A Barbecue Run Through Three Boroughs With Texas Monthly's Daniel Vaughn
It's not uncommon in barbecue states to do an extreme barbecue run that includes three or four pits in an extended afternoon of gorging, driving, sightseeing, and breaks along the way for bursts of healthful exercise. Well, a group of barbecue enthusiasts, including myself and New York Times critic Pete Wells, set out on such a run in New York City yesterday, dubbed the Convince a Texan Tour, stopping at four barbecues over a period of seven hours and eating lots of pie and drinking the stray beer and cocktail along the way. The occasion was the release of Daniel Vaughn's new book, The Prophets of Smoked Meat, which details his own barbecue excursions from one end of Texas to the other. The book is the first in a series of food volumes being published by Anthony Bourdain.
Daniel Vaughn and Anthony Bourdain will be discussing Vaughn's new book tonight at Barnes & Noble Union Square, 33 East 17th Street, at 7 p.m.
There was another reason for the barbecue run, too. I've been doing a lot of boasting about New York barbecue, and Vaughn has been doing some good-natured sniping from his home in Dallas, and this was a chance for him to either deny or confirm some of my wilder assertions. Indeed, he was already familiar with many of the city's older places, such as Hill Country, Mable's Smokehouse, and Fette Sau, and this would be an opportunity for him to try some of the newer ones. We decided to do the entire pilgrimage by subway and on foot, and ended up with quite a different experience than, say, driving across North Carolina.
We started at Mighty Quinn's in the East Village, where we were seen waiting outside the door as the place opened at 11:30 a.m. There, the six of us wolfed down a pound of brisket, a giant beef rib which Vaughn particularly admired, pork ribs, and spicy Italian sausage, the latter which caused the author to launch into a discourse on barbecued sausage. He noted that the vaunted beef link of Kreuz Market (also served at our own Hill Country) is loose in the casing because it's improperly fabricated. He was to make several more interesting and unusual assertions in the course of the afternoon.