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Nov 19, 1999 06:25 PM

bulletin..pearson's open..go now..repeat..go now!!!

  • f

just got back from late lunch at pearson's (at "legend's"). and i'm ecstatic!
went with two friends and we ate everything in site.
ribs, brisket, sausage, pork shoulder (i love you pork shoulder...if only i were of the porcine persuasion...grrrr...oink!), beans, onion rings, fries, slaw, corn bread. and all of it was excellent.
i mean even better than i remember it (certainly better than the last time i was in the l.i.c. location-right before it closed-and i found the food to be somewhat lacking). the quality of meat was top notch, the smoking of it was superb (even haunting). the sides were great. everything was just "on" (how many times does that happen?).
but really it all started when i first walked in. i saw "it" sitting there across the room...under the hot lights...all brown and golden and crunchy...a quivering mound of pork shoulder...hiding dense pockets of heavenly gelatinous looked innocent...but it wasn't. oh, and it was looking at me too. all shy and demur at first...mysterious even...but at last when we touched!
sorcerous! seductress! heavenly swine!

man, it was really good!

and i'll be back..i gotta go back..maybe tomorrow.

man, how do break this to my fiance?

take care!

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  1. Just to confirm; I went there this afternoon and it was indeed delicious. My fave was the beef ribs, followed closely by brisket and pork shoulder.

    22 Replies
    1. re: Jeremy

      you too had the pork shoulder? oh that #$%@&% two-timer!!

      1. re: fred t.

        HA! Another funny! Thanks for your description. We miss having it in Hunters Point, but will certainly take a short subway ride to JH.

        1. re: David Link

          Food was fantastic, the same as LIC. Staff is still the best bunch of people around. Disagree with the column Beer at this place on tap is the best I have had in Queens in a very long time.

          1. re: Pat
            david sprague

            was happy to hear that Pearson's was reopening, ecstatic (if somewhat concerned about my waistline) to find it was opening just three blocks from my house. agree that the 'cue is every bit as swell as in LIC, and they still have that deliciously oddball coleslaw (heavy on the radishes). The Legends crowd, which I've never seen as particularly loutish, contrary to Jim's opinion, has grown enamored with both the chow and the Pearson's waitstaff in just a week's time. fingers crossed, it's working well.ds

            1. re: david sprague

              I second (third? fourth? fifth?) everybody's feelings. I had the day off yesterday and made it over for a completely sublime brisket sandwich. Never been to Legend's before, but at two o'clock on a Monday afternoon, it seemed like the most pleasant place in the world. It looks like there's going to be quite a bit of bar crowd/'cue crowd crossover. When I was there, an old guy--who was obviously a Legends regular--was going on about how he was working his way down the menu a day at a time: "Friday I had the pork shoulder, and then Saturday I had some sausage, and today..." Barbecue brings people together.

              (Also, while I too wouldn't say no to a Celis White, my mug of Bud worked extremely well with my brisket.)

              1. re: Steven Stern

                I don't need to know more about the food -- if it's that close to the old Pearson's, I'm there!
                Here's my question: I am one of those crabby people who hates cigarette smoke. I imagine, since Legends is a bar, that there's a fair amount of smoking going on. (I'm not saying there shouldn't be, a bar is a bar, after all.) From the descriptions posted so far, it doesn't sound like the dining area is segregated from the bar. Or is it?
                So how smoky is it in there during prime dinner time? Any chance those scrubbers are taking on the human smokers as well as the one that produces the wondrous meats? (Just kidding.) Am I consigned to take-out?

                1. re: Helen

                  As you enter, you between pass the bar proper to your left and bar tables and stools to your right. The dining area comes next, with the service counter at the very rear. On my visits, the diners were for the most part too respectful of the food to smoke, so, while you'll run a hazy gauntlet on your way in, you should be OK if you insist on a table as far towards the rear as possible.

                  On the other hand, if you're one of those crabby people who hate noise and congestion, you may just be SOL, unless you eat during off-hours.

                  1. re: AHR

                    The place is fine as far as the smoke goes. I am also picky when it comes to eating and being in a smokey room. I have been at the new place twice already with some co- workers. Both times the food was great and the staff was great, and the place was great. I dont know what these other people see but, Yeah the people at the bar get excited watching sports and they yell at the tv sometimes but everyone at the bar seem to be very nice. Saturday there were many more people at the bar than Tue. The excitement added something to the place. The place itself is a very nice looking place. Clean and the wood in the place gives it a nice touch. Much cleaner and nicer than the old LIC. I guess the duo of Fred and Jim who seem to be bad mouthing the place are probably the two guys that sit at a tennis match because it is quiet, while drinking 8 dollar coronas.

                    1. re: Pat

                      Why when you put in a reply it does not show up until the next day , or when you get on the computer the next time. Most of the websites that have message boards appear right away. Is it my computer or is that the way this sight is set up.

                      Please help

                      1. re: Pat

                        Welcome to Chowhound!

                        New postings do appear immediately. When you confirm your posting via "Post & go to your message" or "Post & go to Board Index," you'll see it directly.

                        If you're looking at the Hot Posts window, however, you'll need to click either "Feed Me" or your browser's Refresh button to make your message appear.

                        1. re: AHR

                          I'm getting married and looking to have my affair at the Parsonage restaurant on Staten Island.I need to know if any one out there has had an affair there and can tell me a little bit about how it was.

                        2. re: Pat

                          pat--first of all, please address all technical questions regarding the site to our "Site Talk" message board. There's no reason people looking for Outer Boroughs chow advice should have to read through this (you'll notice that I changed the subject of the discussion--see above. that's one way to help our fellow hounds navigate through these indexes and select messages of interest).

                          As AHR said, messages do post instantly.

                          There are three possible causes of your problem.

                          First: when you compose a message and hit the "post this reply" button, you're shown your message once more, and are given the option of editing it before posting. If you don't hit the final post button, assumjing your work is done, your message is lost, gone, kaput. We've addressed this problem by putting a huge "WAIT!!! YOUR MESSAGE HASN"T POSTED YET!!!" warning on the top of this second confirmation page.

                          The second possible solution is to hit the "reload" button when viewing the message board index. See if that works.

                          the third is if you're using HotPosts. In which case, as AHR said, hit the "feed me" button again.


                        3. re: Pat

                          I can assure that Jim will NEVER be drinking $8 Coronas

                          1. re: Pat

                            Both my partner and I hate cigarette smoke, especially when eating...the only smoke I smelled was from the yummy Q!

                            .yeah, OK, and the smoky smell on my hands from eating that several washings couldn't take away...mmmmm!

                            1. re: Pat

                              yo pat, what's up with the disparagment? whatever it is that you're alluding to is so off base that it borders on the absurd.
                              first, fred and jim are not a duo. i wouldn't know jim if i tripped over him. however, i do respect his opinion, even though i don't always agree with him (a neat trick that you should try sometime).
                              second, i've never been to a tennis match. i like my sports more violent (remember "rollerball"? well that's what i'm training for!).
                              third, paying $8 for a corona is simply not me, i'm not a trendy guy. in fact i'm rather tragically unhip.
                              (hard to believe considering that the guys in my dungeons and dragons club call me "ace").
                              fourth, i don't think i bad-mouthed legend's. i just always questioned the wisdom of opening a kinda of hipster bbq joint in a local blue collar type bar. i foresaw a cultural maginot line between the bar crowd and the rib crowd that hopefully won't develop (though i'm sure it will). and having grown up in jackson heights gives me some insight to the legend's clientele-namely they don't like outsiders (or anybody "different"). hang around this bar long enough and you'll see and hear a lot of folks who make archie bunker seem like albert schweitzer. it's the kind of thinking that inspired me to get an education and leave those mean streets.
                              so if you were attempting to paint me as some sort of effete, dilletantish, snobby, sissy mary you got it all wrong.
                              now i have to go, there's souffle in my oven, i have to uncork my bottle of petrus, and sampras is playing agassi (two cuties, no?).

                                1. re: Jim Leff

                                  even money says "pat" = spam.

                                  1. re: fred t.

                                    Yo Fred what does spam mean. A typical dinner for you and your friend Jim. It was very nice of you to leave the mean streets of Jackson Heights, Maybe you should have learned a little from the streets of JH.If you read your messages it is a very clear message that Legends was a dump with nothing but losers, and drunks that hold AA meetings. I can see from the people's messages that Jimbo and Freddy are 100 percent WRONG!!!!!!!

                                    Let me remind you of your lines

                                    Drunk and surly
                                    dopiest sports bar
                                    unmentionable joint
                                    12 step drop out outpost
                                    out breaking stuff at 4 am
                                    last place for white people to get together in friggin Jackson Heights.

                                    Well it looks as if it is one big happy family and you guys can go to el sitio or Mark Twain diner.Enjoy your burger deluxe.


                                    1. re: Pat


                                      it appears you've put a lot of work into that posting.
                                      the question begs to be asked....why?

                                      1. re: fred t.

                                        This is starting to remind me of one of those family occasions that starts out as the celebration of a happy event, but descends quickly into recriminations over slights only the participants perceive/care about.
                                        My question: Can you please stop? Go eat some smoked brisket. Everybody. You'll feel better.

                          2. re: Helen

                            Smoking is not a factor at this bar. The air is very clear they have a very good exhaust system. The crowd is also a very friendly crowd despite what the article states. Yes the people watch the games and get excited for their team so what. That makes the place a little bit exciting. The place is 100 times cleaner and nicer than the old place.

                        4. re: david sprague

                          haven't been in since the weekend, but if it's all one big happy family, I for one am thrilled. Jackson Heights has magical powers for bridging cultural chasms...which is a big reason I moved here.

                2. Just got back from Jackson Heights and a feast at Pearson's. First of all, I want to thank Ellen for being so personable and helpful on a very busy Saturday night. The meat is listed as being available in sandwiches or by the pound, but Stinky and I wanted to sample a variety of meats.

                  Our waitress indicated that Ellen was aware that patrons wanted the ability to sample different items, and Ellen was not only kind enough to give us a platter of brisket, hot links, and pork shoulder, but also to give us tastes of few morsels of beef ribs that were left (they were wonderful) and chopped pork (which was much better than I remember from the old Pearson's, and led to us ordering it in a sandwich). Onion rings and cole slaw were fresh and just as I remember them.

                  For me, the brisket is still the star, and although it was pleasant, I think Stinky and I will leave the pork shoulder for Fred T. -- perhaps the taste is too subtle to stand up to the more assertive meats we had on the plate.

                  As for any Legends/Pearson's clash, I sure didn't see it. Everyone seemed happy and well fed. And it's hard for me to view a bar patrons as loutish when one TV was stuck on PBS and another on ice skating.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Dave Feldman

                    OK OK I went! I went! MMMMMMMM! Felt really welcome coming in (nice vintage bar)and waitstaff was really helpful in choosing what to order (as if I'm not going to go enough times to eventually have everything on the menu!).

                    Food was really good. I don't normally like beef ribs but there were too many postings to ignore (I've learned to trust my chowhound buddies! THANX!) so we ordered one. WOW! Really crisp and crunchy on the outside and rich, meaty and almost gelatinous on the inside. AMAZING! Pork ribs were OK - a bit dry but not fatty, not great but OK, may not get them next time. The pork shoulder sandwich was fabulous (will try brisket next time), lots of meat, nice Portugese roll. Chili was pronounced very good by my partner but not quite worth the price (over or around $3). Cole slaw was good, not great. Onion rings are beer batter type, not the kind I like at all, but even I have to admit they were good, not too greasy and light and crunchy.

                    Bartender wished us a happy holiday and urged us to come back when we left. That was real nice and I gotta say that these folks are making a real effort to welcome everyone. Go and support them and have some damn good yankee Q!

                    By the way...this is not an inexpensive proposition. (We often leave this part out of our reviews (usually only include it when price is unbelievably good or bad)and I feel that it is important so that Chowhounds on a budget know what they are getting into...) The meats are of great quality and obviously handled with great care and for this you pay. The ribs are $14 per pound - our one beef rib was over $8. The sandwiches, however, are a great deal at around $6. All sides are extra (would it kill them to include some slaw with the meats?!) and beverages come from the bar which is not a problem because there is table service. So we had: 1 beef rib, 4 pork ribs, order of chili, pork shoulder sandwich, onion rings, order of slaw, 2 club was a bit over $30. It was worth it, but know that this is not some cheap BBQ's a good BBQ place in back of a bar!

                    1. re: Dave Feldman

                      Did everyone see the Pearson's review in today's Times?

                      I finally made it there this weekend. I think the meat is better than ever. I liked having both the pork shoulder AND the brisket, for a good combination of textures and tastes. The brisket had an incredibly smoky taste. The beef rib was huge, but $8 for one was a bit much! I agree with Asimov on the potato salad with apples: bizarre. I wish they'd serve a "sour" potato salad in addition to their sweet one.

                      The bar patrons were quiet. But the Irish music in the background was just TOO weird while eating barbecue. It would be so much nicer to have Bob Wills or Ernest Tubb!

                    2. I'm going to Pearson's this weekend, and I've reviewed everyone's comments and suggestions, but have a couple of questions. First, is it wet or dry barbecue (I don't know if those are the right terms, but I don't like my barbecue with a lot of goopy sweet sauce). Also, is it only beef and pork? Or is there some chicken, too?


                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Susan T.

                        The meat is dy but you can select sauce from a counter (according to heat level). They have chicken (didn't try it, was too bowled over by the bones and boneless meats. Eat light during the day before going.

                        1. re: Susan T.


                          Didn't have the chicken this time around, but since almost all the barbecue tastes just like the old Pearson's, I'd predict the chicken would be terrific. Most hardcore barbecue aficianados tend toward beef and/or pork, and New York barbecue hounds are underfed and highly motivated right now, but I hope you'll try the chicken and report back.

                          1. re: Dave Feldman

                            Thanks to everyone for the comments. I went to Pearson's this Saturday. Got there 6:30, by the time we left at 7:30 it was absolutely packed.

                            The three of us were eating light so we shared pork ribs, brisket, and pulled chicken, no sides, just Portugese rolls (very good, and came warm). The ribs were the favorite, followed by the chicken. We liked but didn't love the brisket, but for my part I think it's because I was expecting something wetter (doesn't make sense, I know, since in my earlier post I said I don't like a lot of sauce, but maybe when I hear "brisket" I think "Mom's brisket covered in gravy").

                            I'd like to go back and try some sausage, which I was eyeing throughout the meal, and the pork shoulder that everyone's been raving about. Also, another table had some onion rings that looked good. Any comments on those?


                            P.S. If you're going out after eating at Pearson's, bring some dental floss!

                            1. re: Susan T.

                              I know EXACTLY what you mean about the brisket. I'd encourage people to read thru my report on this place, it explains why Texas-style barbecue is not what most people hereabouts expect. It has very little to do with the kind of (Deep South) barbecue we're used to.

                              Use link below.


                              1. re: Susan T.

                                I would realy like to get the recipe for the Portugese rolls if you have it thanks.

                                clayton sherman