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Best BBQ in Westchester?

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WestchesterG123 Jan 4, 2011 04:53 PM

Anyone have suggestions for real BBQ? I love Dinosaur in the city. I tried a place in Portchester once and wasn't impressed.

  1. m
    mister_pj Jan 19, 2011 06:24 PM

    I saw a place just up from the Bear Mountain Bridge on 9W but I can’t remember the name. Didn’t go in but logged it for a later visit, anyone have experience they would care to share?

    2 Replies
    1. re: mister_pj
      v
      vinouspleasure Jan 19, 2011 06:35 PM

      that's the new home of the barnstormer. We ate at the old location about two years ago. They were out of ribs so I had the chicken, my son the pulled pork. Both were very good and I vowed to get back for the ribs but haven't circled back. Definitely worth a try, please report back.

      1. re: mister_pj
        jcmods Jan 20, 2011 11:25 AM

        I have eaten there too. I didn't mention it since it is not in Westchester. I really enjoyed it and the owner was very friendly. I had the pork ribs and I thought they were good. I wrote about it a while back and I said they were not "falling off the bone." or something like that.. Someone else replied that this was actually a good thing. This is why I always preface my remarks with, "I am not an expert."

        I seem to recall that we wished the baked beans had been made from scratch.

        I found the thread from a while ago.
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/665610

      2. jcmods Jan 13, 2011 01:59 PM

        I am not a BBQ expert but the Rib House in Mt. Vernon is good for Westchester even if it is not a road trip kinda place. They have even made eat in space a little more attractive. It used to look like a cafeteria at the race track. Their sauce is not overly sweet. I like it better than a lot of bad BBQ I have had. You can also get jerked chicken and the macn cheese is pretty good.

        Another place in Mount Vernon which I have not tried is Lincoln BBQ which, despite the name is portuguese and therefore not Southern USA BBQ. I tried to get a menu once but they did not have one that I could take with me (and no web page either). I am sure it is iin Portuguese, but I think I could get the idea. I guess I would expect more churrascuria there but I was wondering if anyone has eaten there.

        1. a
          AdamD Jan 13, 2011 08:54 AM

          Damn thee CH! After two weeks of eating healthy and I now craving some fatty BBQ.
          Thanks to all of you! :)

          1. t
            TuskerTrail Jan 7, 2011 02:06 PM

            The answer to this question WAS South Bound in Valhalla.. Never got the story as to why that place closed.

            I'm no BBQ expert, but I've traveled a bit and would say for outside of the 914, if you had to try one style: Memphis/Alabama style > Texas style > Eastern Carolina style.

            BBQ is BBQ when done well. In my opinion, Memphis Mae's > Q. Q's meat are somewhat enjoyable, their ribs leave a lot to be desired.

            TT

            -----
            Memphis Mae's
            173 S Riverside Ave, Croton On Hudson, NY 10520

            2 Replies
            1. re: TuskerTrail
              m
              MichaelJP Jan 8, 2011 07:58 PM

              The place on Route 9 is in Cold Spring. It is called Texas Round Up.

              http://www.rounduptxbbq.com/

              There are pretty extensive reviews and descriptions on Yelp. We've been a few times, only to take out. It is good, not incredible. As a previous posted mentioned, I think the smokemaster is still perfecting his trade. I spoke to him once, he is a really nice guy. Their bbq sauce is great. Brisket and sausage was good. RIbs were a little dry.

              As of last time I was there, they don't have all their permits, so food is served from a trailer attached to a building. Kind of fun, no thrills. Lots of bikers (not a turn off for me, could be for others).

              Not even close to my NYC Favorites (which include Hill Country, Fette Sau, or Blue Smoke, depending on what I am looking for). Then again no one will top the pulled pork from The Pit in Raleigh.

              1. re: MichaelJP
                e
                Elisa515 Jan 8, 2011 09:06 PM

                Thanks for the report! Sounds like it would be worth stopping there on the way home from Fishkill or Saratoga for takeout.

            2. i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream Jan 6, 2011 11:37 AM

              I don't recommend Memphis Mae's. We went once a while back and despite the dearth of bbq in these parts have never once considered returning.

              -----
              Memphis Mae's
              173 S Riverside Ave, Croton On Hudson, NY 10520

              27 Replies
              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream
                a
                AdamD Jan 6, 2011 01:45 PM

                Definitely not something you crave as a destination. But when you crave some BBQ, what else is there? Its not earth shattering, but its not bad. It decent BBQ take out at Westchester prices.

                Do you have another suggestion for someone in the Pleasantville/Chappaqua/Mt. Kisco area?

                1. re: AdamD
                  i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream Jan 6, 2011 04:20 PM

                  You're right, there are no other options in the area. Hopefully someone with great BBQ and aspirations of opening a BBQ restaurant is reading this thread! But for now... I would rather save up my craving and go to Dino.

                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream
                    a
                    AdamD Jan 7, 2011 11:07 AM

                    Someone should open a real BBQ shack-no frills, just real cue at reasonable prices.

                    1. re: AdamD
                      v
                      vinouspleasure Jan 7, 2011 11:55 AM

                      I think about it from time-to-time. To do it right, you need to cook over wood and given the dense population in westchester, I think it's pretty tough to find a spot. I believe memphis mae's invested in a smoker system that filters a lot of the emissions...similar to what the restaurants in the city do. The best bet may be putnam county a la holy smoke.

                      having said that, I'm a good backyard bbq chef but I'm not sure how that would translate to a restaurant (or shack).

                      1. re: vinouspleasure
                        p
                        Proud_2_Be_A_CH_Peep Jan 7, 2011 12:20 PM

                        So Vinous, for those without jet transport to Wingdale and Mahopac, whats the best Westchester spot for ribs (not necessarily brisket or pulled pork)? Umami is well liked here and they have ribs on their menu, qualifying to be my next destination. I've already been to plenty of places in the county and Manhattan that most Chowhounds hold in moderate to low esteem (Ribs on the Run, Q, Roaring Rooster (Now Chickens Gone Wild), Chirping Chicken, Brother Jimmy's) as well as the highly regarded Tom's Place in Florida. Memphis Mae's seems to be a 6 on a 10 scale from what I've read so far, Dinosaur is probably an 8. Didn't get to try Jimmie Lee or Southbound BBQ before they closed, nor the Tony Roma's in Cross County.

                        1. re: Proud_2_Be_A_CH_Peep
                          c
                          cubanat Jan 7, 2011 12:39 PM

                          I've only been to the Dinosaur in Harlem. Twice. Overall was not impressed in the least. Service I recall was horrible but I care less about that if the food is great which it was not at all. My brother said the one upstate was better. I am fond of Q in pt. chester for the brisket covered fries which satisfies the craving but it is on the expensive side. Big W's is worth the drive for whatever he has left by the time we get there. FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm more of a chinese bbq rib fan then the suace slathered fall off the bone type. Would rather chew then fall...

                          1. re: cubanat
                            p
                            Proud_2_Be_A_CH_Peep Jan 7, 2011 01:02 PM

                            I've never been to any of the Dinosaurs but hear plenty of praise about them. Q is not bad, yes a little expensive for what you get (the sink with the pedal in the dining room is a nice touch though if it's still there). I actually prefer the mega-sauced american ribs, even after consuming numerous chinese spareribs as a kid.

                          2. re: Proud_2_Be_A_CH_Peep
                            v
                            vinouspleasure Jan 7, 2011 01:33 PM

                            unfortunately, imo, there is no good q in the county and in retrospect, I understand why people like memphis mae's, it's about the best we have. My wife urges me to think of it as something other than bbq, some sort of new food category like bbq nouveau, and enjoy it on its own terms.

                            the places you name above are not really bbq (though I don't know tom's place). Real bbq is cooked low and slow and, if you're a purist, over wood. If you're looking for something to approximate real bbq my short list would include:

                            dinosaur
                            sette fau
                            rub
                            hill country
                            blue smoke
                            big w

                            all though it's not southern bbq, there's some great bbq in chinatown.

                            1. re: vinouspleasure
                              c
                              cubanat Jan 8, 2011 12:33 PM

                              Vinous, the bbq purist thing is way overated. good food is good food regardless of how long, how low and in what red-neck part of the forest the wood came from. I've eaten pulled pork sous vide with an amazing sauce on it that blew away whay I thught was the best southern recipes I had tasted. Was it bbq? Not according to "the rules" but then again who cares?? For the record imo blue smoke is so mediocre! I would rather eat daisy mae's on a park bench in February! I really like daisy mae's so that came out sort of wrong...

                              1. re: cubanat
                                v
                                vinouspleasure Jan 8, 2011 05:32 PM

                                cubinat, no worries, obviously all that's important is that you think it's good since you're doing the eating. Sounds like you love bbq, maybe you should give judging a try. There's an annual class given in new paltz each year to become certified and there are a number of local contests. enjoy!

                            2. re: Proud_2_Be_A_CH_Peep
                              MisterBill2 Jan 9, 2011 07:26 PM

                              I don't know where you are located, but Mahopac is not that far from Northern Westchester (certainly closer than Wingdale). It's 10 minutes or so from the Taconic in Yorktown. Depending on where you are, it can be closer than Croton.

                              1. re: MisterBill2
                                p
                                Proud_2_Be_A_CH_Peep Jan 10, 2011 05:17 AM

                                Mahopac is near Yorktown, which I visit once in a blue moon. It is certainly closer than Wingdale--near 22 in Dutchess or something. In fact during the old days I'd take 684 up by Katonah and go west to Yorktown, then further west to Croton. A long, scenic drive. I'm from the lower part of the county but you're right, it's not that big.

                              2. re: Proud_2_Be_A_CH_Peep
                                j
                                jhopp217 Jan 11, 2011 05:44 AM

                                I'm hardly a BBQ expert, but if Dinosaur is an 8 out of 10, I'm scared to uimagine what Memphis Mae's is like. While far from traditional BBQ, Ribs on the Run is better than Dinosaur (at least the chicken is). I had a great time at Dinosaur when I was there last, but the food was pretty much tasteless and dry. Our server was a family member of the owner in Syracuse and he even told me that the food at the Harlem location doesn't hold a candle to the original.

                                -----
                                Memphis Mae's
                                173 S Riverside Ave, Croton On Hudson, NY 10520

                                1. re: jhopp217
                                  e
                                  Elisa515 Jan 11, 2011 07:02 AM

                                  How about you try the place (Memphis Mae's) yourself instead of rating it based on the most negative posters?

                                  1. re: Elisa515
                                    j
                                    jhopp217 Jan 11, 2011 09:04 AM

                                    I didn't rate it

                                  2. re: jhopp217
                                    p
                                    pabboy Jan 11, 2011 07:50 AM

                                    How is Ribs on the Run even considered BBQ? Everything comes out of the oven!!

                                    1. re: pabboy
                                      a
                                      AdamD Jan 11, 2011 07:52 AM

                                      I have always wondered about that place. Must have some good rub and sauce, a lot of people seem to like it.

                                      1. re: AdamD
                                        p
                                        Proud_2_Be_A_CH_Peep Jan 11, 2011 08:51 AM

                                        Yeah the 10 scale was just my impression after reading numerous reviews here. So the short answer is I agree with jhopp and Elisa. As for Ribs on the Run, first I heard they're not "really BBQ", then "they steam their ribs" now "everything comes out of the oven". Again, I'm not doubting anyone, but why don't they......................grill?

                                        1. re: Proud_2_Be_A_CH_Peep
                                          j
                                          jhopp217 Jan 11, 2011 09:07 AM

                                          Ribs on the run is not real BBQ by any means. That being said, they make some very good chicken. Their sauce is tangy and sweet. Their ribs are just OK if you ask me, but I do like their chicken. Like I said, I am not a BBQ expert, but I'd take their chicken over any of the BBQ chicken at Dinosaur. I've never even heard of Memphis Mae's. Where is it?

                                          -----
                                          Memphis Mae's
                                          173 S Riverside Ave, Croton On Hudson, NY 10520

                                          1. re: jhopp217
                                            p
                                            Proud_2_Be_A_CH_Peep Jan 11, 2011 09:31 AM

                                            It's in Croton. I don't visit the Hudson towns much these days, but I'll probably get there eventually and see for myself. Who do you think has good ribs?

                                            1. re: Proud_2_Be_A_CH_Peep
                                              j
                                              jhopp217 Jan 11, 2011 09:46 AM

                                              I've got to be totally honest. While I like them, I don't love them. This is mostly due to the fact that in NY we are a little BBQ starved. Not sure where you are from, but everyone always raves about Sherwoods in Larchmont and I think they are terrible. I had a friend who lived in Wingdale briefly and I made the massive error of never trying Big W which I hear is excellent. I'm going to have to venture down to the city one of these days and try Blue Smoke or something like that. As of now, the best BBQ I've had are ribs made in my friends backyard smoker.

                                              1. re: jhopp217
                                                p
                                                Proud_2_Be_A_CH_Peep Jan 11, 2011 10:05 AM

                                                I'm a lower Westchester guy too so Larchmont is an acceptable distance (whereas for Wingdale I'd need the seaplane and a welcome from Mr. Rourke/Tattoo). I actually walked into Sherwoods one night a few years ago and it was packed with high school and college kids as well as families. As I understand it's more of a popular local hangout than an awesome food spot.

                                                1. re: Proud_2_Be_A_CH_Peep
                                                  j
                                                  jhopp217 Jan 13, 2011 05:22 AM

                                                  For some reason people go gaga for their food, especially the ribs and wings. I think they are average at best. They must be doing something right, because they place is always mobbed.

                                2. re: vinouspleasure
                                  a
                                  AdamD Jan 7, 2011 01:53 PM

                                  I think you could find space in northern westchester. In my mind, its a freestanding building with big smokers out back under a tin roof-with fans and heaters. Anything close by and you will need a ventilation system-which adds to the cost and makes the food more expensive. Very small kitchen to prep sides. You could even start with one or two meats-pulled pork, chicken, brisket, wings or ribs. Then add more if the business grows. I think a lot of people dismiss BBQ spots because the ribs and brisket are dry.

                                  besides moist smoked meat, the key is the sauce IMHO. How is your secret recipe and is it ketchup, mustard or vinegar based? You will need all three to make it a good spot. Make an addictive sauce and they will keep coming!

                                  1. re: AdamD
                                    e
                                    Elisa515 Jan 7, 2011 02:17 PM

                                    There is a place that doesn't meet the OP's original parameters, but it sounds more like the sort of place you describe. It's on Rte. 9, around the Garrison/Cold Spring area; it's somewhere on that long stretch between the northern border of Westchester County (well north of Annsville Circle) and Fishkill. Shack type place set back on the west side of the highway, next to I think a hardware store.

                                    Anyway, has anyone been there? I don't think I've ever read anything about it on Chowhound.

                                    1. re: Elisa515
                                      v
                                      vinouspleasure Jan 7, 2011 05:39 PM

                                      I was there this summer, we stopped for dinner before Shakespeare on the hudson.I had high hopes but found it overpriced and mediocre. I think the owner is trying to make great q but IMO it's wide of the mark. Holy smoke is a better bet, especially if you like beer.

                                    2. re: AdamD
                                      v
                                      vinouspleasure Jan 7, 2011 05:44 PM

                                      I usually don't sauce my q but I agree, those are the mainstays and would help. I also love the white sauce native to alabama. Here's a link to the recipe if you want to try it at home:

                                      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pa...

                          3. l
                            laylag Jan 5, 2011 04:28 PM

                            Not in Westchester, a little further north, but Big W in Wingdale. The real deal and really good.

                            Down in these environs Q - the place you tried in Port Chester that didn't impress you, is about as good as you're going to get. They are extremely inconsistent so don't know if your disappointment was due to hitting it on a bad night or not.

                            I haven't eaten at Memphis Mae's in Croton so can't contradict weedy's rec but do a search on it here. I don't recall reading good things about it.

                            -----
                            Big W's Roadside Bar B Que
                            1475 Route 22, Wingdale, NY 12594

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: laylag
                              e
                              Elisa515 Jan 5, 2011 08:16 PM

                              We love Memphis Mae's, and my husband is quite especially knowledgeable from his years traveling through Texas and the south for work, plus he takes his own barbecuing seriously.

                              Just because some people on Chowhound are negative about places--especially when they're fairly flippantly negative--doesn't necessarily mean very many people would feel similarly.

                              Now, would I drive 45 minutes to an hour to go to Memphis Mae's? Probably not. But there are very few places I'd do that for.

                              Is Big W (which I've yet to visit, but am quite willing to believe is terrific) worth a 90 minute drive? Because it's at least that far for most of the population in Westchester except for those who live near the northeast corner.

                              FWIW, I really liked Q in Mt. Kisco--was the food there anything like the place in Port Chester? People are very particular about their BBQ, and some people have less of a "range" of what makes for great BBQ depending on how many different sorts they've had before.

                              -----
                              Memphis Mae's
                              173 S Riverside Ave, Croton On Hudson, NY 10520

                              1. re: Elisa515
                                v
                                vinouspleasure Jan 6, 2011 06:37 PM

                                we don't like memphis mae's but to be fair, we haven't been back in three years (since the food was so bad). I'm not sure what you mean by "flippantly negative" but I'm a kcbs certified bbq judge, have eaten bbq all over the US, have a smoker in our backyard and have published articles about bbq and wine.

                                Is biq W worth the 90 minute drive? I guess that depends on how much you like bbq but the bbq there is between good and very good and once or twice I've had world class brisket there. Closer to home is holy smoke in mahopac where the food is better than memphis mae (but that's not saying much).

                                1. re: vinouspleasure
                                  p
                                  pabboy Jan 6, 2011 07:26 PM

                                  Everything at Big W's is good but their brisket is OUT OF THIS WORLD! Only thing I would change is their sauce. It's way too watery. None of the items actually need the sauce so this is a minor complaint.

                                2. re: Elisa515
                                  l
                                  laylag Jan 7, 2011 01:19 PM

                                  Elisa, Sorry you seemed to take offense to what I thought was a rather benign comment. All I said was that I'd not read good things about Memphis Mae's on these boards and perhaps the OP might want to take a look. I didn't give the comments veracity nor did I discount them. Just said it as I'd read them. And like with everything on these boards you should read the information and opinions and then make up your own mind. Because you highly recommend them perhaps I'll give it a try when we're over that way.

                                  As far as Big W, I hope you do get to try it. It's about an hour our house - 56 miles and we live on the Sound Shore so just about as far as you can get from there. We don't often drive up that way just to go there but is we are anywhere in the vicinity we include a plan to stop there.

                                  -----
                                  Memphis Mae's
                                  173 S Riverside Ave, Croton On Hudson, NY 10520

                                  1. re: laylag
                                    e
                                    Elisa515 Jan 7, 2011 02:13 PM

                                    laylag,

                                    I didn't mean anything negative about what you said, and I hope you didn't read it that way. I meant more about the comments you are referring the OP to read. Personally, I always appreciate when someone writes thoughtfully about a restaurant experience; it really bothers me when someone writes "that place was bad 3 years ago" with absolutely no detail and no context for what the person thinks is good food, or what they found bad. That certainly isn't what you wrote.

                                    In general, I like to read what people do like and unless a place commits a serious food or service crime, I don't find the negative comments helpful. Then, based on whether someone likes places I like, I get a sense of whether to follow their tastes.

                                    I always wonder what motivates someone to jump into a thread and throw in a negative comment about a place, especially a dated negative impression.

                                    Now, as for Big W...I will get there someday, maybe as an adjunct to a shopping trip to Danbury. Or maybe a deliberate "field trip" in the spring. I'll even bring Foodsaver bags so I can seal them up at home.

                                    Again, thanks for the olive branch and opportunity to clarify.

                                3. re: laylag
                                  c
                                  corky Jan 6, 2011 04:05 AM

                                  if you want TRULY great listen to laylag

                                  1. re: corky
                                    chowdom Jan 6, 2011 04:14 AM

                                    ummmmmmm shortribs simmered in cabernet or brisket knish

                                    1. re: chowdom
                                      c
                                      corky Jan 6, 2011 05:12 AM

                                      thank you warren for bbqing the knish!!

                                  2. re: laylag
                                    a
                                    AdamD Jan 6, 2011 06:06 AM

                                    Memphis mae's is good BBQ, the combos are great. I dont pretend to compare it to the "famous" BBQ in the south or KC, but its tasty IMHO.
                                    Agreed about Q, very hit or miss and I find it be a bit expensive for what is. No surprise the Mt. Kisco one went out of business.
                                    Now I have to try Big W!!! Its not that far from me-maybe 1/2 hour

                                    1. re: AdamD
                                      a
                                      apples Jan 6, 2011 07:46 AM

                                      I cant imagine that there isn't someone wanting to fill a hole for a BBQ restaurant in Northern Westchester?! Seems like a no brainer.

                                      1. re: apples
                                        a
                                        AdamD Jan 6, 2011 07:54 AM

                                        Demanding group of diners perhaps. But I agree. A decent, casual kid friendly BBQ joint with reasonable prices would make a killing.

                                  3. w
                                    weedy Jan 4, 2011 08:04 PM

                                    it's probably Memphis Mae in Croton... but it's not nearly as good as Fette Sau or someplace TRULY great.
                                    I think it's about as good as Dinosaur though.

                                    -----
                                    Memphis Mae's
                                    173 S Riverside Ave, Croton On Hudson, NY 10520

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