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BBQ Joints Westchester and Fairfield Counties

Any suggestions? But also with great desserts....

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  1. Hmmm...Q is probably the best and most well known in westchester county and Im pretty sure it has kickin desserts. Theres a place in Westport that supposedly started out great but has gone downhill.

    The place I am going to make a trip to in about two weeks is Big W in wingdale, which was featured in the NYTIMES NY bbq article:


    Wingdale (right north of pawling on route 22) is probably about an hour/hour and a half from central Westchester. I am really psyched about it though...that 54 dollar for the table special that includes one pound of brisket/one pound of pulled pork, a rack of spare ribs, and a full chicken with 4 sides sounds like the best deal in all of NY for BBQ. I am gonna have to take 5 friends or so at least to finish that much food though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sambossanova

      I actually liked Jimmy Lee's, it was a chain wasn't it?? Does anyone know if they all went out? I also like Southbound and am anxious to try Q. Thanks for tip on Big W and The Barnstormer, there was also another place way up in Dutchess that I had been to that was pretty good, I think it was Memphis Max's or something like that.

      1. re: Sambossanova

        We tried Q last night and it was not great, defintely woke up with a Additive headache which really makes me very leary!!! I just feel you never know what is put in your food when eating out!!!!

      2. I agree with what Sambossanova said, Q in Portchester.

        Then for ribs, Big W in Wingdale.

        Where are you located or traveling from?

        13 Replies
          1. re: nbermas

            Port Chester. Pretty good stuff. They use Southern Pride gas/wood pits... pretty standard commercial setup. A modern atmosphere. Southbound, in Valhalla, is more of a rustic, western feel, using all-wood J&R Manufacturing's Little Red Smokehouse, built in Mesquite Texas. Should be better than Q, but oddly, when I was there, I thought the flavors -- rubs and smoke -- were a bit too subdued. Go to Q first.

          2. re: JMF

            I love Big W's. Too bad it's in Dutchess. Worth an occasional trip, though.

            In w-chester, Q and Southbound are the best I've tried, with Q taking the pulled pork trophy. Jimmie Lee's was pretty bad, but I drove by the other day and it looks closed. A new sign has a new name, something generic like: "North Star." Anybody have any news?

            1. re: Wizzapizza

              Jimmy Lee's been gone for a while. I never read anything positive about it so it's no loss.

              As a customer of Q since it opened, the overall quality has gone down a bit. The portions are smaller and some flavors are not as good. The price has increased $1-$3 as well. I spoke to management a few times and they admit to having smaller portions which they said was requested by the customers. Personally the portions are just right. I still think they are the best BBQ joint in the area so I'm not going to complain too much.

              1. re: pabboy

                well, they have a monopoloy pretty much on westchester bbq so i guess they can do that. Its a shame though cause I would start going on a regular basis if they hadnt increased their prices.

                1. re: pabboy

                  Smaller portions at higher prices REQUESTED by customers!?! HA! HA!!

                2. re: Wizzapizza

                  There were times I enjoyed Jimmie Lee's, but times it sucked too; not a good sign for a restaurant. I am from WP and have eaten at the new place, North End. It was pleasantly surprised. The food was delicous and the service was professional, something that cannot be said for its predecessor.

                  1. re: tbtiawid

                    What kind of food does North End serve?

                    1. re: laylag

                      Somewhere in between contemporary and new american..For appetizer I order tenderloin tips seared in butter w/ a cucumber salad and garlic toast and my girlfriend ordered the portobella mushroom over polenta w/ mozzerala and peppers. Entree I had Pasta Pie (never hear of it before so I had to try it) it was awesome and my girlfriend ordered shrimp scampi over linquini. Dessert we split a mixed berry trifle.....everything we ate was excellent, It is definately on my "radar screen" of places to go

                      1. re: tbtiawid

                        The pasta pie is intriguing . Sounds like an interesting new place to try. Thanks.

                3. re: JMF

                  Must sadly post a serious downhill alert for Q although it may be too late. Ate there recently - have been many times and had take-out many times. With the exception of the ribs the food was just pretty bad. The pulled pork seemed stewed, was fatty (in a bad way) and flavorless. The brisket was dry and also tasteless. Their collard were still enjoyable - I like Q's smoky and slightly sweet take on them - but filled with stems. Granted this has always been a problem there and I don't get it. Don't they strip them?

                  The ribs were actually right on which hasn't always been the case. They were not dry or overcooked as we've experienced on occassion but moist, well-smoked, tender and flavorful.

                  I'd read here they've opened a new location somewhere else in Westchester. I hope their attention hasn't been diverted from the PC location. I can't understand how the same owners who knocked it out of the park with Kneaded Bread - they are amazingly consistent and consistently amazing can be so erratic with Q and how they can allow it to slide downhill so dramatically.

                  1. re: laylag

                    I haven't been to the PC Q in a few months, but the Kisco version has been really good lately. I only go at lunch, but the brisket and pulled pork sandwiches have been very good. I had a brisket sandwich yesterday and it was tender and moist.

                    I have never really liked their ribs, actually, and haven't had them at the new location.

                    But that's a real bummer if they are dropping their quality at the PC location.

                    1. re: adamclyde

                      Okay Adam, I've got to ask but you don't have to tell. Where do you work that you can lunch all over Westchester ? I am constantly amazed by the geographic range of your food travel on a regular basis. From Mt. Kisco to Sunshine Deli in White Plains, regular visits to PC... I envy your mobility to lunch so eclectically and delicously as well as the Westchester Mag described slimness you can maintain while doing so!

                4. You need to check out Will Morton's Rotisserie in Greenwich, CT too...on Railroad Ave. Great baby back ribs, St. Loius ribs and rotisserie chicken. Oh, and the Venison burger rocks...

                  1. SCotty - I MUST disagree. I got take out from there one night and it was god awful. Not only they charge me something obscene for 5 (yes 5) ribs but they were dryed out and inedible as was the half of a duck I got there. The sides were even less appetizing and the whole thiong cost me an arm and a leg!

                    I saw go to Ribs on the Run on central avenue in White Plains/Harstdale - food is great and not expensive.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: KarenNYC

                      ribs on the run is pretty good but that doesnt qualify as bbq they just put bbq sauce on them.

                      1. re: Sambossanova

                        I agree that they don't count as BBQ. They are baked in an oven covered in glop, I mean sauce.

                        I don't know if I agree about the pretty good part.

                      2. re: KarenNYC

                        Karen - wow...I'm shocked...everytime I've eaten there its been great...either I've been lucky or you've been unlucky...:)

                        However, my wife did have a similar comment about a month ago...she thought her ribs were on the dry side and tough...although I had just scarfed an excellent venison burger so didn't take too much notice...:)

                        Hmmm...I will continue to monitor carefully...maybe they are getting slack...

                      3. Smokey Joe's in Stamford, Ash Creek Saloon in Norwalk, and The Cookhouse on the Darien/Norwalk line are my favorites in FF County.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Fairfield Foodie


                          I just got wind of a place in Fairfield called Wilson's BBQ from a friend. Any thoughts?

                          1. re: jfood

                            Sorry to tell you but not good at all!!!

                            1. re: jfood

                              Recently, my husband and I tried Wilson’s Real Pit Barbeque in Fairfield, CT. To say that the food was disappointing is very generous considering that we’ve had barbeque before. Our expectations were reasonable; we simply desired good food, even if it was a little different—well, long story short, the food was different but I wasn’t very good; it was actually quite bad.

                              The meat (3-Meat Platter/ Pulled Chicken Sandwich) was unseasoned and the “Hot Chipotle” Sauce on the Side did little to disguise its bland taste. The “Wilson’s Own Sauce” was even less agreeable than the “Hot Chipotle.” I wouldn’t recommend either; you would be better served using KC Masterpiece or even Kraft’s Open Pit. Most people wouldn’t even barbeque meat in the backyard without a hint of seasoning. I’m not sure who decided upon this technique—barbequing meat without seasoning it first—but it is not a very palatable one.

                              The sides were equally disappointing with the exception of the “Slaw” and “Idaho Fries,” which were decent. In particular, the “Mac & Cheese” was oily rather than cheesy, which suggests that: the quality of the cheese used was very poor, insufficient cheese was used, or someone needs a good recipe for macaroni and cheese. Just like anything else, macaroni and cheese requires good ingredients. For starters, there was probably no salt in the water when the noodles were boiled and no one bothered to season them before adding the other ingredients. It really was the worst macaroni and cheese that I’ve tasted; it’s difficult to believe that it’s being sold to people who think that quality macaroni and cheese is what they’re getting. The potato salad was basically inedible and, akin to the macaroni and cheese, devoid of any flavor; it was simply cold. To no avail, my husband attempted to add a little Miracle Whip, but even he couldn’t finish the small container entirely. Regarding the “Mimi’s Jag”/ Rice and Beans, he simply remarked, “It’s not good.” The cornbread wouldn’t even work for the birds, we had to pitch it.

                              Overall, the people appeared friendly at the establishment, but the poor quality of our food made the experience very disappointing and unpleasant. Suffice it to say, we will never return; this post serves as a warning to all those who wish to visit—BEWARE. For a small fortune, if you’ve had decent barbeque before, you’ll be utterly disappointed.

                            2. re: Fairfield Foodie

                              Hey Fairfield Foodie--
                              What can you tell me about Smokey Joe's? Someone asked me if I had heard of the place, but I didn't know anything about it.

                              Obviously Big W is always the preferred choice, but I'm looking for something closer. I haven't been to Q in over a year, so I am wondering whether I should go there, or try Smokey Joe's.

                              Also I noticed that Q has an oyster bar now?

                              1. re: Fairfield Foodie

                                I haven't tried Smokey Joe's, but I am wondering if there has been a revolution at Ash Creek and The Cookhouse. Tried both - couple times each - over the past few years, but no more recently than a year ago. They were awful - fatty (bad way) meat, overcooked, and covered with glop. If you have been there recently, tell me what their best items are and I'll give them another shot.

                              2. Sambossanova - I beg to differ - it may not be your idea of BBQ but they are BBQ ribs even if they aren't smoked in a pit or dry rubbed and they are moist and yummy. I've been to many of the traditional places in the area and have thought they were not that great.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: KarenNYC

                                  BBQ means long slow cooking with smoke. Period. That is the definition of BBQ.
                                  Anything cooked fast on a grill is grilled.
                                  If it is baked in an oven with sauce it is baked.

                                  Just because you have been to "many traditional places in the area" doesn't mean that they are really traditional, and most are not good examples of real BBQ either.

                                  Sorry that I have to disagree, but Ihave worked in a real BBQ pit down south and have been part of the competitive BBQ circuit and have many friends who are BBQ judges, Pitmasters, or own BBQ restaurants.

                                  1. re: JMF

                                    Can I get an Amen!?!?!

                                    What Ribs on the Run has may be ribs, it may have sauce, it may be moist and yummy but it aint BBQ.

                                    I'm sure there are readers from the South that's rolling their eyes reading this thread.

                                    1. re: pabboy

                                      I like Smokehouse in CT and Q in Portchester. The beans at Q are my favorite, I even think their BBQ is better than Dinosaur and Daisy Mae in the city, although for some mysterious reason Daisy seems to be getting better and better (I don't know how, its just a wierd observation)

                                      As far as Ribs on the Run, I simply find that place repulsive, overly sweet and disgusting. Their meat reminds me of that rib sandwich McDonalds came out with in the 80's...what was is called, the McRib? ew.

                                      1. re: pabboy

                                        A-a-a-aMEN! (Rolls her eyes...)
                                        Problem is that there are as many kind of BBQ as there are fish in the sea, and one man's plate "with yellow crud all over it" is another man's "Carolina Gold." I like a nice dry rub, but up here that is hard to get. I think in VA they use a lot of vinegar in the prep/marinade, but not any of the sweet sauces you see in most places. The definition is hard to pin down. In Florida, and no, not the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale part, where I grew up, the best BBQ often comes from street vendors in the Black parts of town, where they use old steel drums to make smokers. Everyone goes to those vendors for BBQ. There, it matters more the love and attention that goes into the food more than if they have an oyster bar and birch beer. In the South, BBQ is like a ritual, and everyone does it a little differently. Why can't it be the same up here? There is a lot to appreciate and admire up here too. I won't be the Southerner who says BBQ is only good down there. That is an arrgant and silly thing to say. I like Q, but I miss sitting in my car, eating a pulled pork sandwich bought next to a gas station.

                                  2. I know you said Westchester and Fairfield, but we have a great BBQ place in Newburgh, Orange County. The Barnstormer, a little hole in the wall in a strip mall with a Target store in it. They have GREAT pulled pork and all you can eat ribs for $19.99 on Wednesdays. Prices are reasonable and the food is great. The Cole Slaw is fresh and really delicious as are all the sides, especially the sweet potato fries.

                                    1. We like Holy Smoke in Mahopac. The BBQ items (ribs, chicken, brisket, etc.) are great, but the sides not so much...
                                      The desserts are very good and they have a wonderful beer selection. The staff is also friendly and it's a perfect place for families.

                                      1. I live in Fairfield and have tried Wilson's----but didn't like it much. The ribs were dried out and not too flavorful. I went when it was new, and heard it had improved----but I haven't been back.
                                        I have, however, gone to Bobby Q's in Westport and thought it was good. I even took a smoking class there with the owner and head chef, which was great. They do authentic smoked meat----NOT grilled, like someone discussed in a previous post. Now, I don't know how it compares to the south----but I found it good. They do both dry St. Louis ribs and wet baby-backs----both which are yummy. Check it out if you haven't already----it is on Main Street in Westport, CT.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: The Secret Ingredient

                                          Went to Smokey Joe's last weekend. To call it bad would be kind. They have a pit on premise, but they literally have the ribs wrapped in cellophane, then microwaved when you order them! They are not slow cooked at a low temp as they should be so they're very fatty. Same for the brisket and chopped beef. Fast cooked at a high temp so the fat is seared in. I'd rather McDonald's bring back the McRib than return here.

                                        2. Jeff's Cuisine in Norwalk - love their pulled pork and their ribs; have had their brisket and bbq chicken as well, but pretty much stick to the ribs and pulled pork.

                                          1. Bobby Q's is probably the best in fairfeild co. real slow cooked smoked meats.. good sides, reasonable prices it is the best ive found out of NYC, however if you realy want the best bbq you must go to NYC and go to brother jimmies now that is just like what you would get in south carolina , ect.... great prices great food and great atmasphere, usualy hot young waitress and diferent theme night like white trash wednesday and nickels wings on sunday+ $ 5 for a pile of rib tips and 50 cents beers some times too lots of tvs for games..... a real home run. www.brotherjimmys.com

                                            1. Q in Port Chester was always so so. Meats not smoky, sides like collard greens an beans way too sweet. We were nonetheless hoping the opening of Q in Mt Kisco would at least make up for the food by the short drive. Went last weekend to Q in Mt Kisco for first time and it was awful. Ribs so dry we could not even cut them with a knife. More than 1 table around us complained about the food. Nothing had a semblance of any smoked taste. It was worse BBQ than you could get at a TGIF or Applebees or a local diner. AND expensive for the portion. Wake up Q - lackluster food and expensive at that will bring you a quick death in these times, even if you get all the armonk parents and kiddies visiting at night (and from the looks of it, you aren't).

                                              1 Reply