Revisit: Fette Sau, Texas-Style Barbecue in Williamsburg
Three years ago I reviewed Fette Sau ("Fat Pig"), Williamsburg's tip of the hat to the fabled butcher-shop barbecues of the black-dirt farm country east of Austin, Texas. Its only rival in this category is Hill Country, just west of Madison Square. Both deserve to be ranked among the very best barbecues in the city.
On a hot summer Saturday evening, for no particular reason, and with three friends in tow, I decided to re-check the place just to make sure it's still great. It turned out to be better than when I first reviewed it.
It was 7:30 and a line stretched out the door of the former auto garage, which still retains its garage doors, and through the stockaded front yard that leads to the street. The place doesn't take reservations, and it requires a leap of faith to believe that, after you've stood in line for a half-hour or more, there will be a table where you can sit on the inside or the outside in the already crowded dining areas. Yet there always seems to be one.
While Hill Country mounts a nearly conventional Texas barbecue menu, Fette Sau has a crazy-ass menu sourced from boutique-quality meats, and the list varies from night to night, though the meat is still slow-smoked in the conventional way over hardwoods. This is Williamsburg, after all. The beer list is another point of departure. No Lone Stars or PBRs here, but a list that includes Kelso, Sixpoint, and other craft brews, served in mason jars.