I tried them when they first opened. The meats are very good and tender, but probably have less smoke/seasoning than other places. Baked beans are very good, the mac & cheese is lousy.
They did have quite a few service issues their first few weeks of opening according to several people, including long waits for food and running out of food well before posted closing hours. Hopefully they have those worked out by now.
There's also a very good barbecue place that opened up in Haledon called CC's Barbecue Pit, maybe 5 or 6 miles from Bourbon BBQ. (576 Belmont Ave.) Also very good meats, with good smoke flavor, and an outrageous mac & cheese. Probably a bit cheaper overall than Bourbon, but a little less atmosphere and located in a more working-class area.
I went the other day and was completely underwhelmed. The brisket was bland, the beans were not as good as the ones I make at home.
So far, (after 25 years of searching since I left Austin, TX) the only pretender to the throne of real good brisket is Hill Country in NYC, expensive though it may be.
Finally made the pilgrimage to CC's in Haledon. It's tucked away just off the main drag by the municipal complex. Was DEFINITELY worth the trip!
It was an immaculate shop with 2 tables (inside) and was empty at about 5PM on a Saturday. I called in my order of a full rack spare ribs platter with beans and cole slaw and corn muffin on the side ($15.95- full rack of baby backs just a buck more), an an order of BBQ Nachos smothered with the pulled pork($6.25 - also avail with turkey chili). Both were just completed to order as I walked thru the door 20 mins later. Chris and Caroline, (CC's, get it?) were behind the counter. Unfortunately, I was pressed for time go get home, so I didn't ask about rubs or other recipe details or to see the smoker and other equipment that prepared this BBQ ambrosia that was quaintly hidden behind a 6 foot backyard fence.
I mentioned the Herald article and the previous online posts and Caroline was quick to point out that Chris, but not she, was not from Tennessee. OK.
First lemme say that I've never, and I do mean NEVER, actually gotten a full rack of ribs when I've ordered same until this day. Certainly not at this price. The rack was packaged in two slabs- country style/untrimmed. It had a beautiful outer smoky char with just enough crunch and tangy sauce, that protected an inner core of moist, smoky goodness. There was a barely discernable smoke ring - mostly at the ends- but the smokey flavor went to the bone. It was cooked just short of fall-off-the-bone with the right amount of 'tooth', as they say. I only wish I asked for more sauce on the side as I like it sticky and sloppy. Or maybe ask for the ribs cut up individually and re-slathered with sauce before the trip home.
The pulled pork on the nachos had the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, with a hint of vinegar. It was in a generous layer over creamy melted jack cheese and crispy salty nachos, and drizzled with the BBQ sauce. Talk about balance. My son, a picky eater gobbled up about a dozen nacho rounds topped with the pork, cheese and sauce and gave it a thumb's up. This dish should serve 4 as an app, or one as an entre for a glutton like me. Even the leftovers were moist and tasty when reheated the next day.
The muffin was small but flavorful and was just the right size as a desert after the huge portions of ribs/Nachos. No, I finished less than half of each before giving up.
The beans were quite tasty and I agree could use an element of bacon and possibly BBQ sauce, but that's my preference.
Alas, I didn't care for the cole slaw. It was a dry style (no mayo) and was more too sharp, savory and peppery for my liking. I prefer a creamy piquant style to keep up with the ribs. Again, my preference - your results may vary.
CC's is next door to a fantastic looking pub called "The Shepherd and the Knucklehead" that is well rated on pubcrawler. There is a whiteboard outside with the list of current brews on tap that looked terrific. Alas, owing to time and no designated driver, I couldn't drag my 'cue next door and wash it down while piping hot.
This place has definitely risen to the ranks of where our next "Daddys' night out" may be held. 'Cue and brew, what could be better?
My fear in seeing this place empty on a Saturday night, albeit early, is that Chris and Caroline may not see enough ROI to keep it open. Please, let me be wrong. Hopefully the William Paterson U. crowd and word of mouth will help keep them afloat. If you're a 'cue lover, drop by and give them a try. Their "summer hours" were M-F 11:30-9 and Sat 4-9. Don't know how that's going to change come Fall.
It's hard appreciate, but the size of the containers in the picture are about 10x10 for the ribs and nachos and about 10x5 for the sides. Obviously the packaging isn't optimal, but a startup does have to watch its budget.