Revisiting John Brown Smokehouse
Welcome to 100 Dishes to Eat Now, the tasty countdown leading up to our "Best of 2012" issue. Tune in every day (weekends, too!) for a new dish from the Fork in the Road team.
A month ago, barbecue newcomer John Brown Smokehouse -- channeling the great barbecues of Kansas City, with a few Austin flourishes -- did a strange thing. It moved from a cozy location near the N train southwest to another, more industrial, neighborhood in Long Island City.
The new building and its awning look nearly the same as the old. But the new L-shaped interior is twice as big, with a separate bar (the old place was BYOB) and a sunny back courtyard, easily quadrupling the seating.
When a crew of friends visiting from Sacramento and I arrived this past Saturday, the place was hopping with employees and customers -- even though pit master and owner Josh Bowen was away at Pig Island for the day as one of the featured pig-cookers. We ordered up a big tray of 'cue, including six items that had been highlights of the previous menu, and one we'd never tried before (turkey).