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Authentic barbecue on Long Island

just moved to Syosset and am looking for authentic barbecue, someplace i can see a smoke ring in the meat and get my fingers dirty on some sauce. any suggestions?

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  1. Good luck with that. Authentic, smokey bbq on LI has become something of an oxymoron, sadly. :-(

    7 Replies
    1. re: mcf

      I picked up some pretty good takeout from Burke's Bar-B-Que Barn (2092 Grand Avenue, Baldwin, 516-442-0909). Chicken was excellent. Ribs a little overdone but tasty, brisket OK, pulled pork not too smoky-tasting. I do think they are serious about BBQ and perhaps lunch wasn't the best time to sample. Has anyone else been there? Motoeric?

      1. re: EZ Pass

        Let's observe a moment of silence for the brevity of this thread, the dearth of enthusiastic responses and the state of Lawn Guyland bbq. <*sigh*>

        1. re: mcf

          I was thinking the same thing. Is there anything we can do attract more LI posters? It's humiliating to be outdone by Westchester, et. al.

          1. re: EZ Pass

            I was referring to the lack of good barbecue, not posters! But it would be nice if more of the NYS not NYC boards were LI related, yes.

            1. re: EZ Pass

              I remember the good old days, when you could graze here daily for numerous Long Island chowish go-to gems. Where'd everyone go? Westchester?!

              1. re: kelvin8r

                I know what you mean. I think with the economy, not many new places opening on LI. There are still places to discover tucked away in Hicksville, Brentwood, etc.., but the not much interesting elsewhere that hasn't been posted about already.

          2. re: EZ Pass

            I also had takeout from Burke's on Saturday night. I loved the brisket and sweet potato fries. My dining companions had ribs and pulled pork. We liked everything with the exception of the mac and cheese which was cold and very bland.

        2. you might want to try smokin al's. also second's bbq in amityville on 110 - that's like soul food though.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Jeffsayyes

            Tell us more about the smoke at second's? There's been a lot written about Al's, kinda mixed. Tell us more about the food and smoke at second's?

            1. re: mcf


              Okay, so Second's looks like it's worth a trip. The directory for LI bbq link posted above to welcome the OP to the area and help them find some q.

              1. re: mcf

                I'm not sure it's smoked at seconds.
                it's real homey though.

                1. re: Jeffsayyes

                  If it ain't smoke, it ain't bbq. :-) Reviews say their meats are smokey.

                  1. re: Jeffsayyes

                    They definitely have a smoker out back. They say they smoke the meat then finish on the grill just before serving.

              2. from syosset your going to have to make the 45+ minute trip to Swingbelly's in Long Beach. I've said it on here before, but its the best by far I've had in LI. Pigtrip thinks its the best in LI too.

                1. Welcome to LI . . . there's a Smokin Al's in Massapequa which we've gone to a couple of times that we liked.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Pequagirl

                    been to Smokin Al's - i wasn't overly impressed. hit Harbor Q this past weekend. not bad at all. my in-laws are near Long Beach, but i thought that Swingbelly's closed?

                    1. re: quayfisher

                      unfortunatly i don't get down to Swingbelly's as much as I would like as i currently live in Oyster Bay, but according to their website, as recently as Jan 20th they were having a bourbon tasting. I really hope they aren't closed, as I love it there. I can't imagine that it is closed because every time i've been there the place has been packed.


                  2. All this talk got me desperate for some smoke, so I dragged my non q loving husband out to a place from pigtrip.net that claims to use real slow wood smoke. We drove right past Smokin' Sloes and saw it was about empty on our way to Dixie's Smokehouse in Kings Park. First, it was packed and folks kept coming. The owner and servers were very welcoming and helpful and the food was better than just okay. The menu is definitely bigger than a strictly bbq place and there were salads and mozzarella sticks and stuff that kids were eating, but we had q. Oh, and they have a full bar.

                    We each ordered a combo meat platter; two meats, cornbread and two sides for $20. The rundown: DH had brisket, andouille sausage, cole slaw and sweet potato fries. He liked the sausage a lot. The brisket had a nice, tender slight char crust, very delicate and good flavor. Not intense smoke, but it's there. It was thick sliced compared to the thin, buttery slices at the original Hog House, and wasn't fall apart tender, but it was tasty and good. My non q loving husband ate it all, and it was a pretty good stack. The sweet potato fries were incredible; I don't eat fries as a rule, but these were actually totally crispy and greaseless and had very good sweet potato flavor, not fry grease flavor. Utterly addictive.

                    I had a beef rib and a dark rotisserie chicken quarter ordered dry because while their sauce was fine, I don't like sweet gooey stuff on meat or on my dinner plate. I loved the moist, smoky chicken, and the skin was wonderful. There's a bit of sweet and smoky char, thin and delicate on all the meats and it was delicious. I also had mighty fine and smoky tasting collard greens and forgettable cole slaw that DH liked and I didn't. Someone at the next table asked me what "that thing" on my plate was, pointing to the beef rib and I said "I think it's a brontosaurus rib." It was big, thick and meaty. Again, slightly sweet and smokey char, just enough. Not fall off the bone tender, but delicious. It did have a good deal of fat blobbiness, and I enjoyed what little of the rib I managed to eat. The smell in the car was very smokey all the way home. I don't eat bread as a rule, but wanted to be able to report back; their cornbread was very moist, crumbly and had a cakey texture.

                    DH really liked the place and his meal, and he usually just endures when we go out for bbq. Thinking back, that nice, thin, crispy delicate, smokey sweet char was the best part.

                    This was worth the trip to scratch the itch; there's nothing better any where near me in Huntington. If the meat were a tad more fall apart tender, it'd be even more commendable.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: mcf

                      You sold me enough for me to go. I will be trying this place out since I am also in nearby huntington. I've had smokin als and a few others on the Island. About average would be my assessment. Thankfully, i got a smoker for christmas so I will be knee deep in my own q this summer. Always tastes better when you make it yourself.

                      mcf - since you are in huntington, what do you think the standouts are in our little village?

                      1. re: StrongIsland

                        That's hard; two things complicate matters. One is I've become much fussier about food quality/production and the other is that my long time favorites like Bistro Cassis and Bravo Nader have gone so far down hill I don't care to go to them any more.

                        I no longer eat out often, but we've been frequenting the new and improved Honu Kitchen and Cocktails lately. Good value, service and food. I liked Red during restaurant week, though we had one awful dish. Management made it right when our table neighbors complained about it, too and sent it back. We'd only commented when asked by our server. We'll go back. I like Osteria da Nino, too. For a fast burger I like Canterbury Ales, but that's more comfort and atmosphere than the food. Also like Cafe Buenos Aires.

                        What about your short list? And be sure to report back on Dixie's, y'hear? :-)

                        1. re: mcf

                          Bravo Nader turned me off last time I was there. Too pushy in some ways. An issue I have read elsewhere. Cafe buenos aires is one that I really like but Mrs. StrongIsland is not as fond of it. Guess she didn't like their blood sausage I ordered once! Oaxaca - great, cheap mexican. Haven't been to Honu for a couple of years now but I did like their change over to the small plates. FH Rileys can be really good and plentiful. My one complaint that some of the sides don't work for me and sometimes they try to put on one too many ingredients. Sri Thai is our go to Thai place in the village. And there are some others that we haven't been to. There is always a fair amount of turnover in the village, so always something new to try.

                          Will let you know on BBQ.

                          1. re: StrongIsland

                            Yes, Bravo Nader turned us off, too, last visit, and we used to love it.
                            Honu has left small plates behind and they're serving bigger plates at a better price point now. Better value, still very good, professional service. Homey food. Great if you can get a seat in back by the fireplace in winter.
                            We've eaten at F.H. Riley's a few times. Liked it okay, not to write home about, but very slow each time! I know we've been to Meehan's, too, so I might be confusing the two. I liked Besito a lot when it opened, but the upselling is obnoxiously aggressive and the food not as good as it was when they opened.
                            They sure get you fed and out the door fast, too. I love Sri Thai, though Thai generally doesn't work for me due to the sugar content, so there are very few dishes there I can eat. They had a great crispy duck I always ordered when we went there. I was happy to see Blond, since I'd liked the Miller Place branch, but was unimpressed on our one visit to the new one here.

                            I hope you like Dixie's.

                    2. Sadly, up until a few years ago you were 5min from the most authentic bbq in the area ( shack on Jericho turnpike near the suffolk border, smoker in the back, eat on wooden tables) Poppa Ricks, He was closed down and was hoping to open again somewhere else. I have not seen anything about hime since.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: MrPhil

                        I know, I moved within two minutes of him, then it closed, I think. :-(

                        1. re: mcf

                          If you are ever on the South Shore of Suffolk County, you need to try Bobbique in Patchogue on Montauk Highway. The smoked meats are actually smoked, the staff is friendly, and they have a good beer selection

                          1. re: imhungryletseat

                            Bobbique is good. Burkes is better. Swingbelly's is best.

                            To be honest though, I've only been to Burkes once and it was soon after they opened. They may be better now. I enjoyed everything but loved the sides.

                            The owners of Burkes are local competitors on the BBQ circuit. Good people.

                            There is a new place that opened by JFK that I need to get out and try.


                            1. re: motoeric

                              BTW, if you are interested in true 'low and slow' BBQ, stop by WilliePalllooza. It's a small, fun BBQ comp in Brentwood that will have a number of state champions from New England in attendance.
                              It's run by the owner of the now closed Willie B's BBQ in Bay Shore (the last excellent BBQ joint on Long Island) and is casual but pretty high end.



                              1. re: motoeric

                                Thanks; putting this on my calendar. I hope we get some really good low and slow bbq up here one day again.

                                1. re: motoeric

                                  Eric: I'd asked about WilliePallooza last year
                                  and you and others had said there likely wouldn't be much food available for the public.

                                  1. re: Scott_R

                                    Most events like WilliePallooza look for judges. Sign up!

                                    On another front, Amy Mills Tunicliffe (co-author with her father Mike Mills of Peace Love and BBQ) is organizing an incredibly cool, two day (I think) visit to 5 NYC BBQ joints and Pat La Frieda Meats. You get to eat your fill of BBQ, get a behind the scene look at a BBQ joint, spend time with a BBQ legend and meat (hah) the owners of NYC's best BBQ joints.

                                    Shoot her an email at: amy@ruoncue.com