By Jon Kay, Guest Columnist
Bronx Banter Barbecue
In my travels to the South, it has been relatively easy to find excellent barbecue. Sonny Bryans in Dallas and Rendezvous in Memphis are standouts. Until recent times, barbecue dining choices in New York City left one longing for another road trip down south. The last few years have brought excellent additions to the NYC barbecue scene. Here are a few of my favorites; feel free to add in yours.
R.U.B. (Righteous Urban Barbecue)
208 West 23rd (7th & 8th)
No reservations accepted.
This is by far, my favorite barbecue spot and I recommend you give it a try. RUB has a combination of down home atmosphere (paper plates and plastic cups), great service and excellent food. An order of St. Louis ribs, slaw and a couple of sides will send your taste buds to heaven. RUB cooks limited quantities of ribs each day so get there on the early side. When they run out, that’s all until the following day. For the adventurous, try the deep fried oreos for dessert.
Dinner for 2, $60.
adds a touch of class to the BBQ scene at Blue Smoke. By barbecue dining standards the décor is upscale. Food and service are excellent. The menu is more varied here, with gourmet items you would not find at most barbecue restaurants. A Fried Oyster Po’Boy on Homemade Brioche Bun with Caper-Tarragon Tartar Sauce is just one example. I stick with the traditional ribs and side orders which they prepare as well as anyone. The bar is a great spot to watch a ballgame while you are washing down some ribs with a beverage of choice.
Downstairs, you will find a club called Jazz Standard which offers a limited menu of barbecue treats.
Dinner for 2, $80.
Brother Jimmy’s BBQ Express
Grand Central Terminal, lower level food court.
Grab a smoked brisket sandwich to go and you will be the envy of everyone in your section. Orders are cleverly placed in clear plastic bags to insure easy passage thru Stadium security.
Lunch for 2, $25
Ribs on the Run
2225 Central Park Ave, Yonkers NY
Take out only.
A decent takeout spot in the heart of Yonkers’ Central Avenue culinary wasteland. Ribs on the Run’s claim to fame is they cater post game meals for the Yankees. You might run into ROTR’s
owner at a pre game Stadium tailgate party.
Madison Square Park, 23rd and Madison.
Danny Meyer strikes again with an outdoor burger stand in Madison Square Park. The burgers are cooked to order and are a cut above what you would get from fast food. You get to enjoy your grub in an adjacent outdoor seating area or just find a park bench. The lines tend to get long but the handy ShackCam gives you a heads up on what to expect.
Lunch for 2, $25.
5th Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party
June 9th-10th, Madison Square Park, 23rd and Madison.
Pitmasters and rib eaters converge in Madison Square Park for this annual BBQ-Fest. Local representatives include Blue Smoke, Dinosaur, Hill Country and Rack and Soul. Ten out-of-town pitmasters round out the field. The long lines for food can be avoided with the advance purchase of a Bubba FastPass. Live music adds to the festivities; this year’s headliner is James Blood Ulmer.
Bubba Fastpass, $100.