Why You Should Head to Hill Country for the Brisket Sessions

Categories: BBQ!, Events

Hill Country via Facebook
At the Brisket Sessions, conversation compares with slowly cooked brisket.
Pop by Hill Country Barbecue Market in Brooklyn (345 Adams Street, Brooklyn; 718-885-4608) tonight, April 13, 2015, and you can have a drink with New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein. Well, sort of — if you reserve a $5 spot ahead of time, you'll get a beer or margarita, which you can sip while you listen to Silverstein detail his rise through Texas Monthly, where he hired the country's first barbecue editor, and his move to New York City. The informal chat, moderated by LinkedIn executive editor Dan Roth, is part of an occasional Hill Country series known as Brisket Sessions.

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Here's Why the Price of Brisket Is Creeping Up at New York City Barbecue Restaurants

Categories: BBQ!

Robert Sietsema for the Village Voice
Notice a spike in brisket prices? There are a few reasons for that.
Half a pound of moist brisket, a couple of beef ribs, collard greens, mac and cheese, cornbread, and tap water (all served after waiting in line 45 minutes for counter service): $75. That was the total bill from a recent lunch stop at a popular BBQ restaurant in Brooklyn. Long considered a food of the people for its use of tough cuts that respond magically to long, slow cooking methods, barbecue has become, in NYC, an expensive (and time-consuming) proposition. What gives?

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Is the Best Brunch in Bushwick Built on Carolina 'Cue?

Photos by Laura Shunk, the Village Voice
Smoked pork hash and the South Carolina Naptime
When Arrogant Swine (173 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn; 347-328-5595) first opened its doors in Bushwick six months back, we noted that it served components of a good brunch on its dinner menu — the sweet-potato waffle with boozy maple syrup, we said, would make a nice midday share. Turns out the waffle does make one hell of a brunch item — especially when it gets the kitchen's treatment here.

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Elizabeth Karmel Leaves Hill Country, Will Open Online Barbecue Shack This Weekend

Categories: BBQ!

Photo by Christopher Hirsheimer for Taming the Flame
A leading lady in the grilling world, Elizabeth Karmel teaches, writes cookbooks, contributes to magazines (her work has been featured in Fine Cooking, Bon App├ętit, Saveur, and more), and runs her own website, GirlsAtTheGrill.com. But she's also known for her myriad talents in the slow-cooking department -- you might call her the grand dame of barbecue. Ironically enough, though, the North Carolina native is best recognized for spotlighting Texas-style 'cue in New York: She was the executive chef of Hill Country Barbecue Market (30 West 26th Street, 212-255-4544).

But now, Karmel is leaving Hill Country to go back to her roots -- she's launching a new, online Carolina barbecue shack that will deliver straight to your door.

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Chefs Light Up Grills for an All-Star BBQ

Categories: BBQ!

Taste Talks
Eli Sussman at last year's All-Star BBQ
A lineup of New York's best chefs will be on display September 14 at East River State Park, where they'll be grilling up their favorite dishes for you to devour. This is the finale to the upcoming Taste Talks event in Brooklyn, and 25 chefs will hit the waterfront for the All-Star BBQ, building up some smoke and char to serve stellar and wide-ranging plates.

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

Categories: BBQ!, Sietsema

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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Food at Barclays Fatty 'Cue is Really, Really Terrible

Categories: BBQ!

Robert Sietsema
Would you eat this greasy mess?

FiTR has recommended where to eat at outside Barclays Center, but there's a whole host of places to eat inside the arena, too, including many counters and carts offering nachos, hot dogs, hamburgers, and hot wings. More interesting, perhaps, are such Brooklyn foodie favorites as Calexico, L & B Spumoni Gardens, Habana, Nathan's, and Fatty 'Cue, for a bewildering total of 37 concessions. Finding ourselves with no time to go elsewhere before a recent show, we decided to pick one of the arena concessions for a quick dinner. Being fans of the long-shuttered (but recently re-opened) original by the Williamsburg Bridge, and the updated version on Carmine Street in the Village, we picked Fatty 'Cue. What a mistake!

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Wildwood Barbeque's Texas Smoked Brisket and Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings

Served with white bread, the sliced brisket at Wildwood is damn fine

[In connection with a feature that will be appearing tomorrow in the Village Voice, I've revisited half a dozen barbecues, old places I hadn't been to in years, and new places I hadn't had a chance to visit before. Here are some thumbnail sketches of my experiences.]

It's a branch of the sprawling and diversified B.R. Guest restaurant chain, so maybe you wouldn't expect Wildwood Barbeque to be very good. But, surprisingly, it can be quite good. The original pitmaster was Matt Fisher, now at Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue, and the place smells like hardwood smoke the minute you step in the front door.

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Brother Jimmy's Carolina 'Cue

Brother Jimmy's BBQ's pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw option, this one from the Union Square branch. Note the presence of the charred outer parts of the meat, sometimes known as "Mr. Brown."

[In connection with a feature that will be appearing this Wednesday in the Village Voice, I've revisited half a dozen barbecues, old places I hadn't been to in years, and new places I hadn't had a chance to visit before. Here are some thumbnail sketches of my experiences.]

If you're a fan of great barbecue, it's easy to ignore Brother Jimmy's. When I went 10 years ago, I found the 'cue awful. But maybe I wasn't focusing on the right things. Or maybe the place has simply gotten better, as the quality of New York barbecue has risen dramatically.

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Great Barbecues of Texas: Gonzales Food Market in Gonzales

Click on any image to enlarge
Great lamb ribs are one of Gonzales Food Market's eccentricities.

Founded in 1958 on the north side of Gonzales, Texas' courthouse square, Gonzales Food Market is still youthful in Texas barbecue years. Yet, in its relative obscurity and unreconstructed nature (the place still functions fully as a grocery store, the front well-stocked with boxed cereals, snacks, food staples, and cleaning supplies), it most perfectly illustrates how the Lone Star State's great barbecues evolved from food markets. Also, the barbecue is damn good, cheaper than usual, and you don't have to contend with the tourist hordes that haunt places like Kreuz Market and Louie Mueller's.

[This is the eighth installment of Great Barbecues of Texas. Read the entire series here.]

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