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

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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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Carolina BBQ Pork Sandwich: Fletcher's Finally Gets It Right

Fletcher's pulled pork sandwich comes closest to ones FiTR has eaten in Raleigh, NC and Lexington, NC.

The city has made many strides BBQ-wise in the last two decades. I can point to a half-dozen places that do excellent beef brisket, Texas style, and there are no shortages of pits that do great pork ribs in the styles of Kansas City, St. Louis, and Memphis. But the one thing that has never quite been accurately reproduced in area barbecues is the iconic pork sandwich, served in a hamburger bun with vinegary cole slaw on top in North and South Carolina.

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Mighty Quinn's: New East Village Barbecue

A few good slices of brisket, creamy cole slaw, and bread roll will set you back $8.50 -- a pretty good deal where barbecue is concerned.

[Update: While FiTR may have enjoyed eating the barbecue, neighbors upstairs are apparently pissed at the smoke smells that have inundated their apartments, according to EV Grieve, which quotes one: "Our apartments and hallways reek of barbecue, all the way to the top floor -- It's coming up through the radiators, walls and floors." Supposedly, the barbecue revolution we're now experiencing is a result of effective "scrubbers" which can eliminate air pollution from smokers. Apparently not in this case.]

Last Thursday a new barbecue opened in the East Village. One might assume that it would be awful. Au Contraire, it's pretty good. Replacing Dutch bistro Vandaag at the corner of Second Avenue and East 6th Street, Mighty Quinn's is another of those places that make brisket the centerpiece of a seriously smoky menu. In fact the smoker thrusts its nose into the dining room like a locomotive crashing through a wall. In the back, a crew labors over dozens of briskets at once in a glassed-in room. This is a place serious about its brisket.

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Comparative Brisketology

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The smoked beef brisket at BrisketTown, 12/1/12. Note the thick smoke ring and the moistness of the meat. Smoked 12 to 16 hours.

This week Counter Culture traipses in to BrisketTown, Dan Delaney's new brisket-focused barbecue, spawned in Williamsburg via a number of pop-up single day barbecue events called BrisketLab this past summer. I decided to use this as an opportunity to dredge as many photos of NYC briskets as I could find. Can you tell just how good a brisket is with only a photo? Decide for yourself!

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