best post-Pearson's BBQ?
Dismayed at the impending demise of Pearson Texas BBQ in LIC, I wonder where to turn
for my meat-by-the-pound fix...To make matters worse, I have two guests coming just
weeks after Pearson's closes--one from Texas, with whom I have sampled a variety of
barbecue styles, and another from North Carolina, fiercely proud of her indigenous
barbecue. Is there anywhere else to take them to prove that New York is not a smoked-
re: Allan Evans
oh, we've got plenty of local treats planned, too...it's just standard practice to try bbq
everywhere we go. and if there _is_ a replacement for pearson's, i'd like to know about
it. as it is, i only just moved hear a few months ago, and so have had precious few
months to enjoy the place. any other leads?
Is Missippi Barbecue any good anymore? Never having
made it out there, I can only vouch for it based on
Jim's eloquent reviews. It"s out in Jamaica, Queens,
near the airport, and as far as I know is takeout only.
Missippi Barbecue----------172-14 Brisely Blvd.,
Jamaica, Queens (718) 776-3446
re: Frank Language
yeah, that's them. Quite frankly, I've been terrified these last months to go back there. There's been a lot
of upheaval, and I'm afraid quality might have suffered. They were
once the best ribs in the northeast.
Come to think of it, I have to be out that way on Wednesday anyway, so
I'll report back if I make it there
re: Jim Leff
I lived on the South Side of
Chicago for many years. My
friends and I often ventured
into hostile territory for
The set-up is this:
You need 4 people and one
car. One person waits behind
the wheel with motor running,
person #2 sits in the back seat
ready to unlock doors for the
two hardy souls who venture
inside to fetch the 'cue. One
member of the 'cue retrieval
unit is there to help carry bags,
provide emotional support,
and run interference should
things get "iffy". Early evening
is the best time for these
jaunts although the occasional
trade-off is that
sometimes the BBQ is not
smoked to optimal state. Deal
with it. The rewards outnumber
The 1999 Jim Leff BBQ Road
Trip awaits. Any urban
adventurers out there care to
umm, mark? I'm terrified to go there because I love their food dearly and would go into a deep depression if they've gone downhill. I'm NOT terrified to go there because people of a different color from me live there. The only overtly "hostile territory" in New York I know is Howard Beach, where African-Americans are beaten or killed on sight should they dare to show their faces after dark.
I doubt I could say anything to change your outlook, but please understand that it's about as diametrically opposed to mine as humanly possible. I don't go to neighborhoods with a disrespectful attitude, intending to extract deliciousness from the local savages and run.
I immerse. And try to learn and grow and absorb as much as possible. Resonate with the people and the food and the culture. And perhaps provide a friendly, open, non-condescending example so that people like you won't completely poison locals against future visitors.
re: Jim Leff
Terrified to go back there
because the food might have
Jim, as much as we'd all like
some pleasant conversation,
"resonance" and "immersion"
along with our pulled pork
sandwiches, circumstances in
certain areas of the city do not
encourage this. As you
yourself pointed out in your
expedition notes, Mississippi
BBQ boasted a partition of
_bulletproof glass_ between
the employees and the
customers and then there was
the conspicuous absence of a
dining area. Something wrong
with this picture? People erect
such partitions for good
reason. They are endemic in
areas where violent crime is
an unfortunate and frequent
fact of life. Not the world we
want to live in, but regrettably
the world that we do live in (for
the time being, in any case).
It might also surprise the
instrumentalist in all of us that
violent crimes of ethnic hatred
occur all over our beloved land,
perpetrated by individuals and
groups of widely diverse
origins and relative melanin
concentrations. It involves
white on black carnage in
Howard Beach, "wilding" in
Central Park, and numerous
incidents of brutal stupidity in
high schools and police
stationhouse bathrooms, to
cite only a few local examples.
Inferring a disrespectful
attitude on my part for being
prudent in a dangerous area
suggests reflexive behavior
much akin to, well, a knee-jerk
reaction. Don't confuse caution
with incivility. Waiting on line
for a slab of ribs in St. Albans
doesn't make you or me Albert
"Terrified to go back there because the food might have
Yup. If you can't relate to that, I can't help but
wonder what attracted you to this website in the first
"People erect such partitions for good reason"
There's bulletproof glass in most banks and post
offices, as well. And, indeed, these places are
marginally more dangerous than, say, The Food Emporium
or a toy store. But I don't wear my kevlar vest to the
post office, and I don't expect to dodge hails of
bullets in banks.
There are NO non-violent nabes in this city. People are
gunned down and mugged all over, so guard must ALWAYS
be up. I've never had any kind of trouble in poor
nabes, though I've been mugged in--and had two cars
stolen from--"nice" ones. Of course, I hang around in
areas of "diverse melanin concentrations" (as you put
it) all the time, so I know better than to hold the
fallacious assumption that gangs of white-haters are
going to kick my ass for invading their turf (though
the reverse IS a correct assumption...sorry, guy, but
"wilding" in Central Park and some bathroom incidents
have NO equivalency with the fact that blacks after
dark in Howard Beach are proudly beaten/killed with
full approval by the community).
"Waiting on line for a slab of ribs in St. Albans
doesn't make you or me Albert Schweitzer"
You've got it completely 180 degree backwards. Eating
at Mississippi BBQ doesn't make me Albert Schweitzer.
It's not that SPECIAL an activity! In fact, it's just
perfectly normal. Totally really really normal. I don't
giggle or get giddy or try to make Them like me or
dress down or dress up or insist my companions keep the
engine running for a quick getaway. I just eat and have
a good time and merge into the scene. Most normal thing
in the world. Just like the locals eating there, none
of whom look very nervous or worked up about it--and
they LIVE in that mega-dangerous hotbed of unending
violent criminal activity!
"Inferring a disrespectful attitude on my part for
being prudent in a dangerous area suggests reflexive
behavior much akin to, well, a knee-jerk
The behavior you described in your first message had
little to do with prudency, and I'll leave it to others
to judge whether it was disrespectful.
For North Carolina style BBQ, I suggest Miss Mamie's
Spoonbread Too on 110th Street, between Columbus and
I've found their ribs to be consistently moist, tender
and full of flavor, in a sweet/hot sauce.
They also make the only collard greens worth eating
outside of your Mother's house!!!!
Sorry, but I went there two nights ago and HATED the place. It's a nice, charming room, and the food isn't the worst in the world, but the service is awful and the cooking's got no soul! Please, please go try Charles Southern Kitchen (2841 8 ave between 151/152 ). I did the very next day, in order to purge my palate. If it's not five times better, email me and I'll personally refund your dinner price at Charles (this offer applies to you only). Really. Go do it and report back.
re: Jim Leff
re: Jeremy Osner
"Why are you recommending Charles' Southern on a BBQ thread? Charles' ribs are not great, certainly not on the level of a Pearson's replacement."
yeah, of course you're right, jeremy, but threads drift and discussion inevitably falls further and further out of line with the subject titles. The next message boards software we get will allow people to reply in the same thread with a new subject title. Till then, we're stuck.
In any case, no, Charles doesn't smoke his ribs--though neither does Spoon . And, to split hairs, there's enough oven-baked barbecue being served in this country (Charles' is awfully good for the genre) that--like it or not--it's become a sub-type of 'cue. I'm a purist myself, but that's the way the term is headed. It's like the situation with jerk chicken. While it was customarily grilled over a fire (usually in oil drum), it's made in the oven by so many local Jamaicans that that's become a recognized and accepted--if far less delicious--preparation method.
sorry...gonna digress even more for a minute...
I was once chided by a Jamaican-American friend for bemoaning the dearth of oil drum fire jerk chicken in NYC. He said that if more people in Jamaica could have afforded ovens, there never would have been need for the more primitive method...and that I was being unfair--even condescending--in suggesting that they should stick to their ways of poverty. But, like I told him: creativity (and thus deliciousness) always flourishes under impediment.
Ok, I'm off for Jamaica. Hope to try ribs; will post results tonight.
re: Jim Leff
re: Jim Leff
I'm afraid you folks looking for barbecue in NYC are out of luck. During the three years I lived there, my desperate search for the real thing always led to a dead end. Problem is you're not able to get permits that will allow you to release enough smoke to properly cook the meat, at least in Manhattan. Ya'll come on down to Austin and I'll take you out for the real thing. It's worth the trip.
re: Allan Evans
Of course, a lot of what gets served at "traditional
Italian" restaurants in NYC _is_ authentic American.
Italian-inspired, of course, but not Italian.
As long as we're talking barbeque, what do you'all
think about Brother's? I haven't been to it since they
expanded. Back in the days when they were one store
down in the Village, I thought they were pretty good.
Where else is there decent barbeque in NY?
re: Josh Mittleman
I just recently ate at Brother's--I'd never been to the old place, so I don't know what to
compare it to. The decor is annoying right off the bat--vintage lunchboxes, etc., and the
meat just didn't deliver. My brisket was a sweet and soggy mess, and I can't even
remember what I had on the side. The hush puppies and their spicy sauce were pretty
good, but hardly enough reason to go back.
I have eaten at Brother's (both the old and new
location) several times. Brunswick stew is watery. No
good. Hush puppies are good. Beggars can't be
choosers in NYC when it comes to b-b-que. Nothing like
real hush puppies down south served with a side of
shed spread. I like white trash cooking a lot.
Anyway, when at Brothers go for the pulled pork
sandwich. It's the best I have found in NYC. Of
course it can't compare with Lexington Barbeque in
North Carolina or Maurice's Piggy park in South
re: Allan Evans
re: Chris E.
The smoker is comically tiny, and the meat is passed through it only momentarily. I tried the ribs and the brisket the moment I spotted the place. The ribs were incredibly tought, and the brisket like overcooked roast beef with nary a trace of smoky flavor. It seemed like a rather cynical operation to me, although the counterguys were friendly and fun-loving.