father (oh yes…I have been adopted by a blog--- finally I have a home) is a reigning champion at home smoking specialties. He has the grill, the pictures and the know how to show you how to accomplish all your barbeque dreams. (Ok to be honest, if your barbeque dreams involved smoked dinosaur…I am not sure he can be of help.) Check out his blog which contains delectable recipes from a true southern gent: Mr. Orph’s Blog.
What is your favorite Barbeque restaurant or recipe? Let me know....

12 comments:

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

In NYC, our favorite BBQ place is Wildwood.

cook eat FRET said...

i live in nashville where bbq is eaten regularly but... memphis has better.

great post. loved reading it. but when i'm in nyc for 5 days in november - no bbq for me! i want to eat all the things we can't get here.

btw - very fun blog you've got going on

Manger La Ville said...

Cook Eat Fret: I was actually thinking of you when I was talking about the South and their delicious barbeque. But I agree, when in NYC make sure to get lots of foie gras, bagels, pastrami, pizza and confit!!!
Thanks for the kind remarks.

amy said...

i MUST try out rub! i go to a place called 'the smoke joint' in fort greene, brooklyn, and it's very tasty!

MrOrph said...

Yeah, I am the same way as Claudia; when in NYC or my home, Philly, I don't bother with bbq. As you know, I like to make my own. It is nice to know that you are going to places that actually have a pit. There are so many so called bbq places who use pressure cookers and not actual smoke. To have true bbq, you need actual smoke, IMHO.

Nate-n-Annie said...

The best barbecue in San Jose comes out of the WSM in my backyard.

Emiline said...

Where I live has a lot of barbeque, and I've eaten a lot of barbeque, but I wouldn't consider myself an expert.
The pulled pork and chicken sound good, also the pastrami...I LOVE pastrami!
Too bad about the brisket.

I want those Oreos. I might try to clone them.

Carolyn Jung said...

My husband, aka Meat Boy, would go crazy for Rub, I'm sure. And me? You had me at the deep-fried Oreos. I know those couldn't possibly be good for ya, but hey, you only live once, right? ;)

Manger La Ville said...

Amy: thanks for the recommendation for Smoke Joint. I will be sure to try.
And all of you, skeptical yet intrigued by the fried oreos, I was the same way. Not something you want to eat all the time....

Dee said...

You know, I don't think there are bbq joints in Malaysia. I never realised... sad, isn't it?
Congrats on being adopted :)

James said...

Hey Abby!

That pulled pork looks like the real deal. There are places out here in CA that attempt pulled pork, but ever since I toured North Carolina my standard for THE BBQ standard has become ridiculously high.

I really think, though, that the potential of the pulled pork in your photo won't be fulfilled until the owners of RUB throw it in the deep fryer. When I move to Brooklyn, let's get up there and make it happen!

As for favorite BBQ joints... well, here's the list from my 2007 road trip through the South. I'll surely be expanding and revising things as I work my way towards DBBBBQ: The Book, but that's a good primer.

Looks like you found the easiest way to get me talking on a blog! BBQ is the key to my heart, and at other times, my stomach :)

Manger La Ville said...

TO everyone reading the comments. Look at James' comment. He is a barbeque genius, meaning he has tried the vast majority of it and is a wealth of knowledge. Check out his amazing, well written blog www.theeatenpath.com.
James: can't wait to fry some pulled pork!!!