April 11, 2010
New York is foodie paradise - lovely delicacies from all over the world - but there are few places to eat lip-smacking barbecue.
Although there aren't many great BBQ spots in NYC, Smoke Joint in Fort Greene does a pretty decent job. That it's fun, cozy and affordable sweetens the deal.
Since I cut my teeth on pit-cooked pig deep-basted and marinated in a vinegar and crushed red pepper sauce, I'm naturally not crazy about their tomato based table sauces, but their meats - chicken, pork and beef ribs - are substantial and succulent. Still there are times for tomato-based sauces, particularly when faced with a rack of babyback ribs or some hot wings.
Pit-cooked pulled pork is not native to Brooklyn, but then neither are many wonderful delicacies that translate well. Smoke Joint brings barbecue shack flavor and passable barbecue to the urban landscape without any kitsch.
While it's not the BBQ joints of my North Carolina youth - with their great smoky, rich and meaty eats but low-budget ambiance defined by paper placemats, plastic tumblers and formica tables - Smoke Joint is a fun experience with good beers and whiskeys as well.
It is indeed what owners Ben Grossman and Craig Samuel call "real New York barbecue," infused with a melting pot of urban flavors.
Dinner for two with drinks averages $40, not including gratuities.
Smoke Joint87 South Elliott Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217-4803
Lafayette Ave (C)
Fulton St (G)
Atlantic Ave-Pacific St (2, 3, 4, 5, M, N, Q, W, R, B, D)
Hours: Mon-Thu, Sun 12 pm - 10 pm, Fri-Sat 12 pm - 11 pmAccepts all major credit cards