Want to enjoy Labor Day barbecue without the labor?
If you haven’t been invited to a cookout, don’t despair. Top-notch barbecue may be just around the corner, or at least, just a few stops away on the subway.
Here are some of the borough’s top spots for top-notch ‘cue, in no particular order.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (604 Union Street, in Park Slope) serves up sassy, saucy ribs, brisket, pulled pork and chicken, accompanied by traditional sides from fries and beans to potato salad and cole slaw, plus black-eyed peas with kale and simmered greens for those who want a side of healthful with their ‘cue. Main dishes come with two, plus cornbread. And, don’t miss the Fried Green Tomatoes.
Hometown Bar B Que (454 Van Brunt Street, in Red Hook) offers up both quantity and quality to its ‘cue-craving customers. Well worth the trip to Red Hook, the eatery‘s specialties include Meat by the ½ Pound, Ribs (including Jamaican Jerk Baby Back Ribs) by the half or whole rack, housemade Italian sausage, and even tacos piled high with brisket or pulled pork.
Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue (433 Third Avenue, in Gowanus) sets itself apart through its counter-service dining room, as well as by its efforts to craft Brooklyn-style barbecue rather than trying to echo the disparate styles of BBQ from around the U.S. The Fletcher’s Platter includes two separate meats and sides, as well as cornbread, rolls and pickles, for $20.95, or you can get your favorites by the quarter or half pound or on a sandwich.
Morgan’s Barbecue (267 Flatbush Avenue, in Prospect Heights) specializes in Texas-style ‘cue, which means that the menu includes chili, Frito Pie, Catfish Tacos, and Chips & Smokey Queso as well as pulled pork, sliced brisket, sausage and pork belly, as well as nine versions of Mac and Cheese. Morgan’s also offers a pretty substantial brunch on weekends including such treats as Texas Toast, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and Chilaquiles.
Hill Country Barbecue Market (345 Adams Street, in Downtown Brooklyn) offers up ‘cue and “American Roots” music (shows take place Tuesday through Saturday evenings) as a savory combo. The meats are flavored with a dry rub, and are available by the half pound or on sandwiches with pitchers of the house Margarita or beer to wash them down. If you can’t hang, some of the specialties are available to go in the marketplace.
The Smoke Joint (87 South Elliott Place, in Fort Greene), appropriately named as it truly is a cozy little corner joint in the shadow of the Barclays Center, boasts some seriously amazing smoky flavors and sides. The barbecued beef brisket sandwich – a 14-hour smoked and sliced favorite – is a recommendation you’ll probably hear over and over again. Couple that with the joint’s deliciously ooey-gooey four-cheese baked Mac and Cheese and you’ve got yourself a recipe straight out of BBQ heaven.
Joeper’s Smokeshack (2085 Flatbush Avenue, in Marine Park) announces its presence with a large statue of a pig perched on its corner location, but it doesn’t serve just pork. Among its specialties are Pulled Chicken, Brisket Burnt Ends and Bacon Mac and Cheese, as well as Pulled Pork, Ribs and Wings. And, don’t forget the Hush Puppies!
Anna Spivak contributed reporting to this article.