John Brown Smokehouse for the Superbowl
As usual, full review with photos on the blog:
I tried out a variety of things when I made my first trip there a few weeks ago (short rib, duck breast, ribs, burnt ends), and considering that the BBQ held up pretty well by the time I got home, I thought it was a no-brainer to go there for my Superbowl food needs.
I ended up getting their "First Down" Superbowl party pack, which consisted of 2lbs of meat, a quarter rack of ribs, three 16oz sides, with bread and sauce for $57, along with 30 pecan-smoked wings for $28.
The rub was evenly distributed on all the wings, and they were huge.
The burnt ends were excellent. I remember going to RUB BBQ (now closed) and you had to get there early or they would run out. These even held up fairly well in the almost half an hour it took me to get home. I'm sure they would be phenomenal for dine-in. Perfectly juicy with some well distributed fat, and if you get one of the charred end bits there's just a wonderful depth of flavor and smokiness.
I don't usually get smoked turkey from a BBQ place, but I figured there was a high chance of leftovers and I wanted something that would probably still be good the next day. I was right on both accounts, and a cold turkey sandwich made for a delicious dinner the next night. The turkey is flavorful, and while the smoke was noticeable, it did not overpower.
Like I said, I've also tried a lot of other things from them and I think it's a great BBQ place. The location is a bit weird. It's located in Long Island City, kind of in-between the high-rises on the water and the part closer to Astoria that many people associate with LIC. If you get off at the E/M station, it's a quick 3 block walk. Otherwise, it does seem like a pretty random location. They do have dine-in, which I think would be the best way to have BBQ, but I have not tried it there.
Actually, when I got home, I realized that they didn't give me the wings I ordered. When I went back to pick them up, they were nice enough to offer me some additional comped food. They are not an efficient machine like Hill Country which is used to handling a ton of people, but it's nice to know that they're trying with their service.
That makes sense - it just seemed odd given the amount of meat otherwise (id say 2 lbs and 3 pints of sides is good for 3-4 people but thered barely be a bone a head with that rib count). A whole slab of pork spare ribs should have 12 bones, but i could easily see a 1/4 slab having 4 if they were from the small end.
I love the food but they are very disorganized and harried when they are extremely busy at the new location.
I picked up an order a few weeks ago that was called in a few days in advance. This was the first time ordering food since they moved to the new place. When I walked in I knew right away the order wasn't going to be ready. First they had to locate their order clipboard, and I will give credit to the girl helping me for pulling everything together pretty quickly. But they had missed items from other orders and it was taking a long time to straighten everything out.
I know that counter service is sorta of the traditional BBQ "way", but I feel like this place would be better served by having a wait staff to take some pressure off of everything happening in the front of the house. They've definitely been at this new location long enough to have worked out these kinks, but if they can't it means either the system or layout of the place is broken.