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Jul 28, 2011 12:58 PM

Best BBQ in Bergen County?

We live in Englewood. It's too hot to cook. Where can I buy really good barbecue for six people?

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  1. While it's not technically a full barbecue place and it may be a bit of a ride for you, Buffalo's Chicken Shack in Wood-Ridge is awesome and has a lot of 'cue items, including ribs, pulled pork (the pulled pork sandwich may be the best $6.49 you ever spend, it's like two pounds!) and pulled chicken, mac and cheese, collard greens, and lots more. Oh, and the best, hugest buffalo wings in Bergen County! The food's incredible, portions are large, and prices are fair.

    Bergen County does not have a lot of BBQ places. There's also Cubby's in Hackensack, and ??? I'm not sure. Bourbon BBQ in Wyckoff is supposed to reopen in a few months (the place was destroyed by a fire about two years ago). They were good, but were definitely stronger in meats than sides and got a touch expensive for some items. Still, they'll be welcomed back!

    9 Replies
    1. re: zhelder

      ZH, gotta disagree with you on the best wings in Bergen at that place in wood ridge. huge, yes. best, no way. im actually still trying to find the best wings in Bergen, so far ive found pretty good, but nothing wows me. the problem i have with buffalos chicken shack in Wood ridge is their wings aren't buffalo wings. they had a weird sweet/spicy creole or cajun rub/sauce and it just wasnt to my liking. i will, on your recommendation, go back and try some of their bbq. as far as pretty good wings ive found in Bergen, id say the wings at steve's sizzlin steakhouse on 17 were very good, as well the pub in Hackensack called General Pours tavern. As far as good bbq in bergen, im still looking. i agree w/ Menton below, cubbys is not great for bbq (surprisingly decent wings tho) and although its not Bergen, we recently had a very good bbq at Dave Finks new place Johnny's BBq up in Pearl River. I still think Fink's old place Bailey's is still real good (in Blauvelt NY) and better than any option in Bergen. Otherwise still searching for great wings as well as bbq in Bergen county. The Porterhouse in Northvale (formerly Jose O'reilys, Cormacks, etc) is turning into a bbq place with Jay Lippin manning the smoker (formerly of Backwoods bbq in Westwood, then Washington township) so we may actually get a good bbq place in Bergen. fingers crossed...

      1. re: yogi70

        "The Porterhouse in Northvale (formerly Jose O'reilys, Cormacks, etc) is turning into a bbq place with Jay Lippin manning the smoker "

        Welcome news. Miss the Backwoods. Thought Jay moved to Manhattan. Any idea when this will open?

        1. re: WarmBeer

          No Porter House in Northvale... There is 1 in Montvale, and one in Norwood.

          The Porter House
          125 N Kinderkamack Rd, Montvale, NJ 07645

          1. re: WarmBeer

            im not sure WarmBeer. when i stopped in a few weeks back, the waitress/hostess said that at this time, only the bar is open with a very limited bar menu. i believe they are doing some renovations and plan on opening as a new bbq place in the fall. i agree, it really is welcome news as i enjoyed Lippin's "backwoods bbq" when it shared a spot at the washington township "doghouse saloon" - never got to his westwood locale. i thought the q was better on some nites than others, but still better than anything else Bergen county had to offer, and was convenient when i didnt feel like going up to Bailey's in Blauvelt.

            1. re: yogi70

              Just read Elisa Ung's review of the Blind Boar in todays record - the new Jay Lippin BBQ spot in Norwood (formerly the Porterhouse, Jose Oreilly's, Cormacks) and she gave it 2 1/2 stars. Has anyone been there yet??? As ive said before, Bergen county NEEDS SOME GOOD Q!!! - if i didnt just go to Baileys on Saturday, i would take a ride to Norwood, but after that, and then thanksgiving, im doing a few days of salad cause my clothes are tight lol

              1. re: yogi70

                I have yet to go to Bailey's-- found Blind Boar a bit lacking-- frozen french fries, and the ribs and pulled pork were fairly tasteless-- Brisket was terrific. A mixed bag. Music in the dining room is piped in to deafening levels.

                What's your take on Bailey's?

                1. re: menton1

                  That is really disappointing to hear menton1. I have to get over there and give it a shot myself as mom lives a few towns away. Yelp had some good writeups on Blind Boar, as did Elisa Ung in the Record, - surprised to hear the ribs were tasteless, as that was Lippin's specialty (imo) at his old Backwoods bbq. As far as Bailey's goes, tried it last year from a recommendation on another bbq thread on here, and very glad I did. By the time I got up there, Fink was gone already, but I still think their bbq is great. Really tasty brisket, ribs (spare or baby back), bbq chicken, pulled pork etc. dont care much for their pulled chicken but with all the other options, thats fine. they also have a really great cornbread souffle. love their "lollipops" of bacon wrapped around smoked sausage. pretty good beer selections. upstairs has lots of tvs for all the games, and downstairs more of a restaurant dining room. Right off of 303 a few minutes past the nj border. Also have been to Finks new place in Pearl River and really liked that as well. Rockland folks are seriously spoiled with Baileys, Finks new joint Johny's Smokehouse, and I hear that also in Pearl River, the Defiant Brewery does some really nice bbq on the weekends.

                  1. re: yogi70

                    I like Bailey's but find it a little inconsistent. The one thing I love there is the Screaming Chicken wing sauce. It's never the same. The ribs have been good on all of the occasions I've ordered them. And the corn souffle is sometimes, a bit too sweet, but I still enjoy it just the same. Johnny's is also pretty good, but again the same thing not consistent. I'd rather have these joints then none, so I'm not complaining. I'll have to try the Blind Boar. I was in the mood for wings one night, headed over there solo, but there was no one in the place, so I never went in. The menu said the wings were extra large in size, I prefer them tiny, like at Baileys, so I headed over to Liberty in Tappan, and the wings were ok, but what killed me was that they were 9.99! Never again... I think they give you 7 wings at most.

          2. re: yogi70

            I know what you're saying, the sauce they use at Buffalo's is a bit different than the typical buffalo wing sauce, but no matter, they're still, IMHO, the best wings any local joint has turned out. By far.

            They have four levels of sauce for their buffalo wings: mild, spicy, firestarter, and numb ya face. The mild and spicy are made with cayenne, the firestarter and numb ya face are made with habaneros. I usually get spicy, but tried the firestarters for the first time last night. Well, Bergen County's best wings just got better! They're a bit hotter than the spicy (not too much though, although the heat does stay in your mouth longer), and the sauce seems to be a more traditional blend than the spicy wings. Give them a shot!

            Oh, and Buffalo's now turns out the best jerk wings in Bergen County in addition to the best buffalo wings!

        2. Johnny's BBQ in Pearl River is getting kudos, the guy manning the smoker is Fink of BBQ fame in River Edge.

          N.B. Cubby's is NOT Barbecue, they just use BBQ sauce and call it that. No smoker there.

          16 Replies
          1. re: menton1

            I second Baily's Smokehouse in Blauvelt. The Bergen bbq scene is pretty sad these days.
            The construction is progressing over at Bourbon bbq, but it still wasn't as good as Bailey's. GIve it a shot. Good beer and I hear they do southern fried chicken now as well. We need to know if it's any good.

            1. re: billmayo

              Bourbon BBQ? It's re-opened, but don't bother. I ordered a 10 piece smoked chicken to take out. I actually received 6 pieces of chicken- they cut each of the 2 breasts into 3 pieces and considered it to count as 6 of the 10 pieces! When I called to politely suggest that when one orders 10 pieces of chicken they expect 10 pieces- the response was rude, loud, belligerent, and then they hung up on me. Oh, and I had prefaced my remarks by telling them I had eaten there 2 weeks prior, and that they might remember I had also picked up a large order the night before.
              Management's attitude, and deceptive menu, must be the reason why the parking lot is usually empty when I pass by every day. This place won't last.

              1. re: mccallen

                I get very disappointed when I hear stories like MO is usually to write them off when this happens to me, but lately, it seems more and more businesses do not care about their reputations and customers satisfaction. In one specific instance with a Country Club, I plan to sue....not really for the return of monies, but to prove a point. The CC has basically ignored the situation, so I plan to bring suit. I suspect then they will offer to settle, but I do not plan to accept. In a small claims court situation, the business is required to hire an attorney to respond to my complaint. I just plan on causing them some pain and money now.

                For the record.....I hear more stories like this about Bourbon BBQ, than good ones....same goes for the owner, it seems like he is fighting with everyone

                1. re: fourunder

                  I am a former small business owner who struggled to make a living for 35 years, so I am very sensitive, and supportive, and will go the extra mile to give the benefit of the doubt. A bad meal or poor service- I can chalk it up to a bad night (we all have them) and give it another chance, or two, or maybe even three. In this particular case, I just can't. 10 pieces is 10 pieces- not 6! The whole incident has left me disgusted. Raise the price if that's the problem, and give the customer what is advertised. As Judge Judy likes to say: "Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining".

            2. re: menton1

              I went to Johnny's 2x. The 1st time the spare ribs were perfect, the 2nd time they seemed like they were re-heated, and so so so salty you could just about eat them. Will give it another shot. They mentioned they were expanding into the store next door. Draft beer selection was very nice. I had one called Palin (?) liked it, a tad on the sweet side, but overall nice.

              1. re: michele cindy

                Quite frankly, I do not understand all the love for Fink, or even for Lippin for that matter. Both cannot hold down the fort in any place either has been associated with. The same complaints come up over and over.....they both suffered greatly from consistency issues. One visit good, another bad. My complaints go back to 2006-2007 and apparently they continue today.


                1. re: fourunder

                  Agree on the consistency issue.
                  Sort of like Longfellow's girl with the curl.
                  "When she was good she was very, very good
                  But when she was bad she was horrid"

                  1. re: WarmBeer

                    Exactly......apparently they have no problem serving day/days old, not worthy food.

                2. re: michele cindy

                  What do you mean when you say is seemed liked they were re-heated? They are likely not cooked to order, so this could very well be the case.

                  1. re: tommy

                    I wouldn't have a problem with re-heated barbecue myself........presumably the Q is made and held for an amount of time before being served. The question for me is, how is the food held? In the original smoker oven, a cook and hold oven or in the refrigerator. I don't have a problem with any of the methods.......however, I do expect the Q to be from the same day from any location billing itself as a Barbecue Restaurant or destination..

                    1. re: fourunder

                      Let's see if I can describe the difference... The 1st time the ribs were moist, the fat was soft, giving an almost juicy like quality to something not inherently juicy as in a burger, and they fell of the bone. The last time it was similar to when I have leftovers, put them in the toaster oven to heat up, they were nicely charred, but there was a slightly off taste, and a more dry then the 1st batch. I have no clue as to how the 2nd batch was prepared but my above description reflects the difference in the flavors. The main put off was the saltiness. Really over the top. Thinking back, I should have returned them.

                  2. re: michele cindy

                    " I had one called Palin (?) "
                    You don't by chance mean Palm? Often served in a special glass, more like a brandy snifter.

                    Off topic for a newbie. Is there a way to quote a previous post. Most boards have that but I don't see it here???

                      1. re: WarmBeer

                        Hold down the left side of the mouse and drag over what you want to copy....then right click copy and paste.

                        1. re: fourunder

                          duh, yes i know how to copy and paste. I'm talking about something like this:

                          (see the 3rd post as an example


                          where the quoted post includes attribution to the original poster and the font is different. Guess not available here.

                          1. re: WarmBeer

                            Well, I suppose he didn't know about the "quote" feature on many message boards...

                            On CH, there is no such feature. People just use quotation marks...

                  3. Thanks everybody. May have to make our way to Blauvelt. Although we've been known to cross the GW Bridge and get food from Dinosaur Barbecue to bring home.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: tafttiger

                      Sounds like a plan. BTW... Has anyone heard about the status of the Dinosaur Barbecue that is supposed to open in Jersey City?

                      1. re: wytewyz

                        Jersey City? Last I read, they're going to open one in Newark, right near the Pru Arena...supposedly this fall.

                    2. At Defiant brewery in Pearl River, NY, they have really amazing bbq pulled pork/brisket et al on Saturdays and Sundays(ok, the pork is excellent, though i'm not much of a brisket gal). They only smoke on the weekends, but you can stop in a drink a beer while waiting for your dinner. Cheap prices (by the pound, though i don't remember spending more than $10 for 2 people). BYO bread/slaw.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sixelagogo

                        I really enjoyed the ribs I had there. It was last year, but thanks for reminding me that I need to go there again.

                      2. Just over the border of Bergen County . . . Johnny's (in Pearl River).

                        With BBQ . . . I got one word for you . . . FINK . . . all you gotta know. LOL.