Is there a top barbecue in the Capital Region?
I did a search of this Board and not much came up for barbecue. Found this post on Dinosaur:
I recall reading about PJ's so there must be another thread re: barbecue, maybe on the General Tristate Archive Board.
Is there a top barbecue in the Capital Region? One that would satisfy someone who's had barbecue in Memphis, Nashville, N. Carolina or Texas? Or is it like Tex/Mex and bagels/bialys, better left to the region or city that does it best?
PS Anyone been to Franklin Barbecue in Austin?
I am actually ashamed of BBQ in general in this area. There is ZERO reason, or any taste justification for $23.50 rack of ribs (http://www.pjsbarbq.com/pdfs/PJs-Barbqsa-Menu.pdf), and I'm not just picking on PJ's, $24.95 at dinosaur (http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com/locati...).
Think about it, BBQ started in America (but originated in China, but thats another story all together) because all the tough, almost inedible portions of swine and cow were given to the slaves. The only way you could eat them was by hours upon hours of slow-cooking to melt the connective tissues, fat etc. out of them.
So, with pork prices being the way they are, even if I bought a fairly expensive rack of pork baby-back ribs @ $4.50/lb, a rack of ribs costs $12-$15, retail prices. I am more than sure that your price would drop to $1.5-$2.00/lb buying in bulk. I am sure fuel prices (fruit-bearing tree woods, charcoal, etc) add to it, but does that justify the price?
An experienced pitmaster can oversee hundreds of pounds of pork shoulder, brisket, ribs, chicken etc. There isn't a reason why BBQ is now as expensive as my porterhouse steak. I have been all around the country, and eaten pretty much every style BBQ there is, and down South, BBQ is more of a love, a passion, then it is here. I find that people whom have traveled the country and eaten at different BBQ locations generally agree on the sorry shape of BBQ in the NE. There are exceptions, of course, but mostly, I find that BBQ is too much of a "restaurant" food up here, and not "a cheap labor of love", if that makes sense.
I realize that operating costs/location/traffic considerations are different here, but I have serious problems with paying $24 rack of ribs, $9 pulled pork sandwiches, etc. Its not that I can't afford it, its just that I refuse to pay those prices for something inherently and historically, cheap. I make my BBQ sauce, a gallon at a time, and all my spices, base, and ancillary ingredients cost me $8/gallon. If I sold it, it wouldn't be $10/12oz, maybe $3-5/12oz bottle.
I know, people are looking at my somewhat rant and saying "well, why don't you open your own cheap BBQ?". I am seriously considering it. My father passed away unexpectedly, and now I have some money to invest in the rest of my life. Don't get me wrong, I would MUCH rather have my Father, but he loved BBQ, and I've been making it most of my life (even though I grew up in Albany), and he loved eating my food. So, maybe I will, and I already have a business plan drawn up and ready to go. I just need to know more about the business end of things, permits, laws, etc.
P.S. If anyone has any information about this, I'd love to hear it. Thanks!
We were visiting family in the Albany area over the weekend. I picked up the Deluxe Family pack at Dinosaur on Friday afternoon. For $65, the meal included a whole chicken, a full rack of ribs, a pound of brisket, 6 pieces of cornbread, and three sides (we choose mac and cheese, potato salad, and fried rice) as well as a bottle of bbq sauce. I am not going top argue with anyone about how "authentic" the food is or defend myself for having an opinion about bbq without being from Memphis, Texas, KC, or St. Louis. I will say this, it was a GREAT value for $65, and the food was all delicious. I would highly recommend this place and hope to dine in next time rather than get takeout.
I believe that preferences in BBQ are about as varied as favorites for pizza. Fortunately, there are many fewer establishments specializing in BBQ than there are claiming notoriety for their pizza.
If you were to believe the last Metroland Magazine poll, the "Best BBQ" was at:
1. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
2. Capital Q
3. PJ's BBQ
If you were truly interested in the competitive nature of BBQ than you missed your chance to sample such efforts at the fourth annual Troy Pig Out this past July 16 & 17. The results were provided in the Table Hopping Blog.
There really are only a little over a dozen places in the Capital region that truly specialize in BBQ. I think you folks should take on the challenge to start visiting these places and offer your own opinion not only on how they compare with each other, but also on how they stand up against places in Memphis, Nashville, N. Carolina, St. Louis or Texas.
Here's a list to get you started.
Pj's Saratoga Style Bar-B-Q, 112 S Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Memphis Smoke House, 588 Lake Ave Rt 29, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Giffy's Bar-B-Q, 1739 Rte 9, Clifton Park, NY 12065
Pig Pit BBQ, 1 Niver St, Cohoes, NY 12047
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 377 River St, Troy, NY 12180
Brunswick Barbecue & Brew, 3925 State Hwy 2, Troy, NY 12180
Uncle Marty's Adirondack Grill, 2930 Rt 43, Averill Park, NY 12018
Otis & Oliver's Restaurant and Pub, 979 Troy Schenectady Rd, Latham, NY 12110
Capital Q Smokehouse, 329 Ontario St, Albany, NY 12208
Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill, 1557 Central Ave, Colonie, NY 12205
Rubbin Butts Bar-B-Q, 1599 Union St., Schenectady, NY 12309
LT's Grill, 2305 Nott St E, Schenectady, NY 12309
Wagon Train Bbq, 671 Mariaville Rd, Schenectady, NY 12306
Chuck Wagon Diner, 653 Western Tpke, Duanesburg, NY 12056
LT 'S Grill
2305 Nott St E, Schenectady, NY 12309
1739 Route 9, Clifton Park, NY
Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill
1557 Central Ave, Albany, NY 12205
Pj's Saratoga Style Bar-B-Q
112 S Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Otis & Oliver's Resturant & Pub
979 Troy Schenectady Rd, Latham, NY 12110
Capital Q Smokehouse
329 Ontario St, Albany, NY 12208
Brunswick Bbq and Brew
3925 State Highway 2, Troy, NY 12180
2930 Ny Highway 43, Averill Park, NY 12018
Pig Pit Bbq
1 Niver St, Cohoes, NY 12047
Pj's Saratoga Style Bar-B-Q
112 S Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Memphis Smoke House
588 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
377 River St, Troy, NY 12180
Rubbin Butts Bar-B-Q
1599 Union St, Schenectady, NY 12309
Wagon Train Bbq
671 Mariaville Rd, Schenectady, NY 12306
Chuck Wagon Diner
653 Western Turnpike, Duanesburg, NY 12056
re: Roger K
Went to PJ's today to check out the new digs and was pleasantly surprised. Especially by the brisket. I've been to Austin/Lockhart/hill country and PJ's brisket is pretty legit! Make sure to order the fatty end (of course). Also had the Memphis ribs and their dry rub was tasty and the ribs were moist and tender with a pink smoke ring. The chicken is hit or miss, mostly miss because often we find it a bit dry (as it was today).
As someone who regularly craves real TX brisket, I'd go back to PJ's for it in a heartbeat!
re: Roger K
Yes, most definitely.
btw, did you read Cheryl Clark's review of Mango 29 Deli in today's T.U.? A friend was speaking highly of it as we drove by it on our way back from the Cambridge Hotel Thursday. I was going to post something about it on CH but Cheryl at least has first-hand experience and all the particulars about the owners.
I think someone was seeking a good deli on CH a few months ago.
Mango 29 Deli
1023 Rte 29, Schuylerville, NY 12871
re: Roger K
Jaylhorner wakes up much earlier than I do. :-) and provides accurate information. There are plenty of pictures of the ongoing renos on their website http://www.pjsbarbq.com/PJs-BAR-B-QSA... but still no projected re-opening date other than Spring. Their website also makes it apparent that they are in the process of franchising across the US.
I don't think I or my wife have ever tried salmon there, so I can't give an honest opinion.
Glad to see you're active again on CH. Missed reading your comments for awhile recently.
I'm not a big fan of BBQ chicken, but I had some last night at The Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake and it was real good. They have a BBQ on Wednesday and Saturday during the summer... no more this year. However, if you ever go to the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, this is only another fifteen minutes up the road.
A recent post from another thread (TOP NY Capital Region - Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Troy) re: PJ's:
So appropriate of you to post that thread...I knew I was forgetting something! I finally went to PJ's BBQ in Saratoga and it was really good. I believe I got the trifecta combo which was 2 ribs (awesome), pulled pork (very good) and a quarter chicken (also very good). I also gobbled a quick cheeseburger from the little shack just outside the back entrance of the flat track...delectable in deed! And I was fortunate enough to be at the track on a Sunday when they offer WHITE (NE) CLAM CHOWDER in addition to their famous RED (Manhattan) Clam Chowder. It was amazing, the only problem is: I'm still craving the RED! I guess that will have to wait until Summer 2012...Bon appetite my New York brethren.
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By netmover on Sep 17, 2011 07:32AM