smokeys 11101 lic
A few months ago I had a great experience at smokeys. For 20 bucks I had a huge half a rack of succulent smokey st louis ribs and a half a chicken. Easily two meals. Very good bbq, best in queens? The owner was very friendly shmoozed with us a bit and gave us a generous sample of the beef ribs. The beef ribs were out of this world. Gods cow! I plan on going back for the beef ribs.
I've tried Smokey's a few times, and I have to say I can't share your enthusiasm for the food. For us it's a fallback when it's getting late and we can't agree on what to eat on a Saturday night - on a similar level with the Pop Diner, but with more subdued lighting and better music. A decent enough place to have a couple of beers and dinner, food is not bad, but I would never recommend that someone make a special trip to try it. I agree the owner does work hard to schmooze the customers.
I did have a pretty good burger the last time I was there. I've tasted the ribs and chicken, they were fine, but didn't think they were that outrageous. As for the suggestion that it's the best barbecue in Queens - well, it's entirely possible, but considering the slim pickins we have here for American-style 'cue, it ain't saying much! What's their competition these days? It's certainly no comparison to Pearson's in its heyday (or even after its move to JH and eventual slide downhill). Every time I go Smokey's I'm struck by the irony of its location at Pearson's original LIC address. It suffers from the comparison.
These days when I'm around Vernon-Jackson and jonesing for some good barbecue, I park my car, hop on the 7 to Times Sq., and go to Virgil's for that outrageous Owensboro-style lamb.