A Barbecue Run Through Three Boroughs With Texas Monthly's Daniel Vaughn

Categories: BBQ!, Sietsema

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The beef rib at Mighty Quinn's is so big, it must be butchered with a plastic knife.


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.


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Shown here in front of Mighty Quinn's, the crew included (left to right) Bourdain social-media producer Helen Cho, literary agent David Hale Smith, Daniel Vaughn, and Jennifer Vaughn.


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.


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The Chinese-leaning barbecued chicken wings were a surprise hit.


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Photographing everything became part of the ritual.


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Briskets waiting for the smoker at Mighty Quinn's.


Location Info

Mighty Quinn's

103 2nd Ave., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue

433 3rd Ave., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Four & Twenty Blackbirds

439 Third Ave., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant

John Brown Smokehouse

10-43 44th Drive, New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Briskettown

359 Bedford Ave., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Dram

177 S. 4th St., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Music

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12 comments
todped
todped

Man, Brisket Town was the only stuff that didn't look dryer than most of Texas these days. It’s all about the fat guys. BBQ is not diet food.

And yes, as for meat, the short rib is king. It's a lot like the brisket point but more consistent. Check out John Mueller Meat Company's ribs, they really are too good to describe if you happen to be a carnivore.

When and if I ever get to NYC, I’ll bask in the warm glow of the best pizza culture in the country. As for BBQ, I’ll stick around here thanks.

Craigley
Craigley

Just did a Houston > Elgin > Austin run.  Come on down an try it day-road-trip style some time.  

FWIW, this native Texan picks:  BrisketTown!!

cpollone
cpollone

I don't understand why these "taste tests" always skip Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem.  I spent 15 years in the South.  That place is the real deal.  

JohnnyDeep
JohnnyDeep

So....did he enjoy it? What was his pick as best? What was the worst? You're leaving out some big details here......


Craigley
Craigley

@cpollone - Going by pictures in the Google along (never ate there) it does not look like anything from Texas - but Texas ain't exactly "South". 

sietsema
sietsema

@JohnnyDeep Can't spill the beans! Vaughn is writing a piece for Texas Monthly about what he really thinks about New York barbecue.

cpollone
cpollone

@Craigley @cpollone Yeah, the guys who opened Dinosaur toured the Carolinas, Memphis, and Texas and learned all the techniques.  I'm partial to the ribs and pulled pork, but they do do a very credible brisket as well.  

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