I'm sorry- i'm a big barbecue fan, but the food I bought there tonight was inedible. i can't understand the glowing reviews. Not a bit. I had sausage, which tasted like and had the consistency of cat food, and a rack of babybacks that had almost no flavor except for char. The beans were reminiscent of Heinz, but not as good. The only good thing was when I mixed their two sauces together the result was good- one was too sweet by itself, so when mixed with their hot sauce (almost like a wing sauce or cholula) they complemented each other nicely- reminded me of dreamland's sauce in Alabama.
The gents at the counter were very nice, and i want this place to succeed and cook good meat- It would save me many trips to 23rd St. in Manhattan, but that sausage? Put it this way- I got three for 10 bucks and threw out two. It was disgusting. Oh yeah- they have excellent pickles.
That certainly was an interesting description of the sausages...Speaking of hot links, remember Pearson's? I still miss Pearson's hot links,yuuuuuuummmmmmmm. We'd drive all the way to Jackson Heights just for those. From what I understand Pearson's simply smoked the Hillshire Farms Hot Links. When Pearson's NYC location was still open, I made the trip there and was told, unfortunately, that the hot links were off of the menu because Hillshire Farms had changed their recipe - or something to that effect. (I bowed my head and mouthed R.I.P.) Oh yeah, and I think the thing about liking the pickles is funny. A guy doing some work in my building was going on about how he liked the Smoke Joint pickles. He said he stopped there one day and just asked for a full order of pickles. He said the young lady at the counter looked at him like he was crazy, but yes they gave him a full order of the pickles!
my $.02 on smoke joint: it's a great addition to the neighborhood. the food is good and getting better. that being said, it is a "bbq shack". i am more than happy to walk 5 minutes for some pretty yummy bbq, but i probably wouldn't venture in from, say, manhattan for it. no, it's not amazing but it certainly isn't inedible. it isn't the difara's of bbq. you're never going to have to wait 45 minutes to get chicken wings, which is fine, less of a wait for me.
I know that they're tweaking the formulas, but what I've had so far has been good to very good. I really love their mac and cheese, the "Brooklyn" wings have gone from amazing to OK to very good, and the pulled pork sandwich was very good, allbeit a little greasy. The burnt ends were very tasty, though I imagine that they could be better elsewhere. I've only been to the Dreamland in Huntsville, which I've heard is not really comparable to the main location, but I did not enjoy their ribs at all. (But this is only from one visit.) Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur is my gold standard for ribs, and needless to say they are much better than The Smoke Joint's. However, I feel like they're putting out a quality product, are trying their asses off, and are quite accommodating of feedback - don't like something - let them know!
Oh, and - assuming it hasn't changed - the hot dog is very tasty - like a gourmet version of Grey's. (Natural casing with a great snap and a nice smokiness to it.)
We almost made the trip over yesterday, but opted out when we walked outside and felt the wind. Growing up in Alabama, the positive reviews gave me hope, but knew they were probably too good to be true. I imagine I'll make it sooner than later, but not worth trekking thru this weekend's crazy wind.
I have a few more slabs of ribs from Dreamland in the freezer to feed the cravings in the meantime. :)