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....