Monday, May 18, 2009

New York Tour de Barbecue

On a recent trip to Manhattan I decide to embark on a mini tour de barbecue so I consulted with my friend Gary over at - he is a barbecue genius. I asked Gary where I should go for the best ribs in New York and as I expected he gave me some choices; Wildwood for saucy ribs or RUB (Gary's personal favorite) for smoky au natural, also known as dry rubbed. If it's beef ribs or brisket I'm looking for, Hill Country is where it's at, which happens to be just 4 blocks from RUB. So after considering my options and looking at a map, I decided I would start at RUB for some of their smoky ribs and then make my way over to Hill Country for those famous beef ribs.

RUB, which stands for Righteous Urban Barbeque, is a small place with a takeout counter on the right, seating with wait service on the left, and a bar in the back. With several rib cut options on their menu I needed some assistance. First was the choice between St. Louis ribs or baby back ribs. I was leaning towards the St. Louis because they are usually meatier. But then I had to choose between the short end or the bony end. The short end is the last seven ribs off the slab and is also known as the tender end; the bony end is first six bones off the slab and is usually much meatier. Meat was what I was after so I went with the bony end with a side of their vinegar based cole slaw. The ribs were very smoky, almost too much, but they were very tender with a nice smoke ring and crispy bark. The slaw was outstanding, I like creamy coleslaw as much as the next person, but this vinegar slaw was excellent and perfect alongside the ribs.


St. Louis Ribs at RUB BBQ

Next stop, Hill Country Barbecue Market. I stopped in around 3:30pm so the restaurant was pretty empty. I was greated by a nice young woman at the front door who asked if I had ever been there before. I said no, and quickly got a lesson in the barbecue market. Upon entering the market, I'm given a meal ticket. Meal ticket rules can be seen in the second image below, but basically you take your ticket to the butcher counter where you order your meat, I ordered one big beef rib, and the butcher will weigh and price your meat. He'll affix a deli counter style sticker to your meal ticket and direct you towards the sides and trimmings station. With hot and cold sides to choose from I settled on Cool as Cucumber cucumber salad and Confetti Cole Slaw.

The beef rib was big, tender and very delicious, and the cucumber salad was sweet and sour vinegary perfection; if I was a cucumber I would want to be made into this delicious salad. Finally the confetti cole slaw, lightly dressed this cole slaw was a little creamy and a lot good. If I hadn't come from RUB I would have ordered more than one beef rib and may have tried some of the other great sounding sides. I don't know about you, but beer braised cowboy pinto beans and campfire baked beans with burnt ends sound pretty awesome to me. In hindsight, I wish I had at least tried their skillet cornbread. I'll have to wait until next time, and trust me, there will be a next time.

Hill Country Barbecue Market

Hill Country Barbecue Market Rules

Butcher Counter at Hill Country

Sides & Trimmings Station at Hill Country

Beef Rib at Hill Country

The next time you're in New York City and craving some barbecue, you should definitely check these places out. I'd suggest you start at Hill Country first, with live music everyday and fantastic Texas barbecue, it's a real treat.

Hill Country Barbecue Market
30 West 26th Street (Between 6th and Broadway)
New York, NY 10010
Phone: 212.255.4544

208 West 23rd Street (Between 7th and 8th Avenues)
New York, NY 10011
Phone: 212.524.4300

No comments:

Post a Comment