Alchemy, Texas Replaces Ranger Texas Barbecue

P1140343x.jpg
Alchemy's rich and black-pepper-dotted prime rib


When New York barbecue legend Robert Pearson departed the final location of his Queens establishment, Pearson's Texas BBQ, in 2005, he left it in the hands of his able pitmaster, Angel Domingues, and the new owner, Cenobio Canalizo, both natives of Puebla, Mexico. They changed the name to Ranger Texas Barbecue, and the place soldiered on for a few more years, turning out 'cue that originally ranged from good to decent, but later was sometimes awful. Then a couple of months ago, due to a rumored death in the family, Ranger's eight-person crew mysteriously departed to points unknown, leaving Jackson Heights bereft of barbecue. Some say the extended family that ran the place returned to Mexico.


P1140337x.jpg
Typical spread at Alchemy, Texas (from upper lefthand corner going clockwise): beef rib [update: @drbbq notes that this looks more like a pork rib, and I'd have to agree with him/her], brisket, white beans with BBQ meats, cole slaw, white bread, goat rib, prime rib.


P1140336x.jpg
Now, the joint has been taken over by Josh Bowen, proprietor of John Brown Smokehouse, who has renamed the place Alchemy, Texas. Why the name, I asked him on Tuesday evening--the first night the place was officially opened, after a soft opening period. "With that particular smoker back there," he replied, "everything is going to end up tasting like Texas barbecue." He also went on to say, "I think of this as a place for doing experiments," gesturing at the chalkboard above the counter which listed goat ribs and prime rib, in addition to the expected brisket, pork ribs, beef ribs, and chicken. Later, the counter staff put up a hand-inked sign that also offered sausage and pork belly.

With a somewhat limited budget and a skeleton crew, I was able to taste a little over half of the current output, almost all of it damn good. The brisket was appropriately moist. I got two batches, of which the second was a little better than the first, in terms of crustiness and full beefy flavor. The prime rib--a very thick cut that gets barbecued on the outside, something like beef shoulder, but remains blood red rare in the middle--was nothing short of spectacular, straddling the giant gap between barbecue and steak. I loved the sausage, too, which Bowen said was a beef-pork combo made by a friend. In its inherent lack of seasoning, it took to the smoke like a pig to a mud puddle.


P1140334x.jpg
Apart from the new banner, the place looks pretty much the same as when it was Ranger Texas Barbecue.

Turn the page for more meat!

Location Info

Alchemy, Texas

7104 35th Ave., Jackson Heights, NY

Category: Restaurant


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
10 comments
mgloss
mgloss like.author.displayName 1 Like

Josh - Congratulations and good luck with Alchemy, TX!  I remember when Robbie took me to the old Pearsons when Hill Country was just a twinkle in our eye.

Rob & Dr. Bbq - Hope y'all are doing well! 


trainwreckwashington
trainwreckwashington

@mgloss I hope I can do you proud boss man.  I'd be nowhere without you guys.  HC 4 life :)  Perhaps a reunion with Rob and myself soon at the new spot soon?

drbbq
drbbq

@mgloss Marc you took a lot of heat for all the guys doing BBQ in NY now. I hope they realize it. 

drbbq
drbbq like.author.displayName 1 Like

I may not be from the great BBQ meccas of Texas or New York but I'm pretty sure that's not a beef rib in the second photo. 

nycbbq
nycbbq

@drbbq Where are you from, that great bbq mecca Chicago? Ray, good to see you here !

Robbie R.

You too Robert!

drbbq
drbbq

@nycbbq @drbbq Hey Robbie long time no see.Yep Chicago is home and these days Florida. The only real BBQ in Chicago when I was there was the folks that came up from the South. These days there is plenty of decent modern BBQ there just like everywhere else. But none of that makes it a beef rib :) 

sietsema
sietsema

@nycbbq @drbbq Hey Robbie, maybe you can answer that question about how they make the cabrito so tender in Mexico?

nycbbq
nycbbq

@drbbq Where are you from, that great bbq mecca Chicago? Ray, good to see you here

Robbie R.

You too Robert.

sietsema
sietsema

@drbbq Pretty sure you're right! Beef is what I ordered but pork is what I got.

Loading...