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Ever eaten at Fette Sau?

d
dezineliz Jul 6, 2011 07:39 AM

is this place worth a meal?

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Fette Sau
354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

  1. d
    Daniel76 Jul 6, 2011 09:16 AM

    The night I went, i did not particularly enjoy the meal but, I liked the space. If you go with a fun group, it would be easy to have a good time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Daniel76
      d
      Daniel76 Jul 6, 2011 11:10 AM

      this was what i wrote about this place when i went last year at this time

      Place is pretty good.. One thing I found was the meat was a little dried out.. Dried out and not at the correct temp. Then, i looked at the process behind the preparation..

      It's smoked well and everything but, meat goes from the smoker into the walk in fridge? Meat that has been previously smoked and plastic wrapped is taken out and heated up at 300 degrees..

      So, you spend 18 hours cooking the meat at 120 or 130 degrees but, right before you serve it, you crank it up to 300 degrees?

      They provided NC Vinegar Sauce for the pulled pork.. They have a K.C Masterpiece style BBQ sauce, they have this super Cumin sauce where all I can taste is cumin.. Felt like it was going for a Arthur Bryant type of sauce.. Not a good version.. Maybe they chose this sauce for brisket. They have a hot sauce that seems to be a mash of peppers.. I liked the K.C Masterpiece sauce the best..

      I only tried the German Potato Salad.. Which was not German Potato salad but, a pickely version.. Lots of dill and mint.. A potato salad yes but, a German one, no..

      Staff was nice and this place must rock in the summer.. Good selection of whiskey..

      A young hip Brooklyn BBQ place.. They sell beer by the gallon and food by the pound.. It's all pretty good

      I have been back a couple times since and had the same experience.. It's not bad but, not great.

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      Fette Sau
      354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

    2. egit Jul 6, 2011 09:30 AM

      It's been a couple of years since I've been there, but the smoked pastrami is definitely worth checking out. They have a good draft beer selection, if you're into beer.

      1. f
        ForestHillsFresser Jul 6, 2011 10:30 AM

        There is no doubt in my mind that the barbecue there is the best in New York. The menu changes every night and the pastrami as mentioned by Egit is rarely on the menu. The beef brisket is amazing, as are the pork cheeks when they have them. Some sides are excellent (collard greens), and if you like sweet, the baked beans are delicious. I would stay away from the potato salad, brocolli salad and other sides.

        After a nice meal there, head across the street to Spuyten Duyvil (same owner) for the best beer bar in New York. You will not find standard bar beers here. The bartenders will guide you through your selection. Just don't ask for a Corona.

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        Fette Sau
        354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

        Spuyten Duyvil
        132 N 5th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

        4 Replies
        1. re: ForestHillsFresser
          s
          sambamaster Sep 13, 2011 08:36 PM

          I'm from Austin. You may have heard, we have some decent BBQ in the area.

          This place in Bklyn is awful. Comically bad, the wait is stupid, the food is mediocre and WAY overpriced.

          I was dragged there by a native NY'er who raved about the place, but, honestly, what standards' do y'all have? None, I'd say. But, more power to 'em, I'm sure they're makin' a fortune. (I now live in Portland OR, no BBQ here either, but some clown has appointed himself the King of Siam and is pulling the pork-wool over the eyes of the local food geniuses who think he invented Thai food...so, same story as y'all's Fette Sau, when no one knows what the food really is, you can hype yourself into the financial stratosphere! But beware, this guy is now eyeing a location in Bklyn. Buyer beware!!!!)

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          Fette Sau
          354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

          1. re: sambamaster
            twyst Sep 13, 2011 09:07 PM

            I'm now living in Austin, and I think you are being overly critical. Is it as good as Franklin's in austin? No, but nowhere else in the country is TBH. Fette Sau still has pretty good food and a fun atmosphere. I had a great evening out and a good meal when I went there.

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            Fette Sau
            354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

            1. re: sambamaster
              UnitedNationsOfFood Sep 17, 2011 08:15 AM

              I think I agree with both of you, twyst and sambamaster: the food is overrated and overpriced. The BBQ is mediocre by, say, Kansas City or Texas or North Carolina standards... but it's pretty good by NYC standards. (And if you're from Austin, you're 100% welcome to laugh at our BBQ standards.)

              From a pure food standpoint, Fette Sau isn't worth the trip, in my opinion. But it's a fun, lively place with some good beer taps. I'd go there again with the right group of people. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but I wouldn't be upset if some friends dragged me back there, either.

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              Fette Sau
              354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

              1. re: sambamaster
                MOREKASHA Sep 17, 2011 09:24 AM

                True. Way overrated. The sides are good, the bbq is 1/2 assed, the wait, well, I've given up. The whiskey selction great. Not worth a detour...

            2. k
              kariface Sep 23, 2011 08:27 AM

              I don't see the hype about this place, AT ALL. Granted, I lived down south, and went to Memphis to study barbecue in my former chef days .... so the bar is set pretty high for me.

              Each time, i've been disappointed and some meat has been dry.

              For barbecue in Williamsburg, I am a HUGE fan of Mabels Smokehouse. Much better on all levels.

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              Fette Sau
              354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

              Mable's Smokehouse
              44 Berry St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

              7 Replies
              1. re: kariface
                f
                foodwhisperer Sep 23, 2011 09:03 PM

                There's all different styles of BBQ. Some wet, some dry, some mixed. Fette Sau has great brisket, pork belly and ribs. And it's in a cool atmosphere of an old garage, in what used to be a ghetto area

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                Fette Sau
                354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                1. re: foodwhisperer
                  Silverjay Sep 23, 2011 09:08 PM

                  Agree with others. Fette Sau is way overrated, inconsistent, and lousy service. The brisket at Mable's is much better. Neither pork belly nor brisket are anything special at FS. Ribs are ok, but they are often St. Louis style and Mable's does these just as well, if not better, and certainly at a better value. Agree on the Fette Sau atmosphere though. But it's only barely a chowish destination if you can catch some of the specialty items like pork cheeks.

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                  Fette Sau
                  354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                  Mable's Smokehouse
                  44 Berry St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                  1. re: Silverjay
                    s
                    smirkrevenge Sep 24, 2011 08:34 AM

                    I guess I've let the Fette Sau "critiques" stand for long enough.

                    Here's my BBQ history:
                    1) native Texan. Grew up with BBQ. Have eaten at great places and bad places, and everything in between. I've done a BBQ roadtrip through central Texas MULTIPLE times, including the greats, such as Snow's, Luling City Market, Kreuz's, and Smitty's.

                    2) What I've discovered: BBQ is a fickle thing. It's never the same way twice. When you're working with temperatures, wood, cuts of meat, there are so many variables that are introduced in the process. There are places that are consistent, but may not necessarily be good. Say, for instance, a chain place like Spring Creek BBQ. Not a great place by any means, but they put out "consistent BBQ." They have a business model that relies on high volume, low cost. The most consistent places I've found (lower volume, higher cost), that are also great, are Snow's and Luling City Market. The problem with Snow's is that it's only open on Saturday and sells out before noon. Smitty's has been fantastic for me sometimes, and downright uneatable at other times. Same goes with Kreuz's. (Sausage, however, is pretty consistent across the board at these places.)

                    3) I have not been to Franklin's in Austin (in which I've heard great things).

                    4) All of this is to say, Fette Sau may have a problem with consistency. I've been a few times, and sometimes I'm wowed, and sometimes I'm not wowed. If we're strictly speaking about the BBQ and not the atmosphere, I think they do a pretty good job for being a place in Williamsburg. Their brisket is almost always good, and they give you good rolls (a must for BBQ) and a variety of sauces. I'd rank Fette Sau higher than chain places in Texas, but a lower tier than the legendary Central Texas locations.

                    Have not been to Mabel's yet, but will have to check it out. NYers, accept Fette Sau for what it is and realize that BBQ is inherently an inconsistent art! But when it's perfect, it's perfect! BBQ is such a difficult thing to judge, especially when you have other distractions such as wait-time, atmosphere, prices (esp. in Wburg), crowd.

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                    Fette Sau
                    354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                    1. re: smirkrevenge
                      w
                      WestIndianArchie Sep 27, 2011 08:55 PM

                      We've been to a lot of the same places. I wouldn't put fette sau above Rudy's, but definitely above Bill Miller and Luther's.

                      How does FS compare to Hill Country

                    2. re: Silverjay
                      Peter Cuce Sep 28, 2011 09:50 PM

                      Looking forward to trying Mable's, but what do you mean about the "service" being bad? There is no service to speak of at Fette Sau, to be bad or good... you wait in line, get your food, and sit down. You wait in another spot to order beer. All human interaction I've had there has been knowledgeable and friendly.

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                      Fette Sau
                      354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                      1. re: Peter Cuce
                        Silverjay Sep 29, 2011 04:55 AM

                        The people are nice but the service model and the layout causes LONG waits. And they take their time slicing weighing and serving and can seem oblivious to the line of people standing in front of the bathrooms and snaking out the door of the restaurant. At Mabel's you place your order and they come bring it to you a few minutes later so you can spend your time sitting at the table with friends. Not stepping aside for someone to use the toilet you are blocking.

                    3. re: foodwhisperer
                      k
                      kariface Sep 29, 2011 07:55 AM

                      True, there are all different styles of barbecue. I've never been impressed by any of the meat i've gotten at Fette Sau. Also, to note, I used "dry" above to not describe style of 'cue, but the consistency of the meat.

                      The atmosphere doesn't do much for me, at all. It's a crowded clusterfuck, hard to find a table, and loud, and not relaxing. In what used to be a "ghetto" neighborhood? Well, i'm just not going to touch that. :)

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                      Fette Sau
                      354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                  2. s
                    son of a butcher Sep 24, 2011 08:58 AM

                    i went to Fette Sau last week. The meat is weighed by the pound and is very expensive. What I did not like was the cutter hardly trimmed out the meat and when I finally got to eat it, it was very fatty and had a lot of waste. It was tasty, but hardly worth the wait and not worth the cost. I'd rather go to a good kosher deli and get a pastrami or corned beef sandwich.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: son of a butcher
                      Peter Cuce Sep 28, 2011 09:48 PM

                      Very expensive compared to what?

                      1. re: Peter Cuce
                        s
                        son of a butcher Sep 29, 2011 05:48 AM

                        Compared to a good deli

                    2. didactic katydid Sep 24, 2011 02:53 PM

                      The meat here is pretty good. I don't go to Fette Sau much, though, because it has two colossal downsides as a restaurant:

                      1) The sides. Oh, god, the sides. They are pretty much crappy across the board. Every now and then someone gamely tries to talk up the beans and burnt ends or whatever, and I guess maybe that rises to the level of OK, but compared to the sides at almost any other restaurant--yuck.

                      2) The seating. The free-for-all for picnic table benches means it's almost impossible to get a seat if your party is larger than 2 people. That style of seating is fine in a restaurant with more room, but in such a tiny place...there is a very good chance that you'll turn away from the cash register with your tray of meat and shitty sides and have absolutely nowhere to sit.

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                      Fette Sau
                      354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                      1. NYJewboy Oct 5, 2011 07:41 AM

                        I loved this place a few years back, but have come to think that their meat is too greasy and fatty, and lacks the well smoked texture and taste that I love about barbeque. It might be that they are using lesser cuts of meat, or are not smoking them enough, but I find all their stuff to be way too wet, and rather tasteless in comparisan to the great barbeque I have had in the south. At worst, the meat was inedible to me. I understand that there are those who love greasy sloppy bbq. I prefer a well tempered cue, high on the smoke scale. You will absolutely not get that here anymore.

                        1. Winterpool Oct 9, 2011 10:22 PM

                          There ought to be a rule: anyone from Austin / Kansas City / Memphis / Carolinas is of course welcome to say Barbecue X in New York City is no good. But they must provide an example of an alternative New York City barbecue joint they find tolerable -- eg, 'Only a Yankee hipster could think Fette Sau passable bbq, but the moist brisket at Hill Country isn't half-bad.'

                          I doubt very many New Yorkers would boast their local champions are comparable to anything from the various heartlands of barbecue. But not all New Yorkers can afford the time or $ to fly to central Texas every time we fancy some (Gentile) smoked meat.

                          Personally I suspect barbecue is singularly ill-suited for a dense urban environment eg New York. The logistical demands of long, slow smoking may be prohibitively expensive in a city with such high rents per sq foot.

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                          Fette Sau
                          354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Winterpool
                            NYJewboy Oct 11, 2011 09:02 AM

                            True. I once did a Fed Ex order from Black's in Lockhardt Texas a few years ago. Let it suffice to say that I have accepted that we do not have that here in any form whatsoever. Ceratinly Fette Sau is even close.

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                            Fette Sau
                            354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

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