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new BBQ spot in middletown called A&L BBQ

So I check my mail and find a flyer about a new spot. I check online and see that it is a pizza place which is kind of odd.


It is located on the corner of 35 and new monmouth rd (across from Applebees)

I find out they use cherrywood and I got 2 of the 3 meat platters (one for the wife and I.) It is smoked on the premises.

I opted for the pulled pork, ribs (st louis cut) and brisket. The two sides I chose were mac and cheese and cole slaw. For 16.95 this was a decent meal. Opinions on BBQ are all over the place. You ask ten people and you get ten different opinions. So I won't write a huge review but lets just say this.... I'd give the brisket a try. I think it is nicely done...not dry or drenched in sauce. It has a heavy black pepper forward rub and some decent fat. Overall it wasn't epic but it gave me my bbq fix since its hard to smoke in this snow.

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  1. Intriguing... on their web site, the brisket looks like it could be pretty good, while the ribs have the super tough membrane showing on the upside down(?) picture. strange... I'll have to check them out some day soon

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lcdsoundsystem

      Ribs had real nice texture and were real meaty...not much pull on them. They were just a little bland for me...not bad but I prefer a heavier smoke. I think the brisket is a good find.

    2. I just checked the link you provided. Did you try any of their sides? Any rec's on that? I'll be in Middletown later today for an appt. Is there a place to sit and eat?

      3 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        Wife picked up but yes there are tables. Mac and cheese is good and you can feel your arteries clog as you eat it lol
        I liked the slaw too.

        1. re: corvette johnny

          Thanks corv, I'm going to try this place after my appt.

      2. Stopped today on my way from work. Ordered brisket, ribs and two sides. Ribs just OK, meaty, tender but not much flavor. Brisket was very good! Very tender, BBQ sauce just drizzled on top. Mac and cheese also just OK.

        I would return for the brisket and to try some of the other items.

        1. Stopped in with my wife tonight for dinner. For a pizzeria, I was impressed.

          We got two platters, so we sampled the sausage, pulled pork, pulled chicken, and the brisket. sides where mac and cheese, fries, and cole slaw.

          My wife enjoyed the sausage which tasted like kielbasa and was served with pickle chips,and the pulled pork. This had very little fat, which is the way she likes it. I liked the brisket, but like you said, had decent fat, I kind of like beef on the leaner side. I really enjoyed the pulled chicken. Could have had a bit of a heavier smoke flavor, but like you said.. BBQ is so subjective. Sauce was just about right, and I like that they don't soak it in. Just drizzled on top.

          Fries where fresh cut and done very well. Impressive for a pizza place. Mac and Cheese was alright. Could tell that the noodles where cooked to order which is a nice touch, but my wife prefers a baked mac and cheese preparation. It was served with a roll so you can make a sandwich I guess.

          All in all, for $15 I think this was a great value, and a great option in the area. I will be back.

          2 Replies
          1. re: coldsolderjoint

            I am glad you guys liked it. I am rooting for this place and hopefully they stick around. Having some decent brisket in my home town is a nice option. Was it me or did the brisket taste really fresh? It didn't have that rejuvenated look or feel to it.

            The ribs definitely need to have a stronger rub and/or a heavier smoke. I'd like to see them use some hickory to make them a little more pungent.

            And yes, Coldsolder I agree about the mac and cheese. I am a baked mac and cheese guy myself and prefer it a little dryer.

            I am not sure but my guess is the owner is into BBQ. I need to stop by to talk some BBQ with him one day.

            I mentioned this earlier but if you live in middletown and surrounding areas you get that small booklet of coupons. There are coupons for this place inside. Buy one platter get one 50% off.

            1. re: corvette johnny

              There's only one way to have brisket fresh and that is to cut it to order. If thats not going on, well....

              I look forward to trying them out

          2. ah ok so it's in that old little strip mall with the classic dingy jersey strip mall bar (similar to the one by the Navesink Fishery) and the jersey mikes

            i'll have to give it a try

            4 Replies
            1. re: Mr. Bingley

              Yes right next to jersey mikes. It is a pizza place so it is strange thinking you are going to get decent BBQ out of this place.

              I went again last night. Wife was in NY so i figured what the hell.

              The brisket was NOT a fluke. The second time it was tender, juicy and flavorful. I am happy to report that. The rub was not laid on thick like the first platter I got. I opted for the chicken and pulled pork to round out my trio. This time the pulled pork was even better. I had more "outside" pieces off the shoulder which I like and it was a little moister (again....no fat on this either.) The chicken was ok but not great. My wifes seems to have a lot more seasoning on heres the other day. She also got a half bird when we first ordered but I only got a drumstick and thigh. I guess there was a different cook in the back. So there are some small inconsistencies but overall I am thrilled to be able to get some decent brisket in town.

              The owner was there. I asked him how he got into BBQ he joked around that there was no good BBQ around here so he saw a need. He said he started cooking BBQ about ten years ago and it is just a hobby of his....nice guy.

              1. re: corvette johnny

                thanks, maybe i'll try the pulled pork tonight; hopefully i'll get some bark

                1. re: Mr. Bingley

                  they have two and three meat platters so I'd recommend at least trying the brisket.

                  1. re: corvette johnny

                    stopped in and got a brisket platter for my Bride and the pulled pork for me. sides were generic really but the brisket was very tender and lean and the pulled pork was pretty good too, especially considering it had a 10 minute ride to the house before we ate it. We'll definitely go there again!

                    as an aside, I love America: a jersey pizza joint serving decent bbq owned and cooked by a russian!

            2. Stopped there for lunch yesterday after reading about it here on Chowhound. Figured if I didn't like what I saw inside, I'd just go next door to Jersey Mike's and get a sub. LOL.

              I selected one of the specials: Beef Brisket sandwich with side of cole slaw. (They also had a pulled pork sandwich special with baked beans on the menu) Very reasonably priced, the total came to $6 and change including a can of Diet Pepsi. Service at the cash register while ordering, paying, and picking up my meal [I ate at one of the nearby tables] was quick and friendly. While I am not a BBQ expert knowledgeable on all of its nuances like a lot of you are, I can definitely state that I really enjoyed my sandwich & slaw. The portion sizes were more than fair for the cost. When I was getting ready to leave, I chatted a bit with the woman who took my order as well as a gentleman who I presume was the owner .... and told them about being mentioned on this message board. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to stopping again for lunch or maybe even at dinnertime soon.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bakersma

                We'll I got a chance to try their BBQ the other day. Truthfully, i had forgotten about them until I saw this 20% off coupon, so I figured I'd roll the dice. http://www.jerseyshoreinmotion.com/De...

                Anyway, the brisket was very flavorful. It wasn't the most moist(no brisket, unless it's direct from the smoker or hotbox is). It was def better than other places I've had locally. Can't attest to the ribs, but the brisket made me happy.

              2. Six months ago this was just a pizza place. They have branched out into also having barbecue.

                You can see what they serve at <http://www.jerseyshoreinmotion.com/De...>

                My husband and I shared a three-meat platter at $16.95.

                --Brisket: tender, tasty with a subtle smoke meat flavor. The meat could have been a little leaner.
                --Pulled Pork: shreds in a vinegary sauce--really good!
                --Ribs: falling off bone. Mark had wanted more sauce, but it turned out that the extra sauce was next to the French Fries, and he assumed it was ketchup.

                (The brisket is "Texas Beef Brisket," the pulled pork "Carolina Pulled Pork," and the ribs "Kansas City Style Spare Ribs," presumably based on the different sauces used.


                French fries are shoestring style, the same as McDonalds style, but home-cooked. Mark said he was a little surprised to see a few overcooked: "They tasted fine, but it occurred to me that it is years since I have seen fries not prepared by a computer."

                Beans did not have a lot of flavor, but did have bits of flavoring (meat?) among the beans.

                Toast is served with the meal. It is just standard toasted white bread placed on a plate butter side to butter side.

                All in all, definitely worth a visit.

                4 Replies
                1. re: eleeper

                  nice, I am glad you guys enjoyed it.

                  I have been three times (not lately) and have been meaning to get there again. I am craving some brisket : )

                  1. re: corvette johnny

                    I've gone a few times with that 20% off coupon I found on www.jerseyshoreinmotion.com. theyre becoming my local go to when i am in need of a brisket fix.

                    1. re: Lcdsoundsystem

                      I hear Tres Colores (aka A&L BBQ) is now serving Rutgers style "fat" sandwiches. Man, I haven't had one of those in years. Has anyone tried one?

                      Trivia question of the day: what was the key word to order a Long Island ice tea from grease trucks? If you knew the code they would serve you a big cup of this jungle juice lol

                  2. re: eleeper

                    We went again yesterday. The staff seemed different, and the Russian woman wasn't there at all. Also, the meats now have the sauce poured over them when served (as opposed to the sauce in a cup on the side). The sausage was sliced this time (last time it wasn't, IIRC). The fries are thicker and less "shoe-stringy". There is no toast or bread. The beans didn't have as much (any?) meat. All in all, things seem to have changed a bit. Have they changed owners?

                    (Because they were out of ribs last month when we went, Mark called and was told they were out again. But when we got there, they had ribs and said no one had called them, so I don't know if the staff is confused or what.)