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Blue Smoke Battery Park

While we're aware that NYC isn't the place to come for BBQ, we'd like to squeeze in one BBQ meal in our upcoming trip to the city. With that in mind...

Has anyone tried the new Blue Smoke Battery Park City?

Also a question. At the bottom of the menu it says: 'Please order a Snack for the Table, and up to one First Course, one Main Course and one Dessert per Person.'

In the UK, I've seen restaurants insisting on a minimum order of a starter and main per person, but never three courses and a 'snack' too. Should this be treated as a general guideline, rather than a menu 'law'? We don't want to offend anyone by breaking house rules, but feel this is probably too much food for us. (London portions are quite different to US portions, as I'm sure you're aware!)

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Blue Smoke
255 Vesey St, New York, NY 10282

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  1. Sadly, there was already a 45 minute wait when we arrived at 7 PM this past Saturday, so we went elsewhere. I forgot to ask the front desk if they smoked their meats on-site, or simply trucked them down from their East 20's location and reheated them; the answer to that would help you make your decision. I highly doubt that a Danny Meyer joint would set minimum order requirements (short of The Modern or EMP), but if you call to ask about the cooking, you might as well ask about the ordering. FWIW, even the original Blue Smoke doesn't get great BBQ reviews on this board (except for the wings); if you search, you'll find that Daisy May's. Hill Country and Rub are better received. But, I do know that location is sometimes everything ;) .

    7 Replies
    1. re: Andy T.

      Thanks for the tips. I'd definitely be interested to hear if food is being cooked on-site! The location is convenient hotel-wise but we're happy to travel for better BBQ. I've done a lot of research but kept coming up with mixed reviews for pretty much everywhere. Do you have a personal preference?

      1. re: PigsOnTour

        POT: sounds like you're staying at the Marriott or the W next to the WTC site? Since I'm not from BBQ-heavy parts of the country such as Texas or North Carolina, my opinion must be taken with a large grain of salt. I like sauce-heavy ribs, as opposed to dry rubs, so I prefer Daisy May or Dinosaur (both on the West Side, so you can catch the 1 train to the latter or the A/E to the former) over Rub or Hill Country (both also on the West Side, A/E or 1 trains are fine). However, the most 'Hound praised BBQ in NYC is probably in Brooklyn at either Fette Sau or Fatty Cue (NB, the latter is listed on their website as temporarily closed).

        jon: I think POT wanted to order less than the stated amount, not more ;) .

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        Hill Country
        30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

        RUB BBQ
        208 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

        Daisy May's BBQ
        623 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036

        Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
        777 W. 125th Street, New York, NY 10027

        1. re: Andy T.

          Thanks again. We're actually looking at a hotel near Chinatown so the new Blue Smoke was a little nearer than the original, but it sounds like we might be better off travelling further anyway. Fette Sau has been recommended to us before and it's definitely on the cards if we make it to Brooklyn. I appreciate your tips - it's definitely a tough call as it's so subjective, depending on the type of 'cue you prefer!

          1. re: PigsOnTour

            If you are going to be in Chinatown it is pretty easy to get to Fette Sau. Just take the 6 train to union sq and transfer to the L. There is a website that can show you the exact directions, even the bus. www.hopstop.com

            Fette Sau would be my choice for NY BBQ but I am more a fan of pig than cow. they do a really nice pork belly there and also sometimes have non traditional cuts like cheek and tail. Their other pork is good as well.

            The brisket is better at Hill Country as is the sausage. They get their sausage from Kreutz, a very famous cue joint in the Hill Country of Texas.

            Both of these are better than Rub or Blue Smoke in my opinion.

          2. re: Andy T.

            There's two Fatty Cues, one in Williamsburg (Brooklyn) and one in the West Village. Only the Brooklyn one's location is temporarily closed (for renovations). The West Village one is open for regular business.

            Note to the OP: Fatty Cue does not serve traditional Southern BBQ, if that is what you're after.

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            Fatty 'Cue
            50 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

            1. re: kathryn

              Yes, we are aware. Thanks. Do you have any personal favourites for NYC BBQ?

        2. re: Andy T.

          Wow, they must have just opened. I hate that people are crowding the restaurants in the neighborhood now, and that means the movie theatre too.

        3. i think the issue is that the menu appears to be for a friends and family dinner. i can't imagine that a restaurant would prevent you from ordering more than 1 entree or dessert per person if you wanted it (other than say at a restaurant that only has a tasting menu).

          1. Hope it's ok to hijack my own thread. (Probably not on Chowhound...)

            Just wondered if any locals could tell me if it's worth the trip up to Harlem for Dinosaur BBQ, or should we just try the original Blue Smoke or Hill Country?

            I know everyone has their favourites and, honestly, we're not looking for 'the best' BBQ (as we're aware NYC isn't the place for that), so just plain good and tasty will do. (We have precious little BBQ here!) We're fans of pulled pork, ribs and brisket, if that makes a difference.

            7 Replies
            1. re: PigsOnTour

              Sounds like you would be better off going to Rub (if you want convenient and good pulled pork) or better yet, Fette Sau (may be easier, or same time involved, as getting to Harlem).

              Unless you're looking for the best in the city, there's no reason to go up to Harlem for it.
              Sadly, our BBQ goes from pretty darn good to hard to even eat, with little in between.

              1. re: sugartoof

                Thanks for the tips. I'd read mixed reviews for Rub but will reconsider. Fette Sau has been recommended several times - if we can make it to Brooklyn, I'd definitely try there. Are you a fan? How's the pulled pork?

                1. re: PigsOnTour

                  I don't feel like I have a qualified opinion of Fette Sau, but I will say even though Rub wasn't as enjoyable the last couple times I went...it was still okay for the pulled pork sandwich, and the beans. I would go back. Can't say the same for Hill Country.

                  If you're starting in Chinatown, that Brooklyn trip will be easier than going to Harlem.

              2. re: PigsOnTour

                It really depends what you favor more. Hill Country is known more for brisket. Their ribs are good, too, but not the star. I don't even think they have pulled pork on the menu? They are Texas style, and it's all about the beef there. Dinosaur has very good pulled pork, BTW.

                1. re: PigsOnTour

                  In my opinion:

                  Dinosaur BBQ - wings are awesome but I have been disappointed with their other offerings. It's been awhile since I've been but I remember the barbecue sauce was too sweet and overpowered the meats. I would ask for sauce on the side next time I choose to get anything else besides wings.

                  Hill Country - great brisket (I get the moist), beef ribs, and sausages. I don't care for their sides. Their barbeque sauce is really good. So you know, it's not full waiter service...you go up and get the food yourself. Pay by weight for the meat.

                  Blue Smoke - although the BBQ here is not the best, I've had a lot of satisfying meals here. A full-service restaurant with lots of options on the menu and good atmosphere. Appetizers and sides are great. I like the deviled eggs, barbeque chips, chicken wings, mac and cheese, coleslaw. As for entrees, I've enjoyed the pulled pork, beef ribs, fried chicken, and burger. Good beer selection and desserts are great too.

                  Rub - I've had a couple of mediocre meals here. Burnt ends are great but they run out early. Other things I've had were only so-so. I remember wings being only okay.

                  Wildwood BBQ - I don't really see this place mentioned but it's centrally located and I've had good experiences here. Actually, my first visit was pretty bad (not that long after it opened) but then I went back a couple of years later and was very pleasantly surprised by the brisket and ribs. Wings were great too.

                  I've never been to Fette Sau so can't comment there.

                  -----
                  Hill Country
                  30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

                  RUB BBQ
                  208 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                  Blue Smoke
                  116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

                  Wildwood Barbeque
                  225 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003

                  Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
                  777 W. 125th Street, New York, NY 10027

                  1. re: churros

                    Churros- I could have written your post. I ate at Blue Smoke last night ( well, Jazz Standard to hear the wonderful Wolff Clark Expedition) and didn't finish my smoked chicken- it was choke dry. I vote wings at Dinosaur and the rest at Hill Country- and a plane to Texas!!!!

                    1. re: carfreeinla

                      Thanks guys - I really appreciate your tips!

                2. Have to say, the mixed reviews online for Fette Sau are a bit discouraging. Also not thrilled at the idea of trekking to Brooklyn, waiting in line for a while (unless we go seriously off-peak), and then having to fuss with queues and finding tables etc.

                  Any thoughts on Dinosaur BBQ v Rack & Soul? (have seen favourable reviews for the chicken as well as the ribs and pulled pork at R&S).

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: PigsOnTour

                    i happen to love dinosaur. their wings are awesome, the fried green tomatoes are good, and the ribs are great. i also really like their brisket. my wife loves the chicken at dinosaur. and the atmosphere is always fun.

                    i think blue smoke is good for everything but ribs (except the salt and pepper ribs). their fried chicken is amazing, the burger is excellent, most of the appetizers are great, and their drinks are great too.

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                    Blue Smoke
                    116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

                    Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
                    777 W. 125th Street, New York, NY 10027

                    1. re: PigsOnTour

                      Fette Sau will be a lot closer to you then Dinosaur would be if you plan to stay in Chinatown. It is one stop into Brooklyn on the L train. I still think their BBQ is the best in NY.

                      1. re: PigsOnTour

                        Fette Sau is great, if the reviews are mixed don't trust them... It's hands down the best BBQ in NYC.

                        Rub has some very nice sides (onion strings, chili cheese fries) and the burnt ends are great, but they sell out and the other items are hit and miss.

                        Trekking to Bkln is no more of a schlep than trekking to Harlem and frankly I don't think that Dinosaur is worth the trip. It's OK. Fette Sau and Smoke Joint are both better. With the convenience factor, I'd go sooner go to Hill Country as well. Even though I think Hill has the worst sides, (their potato salad is like battery acid) their brisket is great.

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                        RUB BBQ
                        208 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                        1. re: PigsOnTour

                          Fette Sau is very much worth the trip. Hill country as Kathryn says is best for the brisket. I find the ribs too tough at Hill Country. RUB was good when it was the only place around, it isn't that good now. Georgia BBQ on LES is my favorite BBQ place in Manhattan, the ribs are amazing.

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                          Georgia's Eastside BBQ
                          192 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

                          Hill Country
                          30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

                          RUB BBQ
                          208 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                          1. re: foodwhisperer

                            Ok, FINE, you've sold me on Fette Sau. ;)

                            Any tips on the best time to get there to beat the queue / bag a seat? We were thinking of going on a Saturday before or after a trip to Smorgasburg, but I'm guessing it will be rammed...

                            1. re: PigsOnTour

                              I think Smorgasburg is on hiatus at the moment. Not sure when your trip is. I think they have a Winter spin off, and there's the Brooklyn Flea itself, but you might want to double check.

                              1. re: sugartoof

                                Thanks, we already checked - our trip is in May so should be fine then.

                              2. re: PigsOnTour

                                Any time during the week Isn't really that tough to get a spot in there. Saturday , late afternoon ,or early evening works. Saturday after 7Pm is impossible

                                1. re: foodwhisperer

                                  Thank you. Will try our luck on a Saturday, with Pies n Thighs as a back up. (Drinks at Rye or Dram).

                          2. Just my opinion, but found the following:
                            Blue Smoke on 27th St-Absolutely vile, left 80% of food, after the great potato chips and blue cheese dip, everything went south very fast
                            Hill Country-Moist Brisket and sweet tea are really great, sides were tepid at best, ribs OK
                            Fette Sau-Pulled pork, pork belly, and brisket great with good drinks available.
                            Rub-Average on all ordered, no return

                            -----
                            Hill Country
                            30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

                            RUB BBQ
                            208 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                            Blue Smoke
                            116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016