Biscuit - AVOID....
As a huge BBQ fan I was definitely impressed and hopeful when Biscuit had a line out the door on Friday night. We went last night to check it out and I honestly can't recall when I had a worst meal. and the more I think about it, how does one expect good BBQ from a restaurant that recreated itself in a matter of weeks - I mean, isn't BBQ a craft, a skill? But while you can get great ribs at non-bbq restaurants like Waterfront, the food being put forth from Biscuit's kitchen is an insult. How can you truly ruin fried chicken - or even make flavorless biscuits (esp when its your name!!) I can whip out some fantastic one in a shake with my bisquick mix. My fried chicken had zero flavor or spice - completely bland and while the meat was moist, it was lacking and the pieces were just skin and fat - which I am nbow thinking probably cld have been great with a good batter. The ribs that my husband got were tough, not even cooked and flavorless - unedible which did not matter at all to the waitress. And the sauces are not the best too. Whomever on an earlier post recommended bringing your own - is that really what we have come to? Why do I need to bring my own condiments to a restaurant that should be able to have that covered??? It would have been great to have a BBQ spot in the slope - but this is just not it - take a pass, i guarantee you will thank me. Go to sadie mae's for chicken and waterfront for ribs.
I ordered from Biscuit a couple of weeks ago and must say I was surprised. It was actually pretty good. The ribs were lightly charred and moist and the pulled pork was decent (not amazing). I was talking to one of the owners and he was telling me how managment and the cook are new (old friends from Brooklyn). Has anyone else been here since the scathing reviews from earlier this year? I changed my mind...anyone else?
I gave Biscuit a while (after they opened) to get things going. I know it's not always the *best* idea to hit up a restaurant in their first couple of weeks, because you're going to have glitches and errors that can affect your impression of the place. Having said that, I waited until quite recently to go there for some gnoshing.
My friend and I went there on a Sunday for brunch, late enough where BBQ was a definite option. The service wasn't bad (though not incredibly attentive, which I'm okay with). My friend ordered the eggs with sausage and a biscuit; I got the same, except I ordered it with bacon.
We were confused by the server's response to having my friend's eggs poached, that it would "...take too long." In what sense? Poached eggs take, what, a few minutes? It took quite some time for the food to show up, which was odd, given that what we ordered shouldn't have taken longer than 10 minutes.
Both the sausage and the bacon were, actually, really good. That's some great bacon they have going on there. I could have eaten a lot of it. I didn't really detect a strong smoky flavor to the sausage, but whatever.
The biscuits: disappointing. These were closer to scones in terms of consistency than actual biscuits. They were heavy, dry, and needed to be washed down. We didn't finish them. To echo what many others have said, you really should have fantastic biscuits if it's going to be the name of your joint.
Having heard much about the actual BBQ at this place (both good and bad), I decided to test the waters for myself, and asked for a pulled pork platter to go (ordered with mac & cheese and coleslaw) and a quarter rack of ribs.
The quarter rack is $12, and you have to order it with two sides. I was surprised that you couldn't just get a quarter rack. I didn't *need* two more sides -- and $12 for this 1/4 rack with sides was a bit more in price than other places I've been to. All the same, I figured, "why not?" -- and ordered the bacon (again) and the ham.
I live close by, and feeling saucy (no pun intended, BBQ sauce, ha ha) decided to gorge myself once I got home. No point in letting the food sit, get nasty, and therefore influence my opinion.
I was less than pleased.
The ribs: I don't believe they were smoked long enough at all. Furthermore, they were charred -- and I'm talking "wiping the black carbon char off on a towel" charred. Whomever grilled these ruined them. They were tough. Not to compare to other places, but I've never had ribs like this in NYC until now.
The mac and cheese: VERY good. I do recommend that.
The coleslaw: excellent as well. Recommended.
The bacon: I dig the bacon.
The ham: unimpressive. Slight smoky flavor; not much to brag about, though. It was just...ham. Not a ham steak or anything.
Finally, the pulled pork. I understand some places don't serve it with sauce. That's not terribly unusual. So when I went to dig in, I was going for a good pulled pork flavor, tender, delicious.
Instead, it was chewy and not terribly flavorful. I feel the same way I felt about the ribs -- undersmoked. I don't know how they're cooking their bbq -- I know some places rely heavily on the smoking for getting it tender and then flash heat it. Other places don't, and they can still turn out quality product. This pulled pork...chewy, with mediocre flavor.
What kills me is that the sign proclaiming Biscuit to be a "BEST IN NYC 2005" through Citysights/AOL is STILL in the window. At this point, I'd feel that was an accolade for another restaurant -- not this one.
I don't think Biscuit is in a bad location. I think that's a great spot for a restaurant, and to be frank, if Star of India (next door) disappeared tomorrow, the wall should be knocked down so it'd be one big joint.
I also don't think Biscuit is the worst joint I've ever eaten in, by far. But on BBQ alone, I would not go back.
biscuit seems to have an excellent PR person...instead of an awesome cook. i went to the original location years ago after hearing about it and ordered nearly everything on the menu. if i recall, the owner's wife was a baker and thus, had excellent biscuits and baked goods. i liked the biscuits back then as i liked the cookies but the bbq was just utter crap.
i havent gone to the new location but went to the original one now and then since a bbq fix is necessary and its close to my apt. each time, the pork is either dry and rubbery or wet...like as in steamed...the brisket had what tasted like canned tomato sauce as a base. everything was just plain bad.
this place will go away soon, I predict. The previous two places in this location didn't last, doubt this one will. Was in there last night (Thursday), which should be busy, it was pretty dead. so was the food. Super spicy BBQ sauce on the ribs, couldn't taste anything but spicy and then no sauce on the pulled pork sandwich, no sauce on the table at all. Sides were pretty good, but $9 for a boring pulled pork sandwich, unforgivable. $16 for a half rack of ribs. They should be making it great for that much money. Too bad, BBQ is so good, I would love to be able to get it close to home.
Ate at Biscuit the first week it was open. What a waste of space. First, as a person whose worked and managed for over 10 years, I wanted to forgive the mistakes, and be gentle. But....we were delivered the wrong food, the onion rings were at first great until we got to the super oversalted part, the fried chicken was crispy enough but bland, the ribs? Dont even go there...burnt on the outside, dry, and flavorless. The wines by the glass were expensive for what they were and tasted like they'd been open since before Biscuit opened. Dont insult barbeque unless you know what you're doing. Actually go to South Carolina or anywhere in the South, go to St Louis, and learn some barbeque technique before you slap that name on a restaurant!
I do agree with you all that Bar BQ isn't that great (I just said it was better than Biscuit- not saying much admittedly) Their pulled pork is OK as long as you douse it in the tomato-based sauce but the rest...not so much. I must have been drunk when I ate there (many times).
Does anyone remember Pearsons? They used to be in Queens then on the Upper East Side but they closed. They said they would reopen but that was a year ago. They had great ribs and delicious cracked corn.
That Pepsi Challenge-ish tasting sounds like a hoot! If you get 'er organized, let all of us in on it, please. As to your list, please do not include Pioneer in with the other at least worthy joints of pork and beef. I am not sure what they think they are doing over there, but it just ain't real 'que.
I guess I should go back to Dinosaur. Took some food out and brought it back to Brooklyn and I really wasn't terribly happy. I also wasn't happy about the service at the take out counter. They were a little rude. I guess I ask too many questions, "what kind of wood do you use? Ever been to North Carolina? Texas? Dry rub? Wet?" (smile.) Don't get me wrong, it was't horrible or anything. I was just expecting more. I like Famous Dave's 1000 times more. Yep. I don't mind driving to get me some good bbq. I'm still a little sad about Pearson's...Yeah, maybe I'll make the trip up to Harlem and give it another try. I'd like to go to a side by side tasting of all of the NY metro area bbq joints. That would be awesome...better adjust my belt again. Are there any NYC metro joints that we haven't mentioned?
The Smoke Joint
Brother Jimmy's (?)
Who am I forgetting??
For everyone who thought this place was aweful... good for you, because it was. I encourage all of you to make the effort to go to Dinosaur Bar B Que up in Harlem. I used to go to the original in Syracuse, and they have transfered down to Manhattan very well. Good smokey ribs... nice pink ring... brisket... delicious.
There has been so much negative vibe on Biscuit in the less than two weeks since it (re)opened, I have to wonder what is at work here. I do not eat meat, so I have no clue about what makes good barbecue. But I do know that one has to give a new place a few weeks to iron out the kinks. So much has been written on chowhound about jumping to early conclusions early in a restaurant's lifetime. So, either the food is really bad or people have had such bad experiences at this joint's prior manifestation that they are not willing to give it a chance. If it was packed this weekend, perhaps others are going to be more generous in their assessments.
famdoc, you are a very reasonable person.
I don't really understand this pile-on of dislike, 'cause when I tried it the opening weekend it wasn't that bad. Not brilliant, but nothing like the above. I'm the poster who suggested bringing your own sauce in the earlier thread.
BTW we got plenty of napkins and some wet wipes with the ribs - go figure - and they were tender with good bark.
Now I kinda want to go back . . .
They made a b*tchin' deviled egg that came with one of the salads we ordered. I was also wondering about the shrimp boil and the green chile stew.
It's not an initial judgment - if it were I would totally agree with you. However, Biscuit was open for several years over on Flatbush and it sucked. In fact, I think it progressively got worse as time went on, not better. It's clear from the tone of most posts that the chef wasn't honing his 'cue skills during his downtime.
We walked by on Friday night and thought about going in, but the place was packed and we decided against it. Instead we ordered a few slabs from Dreamland in AL to be FedEx'd up for this weekend.
In Brooklyn I still enjoy Pies & Thighs, and plan on checking out the Ft. Greene spot soon.
With the population density of NYC, the smoke and smell of a real bbq pit would probably be illegal and a huge quality of life issue... I think I've resigned myself to mail-ordering my ribs.
The original Biscuit was awful - he's had around five years to work on getting it right - it's clear that Josh Cohen either has a horrible palate or just can't cook. The biscuits at the original Biscuit were also awful. The Pillsbury ones from the "exploding cans" are certainly 100x better that these ever were, or likely will be.
I totally agree. I went there last week for dinner and it was truly awful. I never got to the original Biscuit, but had heard good things and was excited to learn they were re-opening. Needless to say, it's going to be a very, very long time before I go back.
As I was waiting for my friend, I watched Josh Cohen himself serving the dishes. Everything look delicious and I couldn't wait to dig in. We started with the onion rings, which really were the best part of the meal. Not too much batter and the side of ranch dressing is a nice (and surprisingly good) touch. And then there was dinner. I got the combo platter with pulled pork and brisket, with collard greens and cheddar grits. My friend for a 1/2 rack of ribs with mac and cheese and biscuits. Nothing was good. He said the ribs were tough and dry and flavorless. I tried a bit of biscuit, which was cold and far too dry. He said the mac and cheese was just ok. I can't even explain the pulled pork, except for the word soggy. It seems like it had been soaked in water and was totally flavorless. The brisket was tough and really, really fatty. Barely any meat. And also flavorless. And the sauces really didn't do anything to help. The collard greens tasted like they had been soaking in vinegar for days. I've never had grits before, so all I can say is that it wasn't my cup to tea.
To top it all off, our waiter was awful. He never came around to re-fill our water glasses or to ask if the meal was ok. We needed to flag him down twice in order to get extra napkins (who serves ribs without bringng any extra napkins??) and didn't ask us if anything was wrong when he came over to clear our plates...which still had a good amount of food on them.
I'm hoping that these are just growing pains. I did actually talk to Josh for a few minutes to ask if he was going to do the pig roasts again. He is very nice, and I want this place to succeed, but I can't see it unless the quality goes way up.
Up in Sunset Park there's that place Bar BQ. I've never been, but it's GOT to be better than Biscuit. I also keep swinging for my new bbq fave - the Smoke Joint in Fort Greene. But Biscuit, I can't see why so many people are drawn to it. To be fair, I have only had 2 meals at Biscuit, but they each were really bad. Okay - the greens were decent, but that's it.
Bar BQ is ok, but I wouldn't really recommend it. The first time I went the ribs were good, fall off the bone tender but still moist...second time they were quite dry. Don't even think about gettng the M&C, it's like greasy squishy macaroni with no discernable cheese on it. Greens are ok, beans are ok but remeniscent of canned baked beans. My friend liked the pulled pork. They have several hotsauces and a vinegar sauce. It's a pleasant place but maybe better for just a beer.