Front Street Smokehouse (review) (moved from Mid-Atlantic board)
Finally made it to Front Street Smokehouse in Elizabeth. Very inviting place, located at the foot of Elizabeth Avenue. Can't recommend it highly enough. Phil (the owner) really knows what he is doing. The stlye is Memphis. I had the brisket, which may have been the best I ever had. Extremely complex flavor, very moist. My wife had 1/2 rack of ribs--also terrific. Sides (mac and cheese, bbq black beans, fries, cole slaw) all home-made, all delicious, as were the corn muffins served when we sat down. They give you a pitcher of bbq sauce which I found too sweet and which overpowered the subtle flavors of the brisket. Very generous portions--no room for dessert. Also, nice bar with not very interesting selection of beers, although they have Stella on draft, which was ice cold and very good with the meal. Great music on the sound system--I remember hearing Hendrix and Buffalo Springfield, among others.
The place is very friendly and beautifully renovated. The location is very interesting--ships pass by right across the street, and as you drive down Elizabeth Avenue, you see all sorts of ethnic shops, bakeries and restaurants. On-street parking is very easy. We will be returning soon with friends.
I went to Front Street Smokehouse last Saturday and I have to say that I was not impressed. I ordered the brisket and ribs combo with a side of sweet potato fries and mac & cheese. The brisket was ok...not great. The ribs were overly salty while sweet at the same time. Weird. The fries were good and the mac & cheese was passable. The cornbread that came with the meal was oddly sweet and lacked the cornbread taste. Stranger still they didn't offer greens....cue without greens - unthinkable! As much as I wanted to like the Front Street, I just can't recommend the place.
Well, we finally made it to FSS on Sunday. We had some duets, trios, pig outs and chicken fingers for the little one (and they were really good). I loved the beef rib, really liked the baby back ribs, sausage was great and so was the chicken and pulled pork.
A couple of months ago I told my brother about FSS and he had remembered when he had to put together an office party. He went up and met Bruce and he had FSS cater the party for about 30-40 people. My brother wasn't sure about how much food there really would be and so in true Italian form he ordered tons of food. Well, guess what his office is going to have another party and they are all asking for FSS to cater it again! Bruce said that they can come with a smoker or whatever and actually cook onsite. Who knows they may do that in future too.
P.S. The weather was so nice on Sunday that we went across the street in the park and watched a really large barge come in and get unloaded along with numerous boats going thru what I think is called the Arthur Kill. We were also surprised to see so many fish and blue claw crabs in the water.