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Real Barbecue in Central Jersey

MGZ Nov 10, 2007 12:34 PM

My wife is originally from western North Carolina. On trips to see her family, we stop in and around Lexington for barbecue. The only way I have been able to get good barbecue at home, however, is to dedicate 12-14 hours to preparing pork shoulders on my grill at home. Simply stated, real barbecue requires two things -- time and wood.

Anyone know of a place where I can get real barbecue in the Garden State? Doesn't matter to me what style, per se, but the place must prepare it properly -- slowly and with real smoke.

  1. l
    lomlfoml Sep 22, 2008 05:47 PM

    I got to Porky's Point, technically in Mullica or Elwood, on Rte 30 (WHP). He has a phone, and a pleasant personality, and a Satisfactory rating from the health people. I had the phone number and lost it. Perhaps this was a Freudian slip. First of all, he does not parboil; his reaction when I asked could not be doubted. There were racks of ribs, cooked that day, and also pre-sauced ribs in a pan, 'in case you can't wait', he said. People do sit outside and eat (two men had great looking pulled pork sandwiches and were raving about them). He has two sauces - a thick red (the one on the ribs in the pan) and another which would be incredibly good on Buffalo wings. The ribs looked rubbed, and the membrane was gone!

    Prices were quite high for a takeout place, I thought. A rack, and not a large one at that, was 23$, and I also took 4 of the pre-sauced ribs; my total was $28. The meat on the sauced ribs was good, though, again, the sauce was not really anything; like Sweet Lucy's in Phila. But there was something going on with our rack which was unpleasant. Even my husband, who is not generally very particular about freshness of anything (well, that's not fair, but he will eat leftovers several days after I will), noticed a strange taste. Now I know there are rubs which will make pork taste unusual, to say the least, so I am not saying anything definitive here. I'd love other people to try it and post what they think.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lomlfoml
      gbean Sep 25, 2008 01:41 PM

      Has anybody tried Porky's in Morrisville, just over the bridge fm Trenton in the plaza that has the farmer's market. Not the best but I thought it was pretty good for around here.

    2. d
      dlhhr Sep 21, 2008 09:49 AM

      Georgie Porgies. I had to try this place after reading the MunchMobile and others' reviews. Another Jersey BBQ disappointment!! I had the brisket sandwich which had excessive sauce dripping on it and nice tender meat. The problem- absolutely no flavor..no smoke taste. Sauce should be on side, only if ordered. Tried a slab of baby backs with the same result. No flavor but slightly indercooked with no smoke flavor.Very nice owner but he knows little about real Q. He uses propane for his smoker and only hickory wood which I couldn't even smell. I have lived in Jersey for one year and have yet to find decent or great BBQ. I guess I will have to continue to do it myself.

      3 Replies
      1. re: dlhhr
        HMBTurboT Sep 24, 2008 10:17 AM

        Sorry, but I beg to differ with you DLHHR. I don’t know how you say it’s a disappointment. Some friends and I have stopped there many times and I agree will the Munchmobile assessment of making him a “Top Dog". I’ve had the brisket and it’s never dripping with sauce. That and the pulled pork sandwich is always VERY good and moist and tender. I’ve gotten the ribs to travel and think they were good too. In 6 to 10 hours of cooking how can it be ‘undercooked’? I usually heat them up the next day on the grill for an hour and the kids loved them! Of course when I make them I prefer the membrane cut off, but they were good. I was at a kayaking event at Spruce Run a few weeks back where some BBQ Restaurant other then Porgie's catered and it was bad! We all left and went to this Georgie’s place about 4 times. If you actually speak with the owner, he does smoke everything…think he said the propane is just to keep it warm later in the day. I give it two thumbs up without a doubt. Worth the trip.

        1. re: HMBTurboT
          dlhhr Oct 4, 2008 11:12 AM

          Well, we must agree to disagree. H eprobably cooks his food low and slow which results in pretty tender product. However, he is only using hickory which i couldn't taste. He should use a mild fruit wood like apple or cherry. I didn't mention that he didn't remove the membrane. Flag on the play! This is BBQ 101..always remove the membrane. I wouldn't return even if I lived down the block. I did speak with the owner in detail about his preperation. As I said, a real nice guy and I hope he makes it.

          1. re: dlhhr
            chuck98 Dec 26, 2010 05:44 PM

            Actually, I've heard from a reputable source that leaving the membrane on can result in more tender meat. Keeps the fat from leaving the meat or something, not sure of the details. Still, I remove it and am happy with the results, so no big deal either way.

      2. MGZ Sep 9, 2008 01:48 PM

        We finally made it to Ben's Extreme Barbecue. Still being a bit dull-brained from an epic meal at Trinity the night before, we decided that the Bayville location would be our destination (It has a bar). We arrived giddy with anticipation and ordered draft beers ($2 pints!) and chicken wings (plain) before we even sat down.

        First off, this is real barbecue. It, however, is not great barbecue. It might have been when it was first cooked, but the fact that the food is smoked off site (at the Forked River location) diminishes its quality. (Next time we'll drive a little further south and bring a six pack!)

        Regardless, the place serves very good grub. The chicken wings were great when doused with the habanero barbecue sauce. I would also very highly recommend the roasted garlic soup.

        We tried the pulled pork, brisket, and sweet sausage. Each was well cooked - the smoke ring visible and the tenderness of slow cooking apparent. Bottom line - it's not Lexington #1 but it's a lot better than the "oven-steamed finished on a gas grill" products that are the norm in this part of the state.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MGZ
          lomlfoml Sep 18, 2008 07:03 AM

          If you're reading this AND planning a trip to Cape Cod, please look at the New England board's Worst of the Cape thread, where I posted a review on bbq restaurants there, after it was pulled here where I mistakenly posted it last night. Or, the title of the thread might do it for you. :)

        2. g
          GeoGreco Aug 5, 2008 01:21 PM

          This guy is amazing everytime i'm down in AC i stop on my way home to load up. Best Barbeque around


          13 Replies
          1. re: GeoGreco
            lomlfoml Sep 4, 2008 05:19 PM

            Hi. It seems replies can be made within sub-sections here, but I'm going to try make all replies in one, here.
            1. All the Big Ed's except the original Matawan location are closed now. We found big differences in the quality of preparation at the 3 we tried; Dayton NJ on rte 130 adjacent to the motel being by FAR the best, and the most recently closed. Matawan does not understand the words 'well done' even after sending them back; Rte 130 in Burlington was all over the map on that. I know people were saying they didn't actually smoke their ribs, but in fact, the finished grilled product was awfully good. Matawan's baby backs were fattier than other locations, and the staff a bit too indifferent, yet hyperactive. :)
            2. So, beginning the hunt for a new bbq place, we tried Ben's Bayville. First off, the garlic bisque is perhaps the best soup in the galaxy. The ribs would have been really good if they hadn't seemingly been sitting around for a day or two before being re-heated. The menu says they don't 'slather' with sauce, just have a great rub. BUT when we ordered baby backs, she asked if we wanted the sauce cooked on, and we figured no, we could add from the 5 kinds on the table, but there was no rub! So that was weird.
            Have the other restaurants mentioned here solved the ribs-sit-around problem? This must be the reason my husband is raving about our smoker and how I'm doing with it. It is CERTAINLY not because I know what I"m doing, but the stuff is fresh-cooked.
            3. I found Famous Dave's (ah, which one; I don't know) mediocre at best. Strangely, the chain Smokey Bones has proved excellent, with a strong recommendation for just choosing Original, not any of their other styles which are generally on special. Baby backs are best, but spareribs are good too. There was one in Langhorne near Oxford Valley Mall, but it closed, so now you have to go to Reading (Directions on google AND smokeybones.com have errors) but since people do go there it's a strong recommend. Actually smoked, pink, and juicy.
            4. WHERE IS THE PLACE Carolina BBQ again? I drove down Quakerbridge thru 5 points onto Whitehorse/Mercerville Rd, past Klockner & Kuser, and turned into my dentist at Olden. Nothing. Is it still there?

            We stopped last year at a place on 206, fairly close to rte 30, and it's on the northbound side of 206. We couldn't have been more disappointed. The lady opened up a foil covered baking dish and took out some very VERY wet ribs which had been simmering for possibly days, and served them.

            Are the other places mentioned still open? Corky's? Does anyone know about the place Ole something on 31N but south of Clinton? We passed it going to Easton & Allentown for a bbq day-trip. (results: Crazy Jakes, Easton, mediocre, and Grumpy's Allentown not bad at all but we weren't hungry!! Neither, seemingly, removed the membrane, btw.)

            I know this was a huge post; hope that's ok once in a while.

            1. re: lomlfoml
              Heatherb Sep 5, 2008 04:00 AM

              You didn't go far enough to get to Carolina BBQ. You have to go past Olden to the point with the light where Monti's used to be (Monti's is now Pete's Steak House Tavern, and business looks to be booming).

              1. re: Heatherb
                lomlfoml Sep 5, 2008 01:17 PM

                Thank you! After the rains come and go, we'll be there! Also, intending to go to Sweet Lucy's all-you-can-eat bbq buffet Monday night, and will report back. It's on the Pennsy side, but still.

                1. re: Heatherb
                  TarheelYankee Sep 6, 2008 06:07 AM

                  That's still not far enough to get Carolina BBQ, you have to head down 95-South, until you reach...North Carolina.

                  I get so frustrated with all the BBQ places touting "Carolina BBQ", I've yet to find one that actually comes close (I was born and raised on Eastern Carolina BBQ)

                  1. re: TarheelYankee
                    MGZ Sep 6, 2008 06:26 AM

                    Then, you have to go west until you hit Lexington.

                    1. re: MGZ
                      TarheelYankee Sep 6, 2008 07:29 AM

                      Want to split a tank (or 4) of gas?

                      sorry, MGZ, I clicked on your message "reply", but for some reason, it posted as a reply to my own.

                    2. re: TarheelYankee
                      lomlfoml Sep 6, 2008 09:44 AM

                      I'm probably going to forgo it then; one bbq outing a week, and this week will be Sweet Lucy Monday buffet. Too much vinegar is a problem for me.

                      By the way, though, as I said, Big Ed Matawan was our least favorite Big Ed's, it's not that bad; just different than you may like. As grilled ribs go, not bad at all. Friends have eaten and enjoyed all different stuff at the other one too. I wouldn't disparage it that much... ;)

                    3. re: Heatherb
                      abatwork Jan 8, 2009 10:46 AM

                      I finally got to Carolina BBQ in Hamilton, on Whitehorse Avenue just a block past S.Olden. There is no parking on Whitehorse Avenue so you have to turn in front of the place into the one way street (Milton Ave.?)and there are 4 parking spaces in back. (you're right...opposite a booming Pete's Steak House at lunchtime.)

                      They are open Tues-Sat. Closed Sunday and Monday. Tel: 609.585.2885
                      There are no tables, 3 stools at a counter and takeout is the preferred mode of dining and they say that dinner is their busy time, not lunch.
                      I chatted with the owners a bit and decided on the rib lunch platter.

                      The ribs came on top of rice with gravy and I chose cole-slaw and collard greens for the sides. They told me that everything is home made as I watched them make potato salad.

                      The ribs were Fair, reheated and probably a little too long in the frig. I don't think you can really resurrect ribs after they are cooled down a day or two. They were smoked, not boiled and a little hickory taste came through. they were sauced (lightly), but all in all no biggie. Kind of disappointing.

                      The sides were another matter: the cole slaw was the right amount of slaw, dressing and spices, very good. The greens were toothsome with bits of ham hock or something similar in there, very tasty and not limp like most are.
                      The rice and gravy hiding under the foil of ribs was also delicious and not soggy.
                      I'll post again after I try the pulled pork.

                    4. re: lomlfoml
                      athenanike111 Sep 5, 2008 11:15 AM

                      Liked the round of reviews.. : )

                      Corky's is still at the Tropicana in AC.

                      re: Clinton
                      I thought the BBQ thing was a food truck on the side of the road in a parking lot on 31N right before Spruce Run entrance/turn.... Did not see it last time I was in Clinton.

                      However, did see signs for ribs & pig roast further north on 31, but did not drive that far. Was camping that weekend with husband, so trying to 'rough it'. : )

                      1. re: athenanike111
                        lomlfoml Sep 5, 2008 01:26 PM

                        Thanks for the compliment! I had found the Corky's thing, and since they explicitly say they smoke, (and don't say they parboil, but of course, would they?) we'll be trying it immediately after this round of hurricaines.

                        The Ole Something place on 31 is a huge big restaurant, on the east side of 31. There may also be truck guys, but this is not that. It may be Ole Mill BBq. Anytime I pass it, I'm on my way somewhere and have never stopped. I think maybe we did stop once before the non-smoking laws took effect, and we walked right out, but that could be some other situation.

                        Can't wait to try Corky's. This could be a reason to go back to AC for the perpetually decreasing Atlantique.
                        Thank yoU!

                        1. re: lomlfoml
                          ambrose Sep 5, 2008 01:48 PM

                          The restaurant you're thinking of is the Ol' West Barbecue, located just south of Clinton on Route 31N. I believe it's actually in Annandale. Reviews on this board have been rather mixed but I have to say the parking lot is always full! I haven't been for over a year and can only say that the food was fine and the service was adequate (just). Friends who are really into barbecue tell me it's OK only because there's not much else nearby.


                          The truck you're thinking of is (I think) Georgie Porgie's and it is indeed on Route 31N near the reservoir. It's easy to miss because by the time you see it you've passed the entrance. I've never gone but there was a brief discussion about this place earlier this year:


                          1. re: ambrose
                            ambrose Sep 6, 2008 03:48 AM

                            Just discovered an article that discusses Georgie Porgie's. Go to the following link, page down about half way and you'll see it (also some great photos):


                          2. re: lomlfoml
                            lomlfoml Sep 7, 2008 06:07 PM

                            I am replying to my own post here, because we tried Corky's tonight. I am going to post this in a new thread, because I want to send it to their Memphis HQ. Please read it if you contemplate going to AC to Corky's.

                            I will add that on the way home, going W on rte 30 (White Horse Pike) having just passed a mailbox at 4206 WHP, and about 8 miles east of Hammonton, we saw a closed bbq place called Porky's Point, Inc. They had two huge oil drum style smokers, one going, and a little smokehouse going. Couldn't see anyone around. There was a Porky's Point concession step van in the yard. The sign on the building itself is missing letters. There is a circular driveway. There appears to be a restaurant but maybe not. :) If you get to Wharton Park Blvd you have missed it. HAS ANYONE SEEN/TRIED THIS?

                            Please follow me over to the Corky's review. Thank you.

                    5. a
                      athenanike111 Jul 24, 2008 01:30 PM

                      Here's a question I have...

                      Does the sauce matter at all, and if so, any places have great BBQ sauces of their own? One of the reasons I like Famous Dave's (besides it's proximity to my home, and general quality of the BBQ) is that each table has 5-6 different barbecue sauces to try with their meat.

                      Another great place with pig roast & great BBQ sauce is the Amish Farmer's Market in Kingston on Route 27. There's has little bits of onion, and a great tangy, sweet, spicy balance...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: athenanike111
                        MGZ Jul 24, 2008 02:28 PM

                        I've always thought that the rub was more important than the finishing sauce. Also, many cooks use a mopping sauce during the cooking process to maintain/add moisture, particularly with the slowest cooking cuts, brisket for example. Mopping sauces generally differ from sauces in that they are added throughout the cooking process and have a lower sugar content so as to prevent burning. One favorite of mine is a combination of apple juice and Jack Daniels.

                        When I serve ribs, brisket, or chicken, its sauce only on the side. I prefer to eat those cuts dry (although, sometimes I can't help but to put some sauce on beef ribs - I like the extra sweetness there). Making pulled pork, however, requires some type of saucing for the preparation - the NC style we prefer uses a predominently vinegar sauce.

                        BTW - thanks to everyone for responding to this post!

                      2. HillJ Jul 23, 2008 09:52 PM

                        This year's Monmouth County Fair, Freehold (all this week) includes their 1st try at a BBQ Competition. Any NJ chowhounds entering?

                        1. a
                          athenanike111 Jul 14, 2008 03:00 PM

                          This would not be Central NJ, but there is a Corky's in Atlantic City at the Tropicana hotel & casino. It's an outpost of the famous Corky's from Memphis, Tennessee.
                          I went there last year, and the meat AS WELL AS CONNECTIVE TISSUE was all falling off the bone... So even the cartilege at either ends of the bone fell off, and the bare rib bone was left. ('Can't say the same for Famous Dave's, although the one in NB is where I generally go.) I thought it was well deserving of Corky's name.

                          This is a bit of a trek though... If you're in central NJ, the NYC, Elizabeth, and Morrisville joints are probably closer.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: athenanike111
                            JessKidden Jul 14, 2008 07:35 PM

                            "...the meat AS WELL AS CONNECTIVE TISSUE was all falling off the bone..."

                            Many a barbecue purist disdains the "falling off the bone" ribs and prefers the meat to have a bit more texture and stay on the bone save for the bite taken. One can, of course, bake or boil (in sauce or water) ribs to the point of having the meat falling from the bone, much to the chagrin of the barbecue lovers. Most would favor a nice smoke ring and smokey flavor over "falling off the bone" over-cooking.

                            Here's just one example of that opinion (after a 5 second Google)-

                            1. re: JessKidden
                              athenanike111 Jul 24, 2008 01:25 PM

                              Interesting article... Thanks for sharing this. I guess it may not be best BBQ to have it really falling off the bone..

                              I do remember watching some BBQ documentaries on Food Network and History Channel where the pitman knew by site when the rib slab was near break when the meat was done. Certainly smoke ring/line is a must. I think a smoky taste also.

                              My personal preference is for the meat to come off easily when you bite into the rib. It's kind of a pet peeve of mine to go to a BBQ joint and the meat is cooked but not really BBQ'd--you bite the rib, it's a struggle to get the meat off the bone. A quarter of the meat stays on as shorter broken fibers, even after trying to get it off. And the meat doesn't taste smoky..,

                            2. re: athenanike111
                              RGR Jul 19, 2008 04:23 PM

                              When we were in Memphis, our motel turned out to be just across the road from Corky's, and the smell of 'cue permeated the air. Of course, we ate there. In a word: Delicious! However, even though I love falling-off-the-bone ribs, A.C. is just a bit too far to trek for them, especially since Big Ed's is 10 minutes from our house, and the ribs there are just that kind.

                              1. re: RGR
                                athenanike111 Jul 24, 2008 01:33 PM

                                AC is definitely a trek. I loved Corky's and it became my new NJ favorite (over Famous Dave's) after eating there. But that visit was 2 years ago, and I have not been to AC since. Like you, I love BBQ, but can't justify the trip there just for Corky's!

                                Funny, I have not tried Big Ed's yet... I was hearing so many nays on different reviews... Maybe I should give theirs a try. The one on Route 130 looks a little truckstop-y... Maybe will try the one in Piscataway on Washington Ave.

                                I have tried Grub Hut in Somerville, and prefer Famous Dave's for texture and consistency. Went to Grub Hut from Chowhound's recommendation, and I found the BBQ ribs a little charred on parts, while the meat was tough to get off. I figured low & slow shouldn't be. The sides were good, but I just wasn't impressed.

                                Have not been to the Elizabeth BBQ joint yet, though...

                            3. Tapas52 Jul 9, 2008 06:43 AM



                              1. d
                                dgh Jul 8, 2008 08:27 AM

                                I know this may sound weird, but The Crab's Claw in Lavalette is making some damn good BBQ. They started doing it about 2 years ago.

                                1. c
                                  cranrob Jul 8, 2008 06:23 AM

                                  Does anyone have an update to the new BBQ place that's opening in the Hamilton/Trenton area (5 points area I think?). I searched the board, couldn't find it.

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: cranrob
                                    Heatherb Jul 8, 2008 08:15 AM

                                    Will try to drive out there in the next 24 hours. Monti's, the place across the street, is actually going to be a Pete's Steak House, according to my cousins...

                                    1. re: Heatherb
                                      cranrob Jul 9, 2008 11:31 AM

                                      Heather: Your 24 hours is up... any reports?

                                      1. re: cranrob
                                        Heatherb Jul 19, 2008 09:27 AM

                                        Jeez, I forgot to check back - my bad. It wasn't open then when I drove by - but it is now. Yesterday I drove by and the "Open" sign was turned on and people looked to be in there buying stuff. And the bar across the street is now called "Pete's Steak House Tavern." Beer, barbecue and cheese steaks. I think it could become my favorite corner in Hamilton.

                                        1. re: Heatherb
                                          cranrob Jul 19, 2008 02:15 PM

                                          So where are these places exactly? What's the name of the BBQ place?

                                          1. re: cranrob
                                            Heatherb Jul 20, 2008 02:33 PM

                                            White Horse Road in Hamilton. Basically, say you're coming from Princeton. You take Quakerbridge Road towards Hamilton. Quakerbridge goes through half a dozen names, but you pass through the 5 points, through the Klockner Road intersection, the Kuser Road intersection, past Olden. If you hit the Arena drive exit, you've gone one light too far. I think the place is just called "Carolina Barbecue" but I could be wrong.

                                            1. re: Heatherb
                                              JessKidden Jul 24, 2008 02:56 AM

                                              Was in the area yesterday and stopped in to pick up a menu. Still seemed to be working out kinks, no seating, kinda dark but, man, it sure smelled good in there. (Was meeting someone for lunch, so I didn't buy anything but I sure thought twice about it as I got back in my car.)

                                              Pulled pork, beef, chicken, Pork or beef ribs, whole BBQ chicken, fried chicken, wings, "Soul Food" (pork chops, chicken, turkey wings, ham) and Fish (catfish, whiting, flounder, talapia, acallops, shrimp). Lot of good looking sides, too.

                                              Reasonable prices - fish platters $8-9, soulfood platters (2 sides, rice and corn bread)- $10, whole rack of ribs- $24.

                                              Phone #609-585-2885. The Original Carolina Authentic BBQ.

                                              I did slip up and forget to check out the rear of the store or a chimney for evidence of a smoker.

                                              (Parkings kinda tough- strange intersection, didn't seem to be legal on-street parking on the busy Whitehorse Ave., small 2 car lot in the rear, otherwise on a one-way side street that had so many cars parked on it I barely was able to drive down it.)

                                              1. re: JessKidden
                                                gbean Aug 6, 2008 09:56 AM

                                                Anybody get a chance to try this place yet?

                                                1. re: gbean
                                                  Floss57 Sep 6, 2008 08:56 AM

                                                  Location is terrible, but the pulled pork is pretty damn good. We tried the ribs, brisket, pork, and wings. I wouldn't go out of my way for the ribs or the brisket; you can find equally good stuff around. But this was the best pulled pork I've ever had outside of North Carolina. I'll definitely be going back for the pork (of course, it's walking distance for me so that's not saying much)....

                                                  1. re: Floss57
                                                    gbean Sep 11, 2008 01:31 PM

                                                    I'm pretty close too but haven't gotten there yet. I lived in NC for 5 yrs so I'll take your word for the best pulled pork outside that state. Ribs and brisket are my fave...not really worth it, huh? How bout the mac and cheese or cole slaw? Those are must sides for me.

                                                2. re: JessKidden
                                                  gbean Aug 6, 2008 12:06 PM

                                                  Not really related to BBQ, but in keeping w/ the theme of new restaurants in Hamilton, there's a Filippine place called Lumpia that's opening soon(?) on 33 in the strip mall where Zingaro's (formerly Fratelli's Ravioli). Anyone know anything about it? I'm not really familiar w/ that type of food.

                                    2. CatLadyJan Jun 29, 2008 04:07 PM

                                      No, my suggestion to you is buy a smoker and do it yourself. New Jersey is not known for barbecue, unfortunately, as I love it myself. As far as Big Ed goes, lots of food, little taste. There was a stand down in South Jersey that I read about years ago...don't know if it is still there. Somewhere in Vineland I believe.
                                      Good luck, if you find a place let us know.

                                      1. s
                                        sunangelmb Jun 29, 2008 03:43 PM

                                        If you travel to flemington area, Try the amish market (off of rt 31) They have a pig roast once a month, and it is so good. Their meat is very tender, and the sauce you could just eat with a spoon.Also, free horse and buggy rides for the kids. lol

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sunangelmb
                                          flourgirl Jun 29, 2008 04:33 PM

                                          You know, I have yet to try this and I live really close to this market. As sunangel said, the pig roast is held once a month, always the last weekend. I promised my little guy that we will hit the roast in July. Looking forward to it!

                                        2. c
                                          crazykidkate Mar 28, 2008 07:58 PM

                                          Please try Winckler's Ribs in Morrisville PA, if you're located anywhere near the Delaware River. It's at 46 Washington Street, best ribs I ever had and DEFINITELY slow smoked!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: crazykidkate
                                            Dave123 Jun 10, 2008 07:20 PM

                                            Wincklers isnt smoked. I have been there and its ribs are definitely lacking in taste and the business in convenience. Closed too much. Good chicken though.

                                            1. re: Dave123
                                              abatwork Jun 29, 2008 02:12 PM

                                              I finally had a chance to try American Harvest in East Brunswick today.
                                              I was a little disappointed - the brisket was dried out, the chicken was undercooked, the ribs were fair, the pulled pork was tasty. None of the meats were spiced or smoked enough - actually they were all pretty bland. I make better at home in my Weber.
                                              The sides though were very good, especially the diced yams, mac and cheese and sausage and peppers.
                                              But the big treat are the bakery items and prepared foods inside. Try the rugalach and the baklava. Try the stuffed cabbage and saussage stuffed mushrooms. The zeppole are good too.

                                              1. re: abatwork
                                                nolanlewin Jul 30, 2008 08:08 PM

                                                I had the super combo Sunday and it was the best BBQ I ever had. The store is really nice inside too, with lots of baked goods and sauces. They cook low and slow like it's supposed to be, and the secret sauce is vinegry and sweet like Carolina style BBQ

                                          2. flourgirl Feb 4, 2008 09:54 AM

                                            Has anyone tried 28 BBQ, (303 W. Union Ave. (Rt. 28) Bound Brook)? I haven't, but saw a write up about it in the paper and have been meaning to give it a try.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: flourgirl
                                              The Engineer Feb 5, 2008 03:42 PM

                                              Yes, I've been a few times, and also had takeout.

                                              The food is what I guess you would call "Spanish BBQ," not smoked and cooked for hours but rather marinated then cooked on a spit or rotating rack above a charcoal fire. The portions are huge and you get a ton of rice or fries plus a little gardiniera with your order.

                                              The place gets crowded and the orders can get pretty backed up. I once placed a phone order which was lost and had to reorder when I got there. I would describe the service as nice but a little clueless.

                                              So go when you're very hungry and not in a rush, and you'll have a big delicious meal!

                                              1. re: The Engineer
                                                flourgirl Feb 5, 2008 03:48 PM

                                                Thanks for the post! :) I did see somewhere that it was "Portuguese" or "Spanish" or whatever BBQ, and didn't know what that meant. I will definitely truck on down there with my family and try it out.

                                            2. m
                                              mchametzky Feb 4, 2008 06:42 AM

                                              This isn't in NJ, but it's right over the border, in PA:


                                              Take a look at the Philly board. Every time I've been, it's been the real deal.


                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: mchametzky
                                                flourgirl Feb 4, 2008 09:06 AM

                                                Thanks for this tip - we live very close to the border with PA and I think we'll have to take a ride and give this place a try.

                                              2. e
                                                Ellen Feb 3, 2008 05:52 PM

                                                Try Christines Kingfish on Rt. 206 well north of Hammonton, around Atco I think. Good tender ribs and pulled pork. Not NC style but very respectable. She learned it from her Daddy, who was a BBQ pioneer in these parts. I don't know what their winter hours are, however.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: Ellen
                                                  fpatrick Feb 4, 2008 01:57 AM

                                                  Ellen - with you about Kingfish - usually pick up a rack on my travels between our Hillsborough home and Ocean City condo.

                                                  Winter hours are...none.

                                                  Open May (I think) to October.

                                                  1. re: fpatrick
                                                    fpatrick Jun 2, 2008 08:34 PM

                                                    On this weekend's Sunday June 1 trip back from OC, I was pleased to find out that Christine's House of Kingfish BBQ in Shamong - on Route 206 about 10 miles north of Hammonton - http://tinyurl.com/3ozhcq - had opened for the season as of Saturday, May 31.

                                                    Picked up a rack (with sauce) and a pound o' pulled pork.


                                                  2. re: Ellen
                                                    fpatrick Feb 4, 2008 05:15 AM

                                                    Oh, yeah, but even "well north of Hammonton" probably doesn't count as Central Jersey.

                                                    1. re: fpatrick
                                                      JessKidden Feb 4, 2008 10:29 AM

                                                      I've long maintained that, for many people, "central Jersey" is located between Englewood and Wildwood, mostly because few want what they perceive as the stigma of being in "south Jersey" (Pineys!) or "north Jersey" (decayed urban rustbelt!) - "northwest Jersey" gets pass, of course, for the 12 people who live there. It's like "middle class" in America- which is, apparently, someone who does not qualify for welfare yet can't afford their own learjet.

                                                      1. re: JessKidden
                                                        Quine Feb 5, 2008 08:49 PM

                                                        ANd being a Piney is wrong? We'll keep out food secrets to ourselves then..."there is no Kingfish..there is no kingfish" More for US!

                                                  3. n
                                                    nolanlewin Feb 2, 2008 09:32 PM

                                                    Just stopped at American Harvest in East Brunswick on Rt 18. I can't believe these guys are out in the cold, grilling and cooking the best BBQ I've had in a long time. They start around 12 noon and sell out by early afternoon, but the ribs and pulled pork are the real deal. The beef brisket is great too and all of the sides are awesome, baked beans with bacon and brown sugar, spanish rice and black beans. Don't forget to check out their great selection of Hot Sauces inside the store (they sample the hot sauces at the Pig Roast too).

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: nolanlewin
                                                      RGR Feb 3, 2008 11:13 AM

                                                      I've just discovered your post and others above about American Harvest. Though I pass by off and on, I haven't shopped there in ages. So, unless things have changed inside and they've added a seating area, I take it the bbq is to go?

                                                      Note: They opened a satellite store in '06, in a strip mall off Union Hill Road, in Marlboro, but it failed. Only lasted about a year or so.

                                                      1. re: RGR
                                                        nolanlewin Mar 31, 2008 08:04 PM

                                                        Huge changes inside. New Pizzeria style pizza and seating for their deli and Pig Roast BBQ which draws crowds on nice Weekends!

                                                    2. The Engineer Dec 9, 2007 09:23 AM

                                                      If its smoke and time in central NJ you want, Its Front Street in Elizabeth and Grub Hut in Manville.

                                                      And Herm, like you I have been by the BBQ roadside site a few times this year to no avail. :( My phone and email messages have gone unanswered.

                                                      1. p
                                                        Paul N Dec 9, 2007 06:30 AM

                                                        This and Whistler Inn both sound promising. I'm glad I checked this thread.

                                                        1. p
                                                          Paul N Dec 9, 2007 06:25 AM

                                                          MGZ, I feel your pain.

                                                          Since I moved to the Princeton area three years ago, and I've taken to smoking pork shoulders at home because I can't find any good options in the area. My 2 cents on some of the places mentioned:

                                                          Big Edd's in South Brunswick - par boiled - not real barbecue, though they do a decent burger with fried onions.

                                                          Famous Dave's in New Brunswick - not terrible if you order from the a la cart menu. For some reason all the meat I've ordered off the regular menu has been dry, but the to go stuff I've order a la cart is at least tender and smokey. Though it's not going to win any competitions.

                                                          I've heard raves about Front Street, but for me it's not practical. If I'm going to drive to Elizabeth, I may as well go to Sweet Lucy's in Philly or any of the great barbecue places popping up around Manhattan - which is where I recommend you go if you're jonesing for really good bbq you don't have to make yourself. here are my favorites:

                                                          Daisey Mae's
                                                          Blue Smoke (haven't been in a while)
                                                          Hill Country
                                                          And there seem to be new ones every day.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Paul N
                                                            abatwork Mar 21, 2008 07:10 AM

                                                            As mentioned...Big Ed's is pretty awfull in all their locations in NJ and I will not be back there. I did get to Ben Fisher's Extreme Bar-B-Q on Rt 9 in Forked River last September and was pleasantly suprised by the smoke ring and real apple/cherry wood flavor to the ribs-not heavy on the hickory. I'll be back there this year. I have been to Kingfisher in the past but it looked like it was gone this past year whenever I rode by. Also in the "not bad" category are the baby back and spare ribs at Lancaster Meats in the Columbus Market in Columbus (Route 206 in Burlington County) open Thursday -Saturday. It's an interesting place to walk around for a couple of hours. There's a lot of rib eating going on there.

                                                            1. re: abatwork
                                                              newgourmet Mar 29, 2008 06:52 PM

                                                              hi. ??? Is they have beef ? I eat pork and beef but my husband don't.

                                                            2. re: Paul N
                                                              athenanike111 Jul 24, 2008 01:27 PM

                                                              This is not technically central NJ, but easily reachable: Smitty's Smokehouse & BBQ in Lyndhurst.

                                                              Has anyone been there and is it any good? NJ Monthly had a review on it, that I just found.


                                                            3. r
                                                              rstemple Dec 8, 2007 10:55 AM

                                                              A bona fide treat in a most unlikely place can be found on Saturday's at American Harvest in East Brunswick, right in the heart of the Rte 18 sprawl on the southbound side. On Saturdays, they have a stand set up in their parking lot with a big sign that says "Pig Roast" and it is terrific. They have a $7 "combo platter" with ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and BBQ'd chicken. Great stuff at a great food establishment, and so totally in contrast to the surrounding area.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: rstemple
                                                                Passadumkeg Feb 3, 2008 03:26 AM

                                                                Near what landmark(store)?

                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                  JessKidden Feb 3, 2008 04:11 AM

                                                                  Sort of opposite the Hess station, next to the empty lot that was once "Grand Plaza" (former site of Grand Union- Meyers Toys). Corner of Arthur St. intersection w/ Rt. 18, in the former liquor store, Chet's Liquor Locker IIRC.

                                                                  A store crammed full of stuff (deli counter, fresh fruit & veg., baked goods, canned goods), lots of bread "imported" from north Jersey and NYC. Used to be constantly moving stuff around inside but I haven't been a regular in a few years. I've seen the grills out front (as I drive by), somewhat surprised that they're doing what sounds like "real BBQ" in a parking lot on 18.

                                                                  1. re: JessKidden
                                                                    Passadumkeg Feb 3, 2008 04:24 AM

                                                                    Got it, thanks. A little further S.on !8 was a great liquor store w/ ia fine beer selection in a mall w/ a grocery store. Did this this move across 18?

                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                      JessKidden Feb 3, 2008 05:51 AM

                                                                      The store with a good beer selection on Rt. 18 (well, more like "off", since it's set way back, behind K-Mart, in the A&P strip mall) is called Marketplace http://www.marketplacewines.com/ . One of the better beer selections in that area. The place on the other side of 18 (next to a Dunkin Donuts? Relatively new building, formerly a paint or rental store?) is new (don't know where they got the license) seems to be part of a chain. Pretty typical beer selection.

                                                                      Certainly, back when I lived in South River, if I was stopping into American Harvest after work for groceries, Marketplace was my next stop .

                                                                    2. re: JessKidden
                                                                      nolanlewin Mar 31, 2008 08:02 PM

                                                                      Their Pig Roast has become a local Hit, with people lining up for the Georgia style Chicken, ribs and brisket selling out every time. They do have seating inside and out now and I saw pizza on the menu too.

                                                                2. Passadumkeg Nov 13, 2007 03:16 PM

                                                                  Sayreville Bar, all you can eat KC ribs /chicken for $12.95 on Thurs. nights, plus salad bar and all the mussels marinara you can eat. A deal!

                                                                  1. Eric in NJ Nov 12, 2007 01:18 PM

                                                                    Haven't been but read some good things about Memphis Pig Out in Atlantic Highlands.

                                                                    1. 1
                                                                      10gallonhat Nov 12, 2007 11:25 AM

                                                                      GRUB Hut in Manville is excellent (and real barbecue, not grilled meat slathered with sauce)

                                                                      1. j
                                                                        johnpm Nov 12, 2007 06:03 AM

                                                                        I don't know how far away it is for you, but I like Whistler's Inn on Rt. 130 in Cinnaminson. They have their own smokehouse and have even won some cook-offs around the South (I don't remember what they won for). The ribs are the best around here, along with a decent selection of other pub food.

                                                                        1. h
                                                                          Herm Nov 12, 2007 04:50 AM

                                                                          Good question. A few months ago here on Chowhound someone posted this link http://www.garvaque.com/ i had tried thier Q at a street fair here in the Bayshore area, and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to read that they had a roadside spot that the set up on during the week. However after three trips to the area, I have yet gone by where they claim to be located. I do enjoy the Memphis Pig Out in Atlantic Highlands, although many here on Chowhound don't care for it. I will however admit that it can be inconsistant, though ecven on it's off nights it's still good imo. That being said noothing is more disapointing than bad bbq.

                                                                          1. j
                                                                            jmoryl Nov 11, 2007 05:13 PM

                                                                            Don't know if it will meet your standards, but I was quite pleased with my pulled pork sandwich at Hot Rod's in Wharton: http://www.hotrodsbbq.com/aboutus.html

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: jmoryl
                                                                              nyebaby37 Nov 12, 2007 04:17 AM

                                                                              I gotta say i recently enjoyed ribs @ Famous Daves, Woodbridge. I know, I know they are a chain but the ribs were GOOD. Found Big Ed's greasy, and no taste.

                                                                              1. re: nyebaby37
                                                                                seal Nov 12, 2007 12:37 PM

                                                                                For the record, I love Famous Dave's and think of them as a go-to place locally. The ribs and chopped pork and brisket are all top notch, but the best thing there has to be the chicken wings with the hot bbq sauce. My son and I often split 60 wings there.

                                                                                1. re: seal
                                                                                  RGR Nov 12, 2007 12:51 PM

                                                                                  I also like the ribs at Famous Dave's. However, just about every time we went there (Route 1, in N. Brunswick), we had to send the food back because the ribs were not hot. :-( To be fair, we've sometimes had that problem at Big Ed's. Why that happens remains a mystery to me.

                                                                                  1. re: RGR
                                                                                    nyebaby37 Nov 13, 2007 04:18 AM

                                                                                    actually didnt like the one in NB, but the one in Wdge.

                                                                            2. b
                                                                              BCjr Nov 11, 2007 04:00 AM

                                                                              There's a place on Route 9 in Forked River that's the real deal. The name escapes me at the moment but it's in the old Stewarts Root Beer building. It might be called Extreme Barbeque or something like that.

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: BCjr
                                                                                Quine Feb 5, 2008 08:43 PM

                                                                                Yes, I think the name is Extreme Barbecue. I tried it once when it was open a few months and it was more than decent. :)

                                                                                There used to be a REAL Barbecue master called Kingfisher who had an outdoor, set up on weekends, under a tin roof mecca in the South Jersey area, outside Buena (on rt 40?) I heard he moved ot a different location, The most amazingly good Barbecue. Anyone know news of him?

                                                                                1. re: Quine
                                                                                  TomDel Feb 6, 2008 05:28 AM

                                                                                  Hollyeats.com lists Kingfish Ribs and Chicken stand on his website. See http://www.hollyeats.com/Kingfish.htm . He also has Uncle Dewey’s at http://www.hollyeats.com/UncleDeweys.htm . I seem to recall reading that one or both of these places has since closed. In either case, I would assume that they’re both only open during the summer.

                                                                                  1. re: TomDel
                                                                                    mschow Feb 6, 2008 06:44 AM

                                                                                    Not sure how up to date hollyeats.com is. I just took a look at it and another restaurant on the list has been closed for about 2 years.

                                                                                    1. re: mschow
                                                                                      ambrose Feb 6, 2008 07:10 AM

                                                                                      According to the web site, it was last updated on February 2, 2008. However, it does appear that some of the content is WAY out of date.

                                                                                    2. re: TomDel
                                                                                      kathleen6296 Jul 23, 2008 04:39 PM

                                                                                      Kingfish Ribs and Chicken is now in Woodbine across from Capt. Scrap Antiques and Collectibles. You can get directions by going to www.captscrap.com you can also view his menu on the front page. I love his chicken and potato salad.

                                                                                2. ambrose Nov 11, 2007 03:01 AM

                                                                                  Central Jersey is a pretty large area. The following thread mentions a few places within a 30 min drive of Princeton/Trenton. Some of them have already been mentioned here.


                                                                                  1. jnk Nov 10, 2007 01:47 PM

                                                                                    Front Street Smokehouse in Elizabeth. We've both been there and have had them cater for us and it's great.


                                                                                    1. DJMarilyn Nov 10, 2007 01:01 PM

                                                                                      I have never been, but supposedly Big Ed's BBQ in Matawan is good. http://www.bigedsbbq.com/menu.htm. I'm looking forward to trying it some day.

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: DJMarilyn
                                                                                        seal Nov 10, 2007 02:26 PM

                                                                                        I'm sorry, but if you search the posts here about Big Ed's you'll see that our prevailing opinion is that they are lousy. They are certainly not cooked low and slow.

                                                                                        There are only a few choices locally and none are as good as home smoked. I will say that front street is about as good as it gets around here.

                                                                                        1. re: seal
                                                                                          DJMarilyn Nov 10, 2007 03:52 PM

                                                                                          I will have to research some more before trying. Thanks for the head's up, seal!

                                                                                          1. re: seal
                                                                                            RGR Nov 10, 2007 08:56 PM

                                                                                            Well, seal, I'll duck as a few brickbats come sailing my way because I happen to like the baby back ribs at Big Ed's. :-o lol I've never tried the pulled pork, so maybe that is bad.

                                                                                            1. re: RGR
                                                                                              seal Nov 11, 2007 05:17 AM

                                                                                              I like the ribs at Jack's too RGR, but neither
                                                                                              place is slow smoked.

                                                                                          2. re: DJMarilyn
                                                                                            TarheelYankee Sep 6, 2008 06:04 AM

                                                                                            oh god no.. no no no no no no no...a thousand times no!

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