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Mar 31, 2007 02:57 PM

Any suggestions for barbecue in Queens?

Looking for traditional American-style, pit-smoked bbq - not Korean or Chinese bbq.
I've tried that place in the bar near 35th Ave & 71st St in Jackson Heights and won't be going back.

(Sorry to irritate those of you inclined to say, "Try a search"; but not being able to sort by date is driving me up the wall!)

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  1. racer, when did you go to the Texas Ranger? If it wasn't very recent, I strongly advise to give it another try. There was a steady flow of positive reviews on the place back in Feb-March. I don't think you have other choice in Queens, I heard one other pit bbq place that was in Jamaica is closed.

    9 Replies
    1. re: welle

      Thanks for the tip. It's been at least 6 months since I went there. I guess I'll give it another try - it's just a 5-min walk away.

      1. re: racer x

        Alright, I did go back to Ranger's this past week. Food is as bad as I recalled: lacking in real smoke flavor, greasy, and accompanied by a thin, vinegary sauce.

        In a borough with over 2 million inhabitants, there's got to be another choice somewhere!

        1. re: racer x

          Well, I can't answer for the other problems, except to say that Ranger is Texas style BBQ and therefore the best (and IMO only really decent ) items are the brisket and the sausage when they have it. Oh, and that thin vinegary sauce is inherent to Texas BBQ.

          One of the problems is that operating a real smoke pit, without very very expensive and difficult to install ventilation equipment, is a violation of New York City law.

          1. re: Woodside Al

            i finally made my way over to legends/ranger.

            i remember reading somewhere that a woman was intimidated as the place seemed masculine to her. indeed, it def gave off the local watering hole kinda vibe (esp with the big cops sitting around in the front), but i was def not the only woman in there. there was a couple with a baby at a table and a group of mixed afterwork folks at another table. AND, wowee - the waitress is one friendly lady!

            we got ribs and a pulled pork sandwich, with onion rings and slaw. the slaw was nothing special at all - kinda tasted like deli cole slaw. i think it didn't have enough vinegar and sugar or something. the onion rings - also nothing special. they were soggy! real onions, but the outer crust was not a crust at all. the pulled pork sandwich was good, very tasteful and the sauce on the side was good. the ribs were charred - i suppose this is how it's supposed to be? but i'm weary of eating things that are literally black to the bones b/c of too much carcinogens being ingested. the meat was good, but i was afraid of all the black soot on it.

            overall, good meal, but i won't be going out of my way to go here.

            i found dinosaur BBQ over on the west side by 125th street or so in harlem to be my first choice (i liked it the best there over daisy may, dallas, texas, etc).

            1. re: Linda

              Thanks for the tip about Dinosaur BBQ, Linda! I got a takeout from them last night, and it was delicious. Had a sampler, with pork ribs, beef brisquet, and chicken. Juicy meats, nice smoke flavor, sweet sauce. Not as good as what I could get as a kid in Chicago, but one of the best I've had in NYC. (Ok, so it's not in the Outer Boroughs, but this is the voice of desperation!)

              1. re: racer x

                Fette Sau is in Brooklyn and is very good. I haven't compared it to Dinosaur but I would recommend you give it a shot.

                1. re: racer x

                  glad you enjoyed! dinosaur bbq originates from (i believe) rochester. apparently, the bbq at the original locations upstate are better b/c the bbq pits they use have years and years of built-up layers of smoke and such in them, adding to the 'cue flavor.

                  the dinosaur in harlem has been open for quite a short period of time - less than 2 years i believe - so it doesn't have the exact 'cue flavor from the pits being used for awhile. nonetheless, i love it there! :-)

                  1. re: Linda

                    It's from Syracuse, and the one up in Harlem has been there at least 2 years. anyway, I like their Q, but I'm a more fan of a Texas style bbq, just like Texas Ranger serves - pure smoke flavor - no sauces.

                    1. re: welle

                      thanks for the clarification - syracuse, but they also have a location in rochester.

                      and the harlem one opened in december 2004, so it's been 2.5 years since opening. :-)