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Stickey's BBQ (Teaneck) CLOSED


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#1 Jason Perlow

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 05:34 PM

1515 Teaneck Road
Teaneck NJ 07666
(201)833-0202

I've been closely observing the construction of Stickey's for the last several months, and the restaurant is about a week and a few days from opening to the public.

The restaurant, which is in the old Wonder Bread Thrift Shop space on Teaneck Road, has been completely redone, attractively decorated in sort of a down-home roadhouse style (complete with working fireplace and twin overhead satellite TV units) and seats over 130 people. The owner, Larry Hage, has extensive experience as a pit master in competition BBQ as well as restaurant style Q, and will be using twin 650lb smokers (one brand new delivered to be used inside the restaurant, the other, his pre existing mobile rig used in competitions attached to his truck) and will be featuring several kinds of BBQ meats using 100 percent cherry wood smoking. His BBQ technique is sort of a combination of KC and Texas style.

I've uploaded the menu here (high res photos) for your perusal:

Stickey's BBQ (Page 1, 300k)

Stickey's BBQ (Page 2, 300k)

Of particular note are his desserts, which will feature deep fried candy bars and oreos.
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#2 Rosie

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 07:44 PM

Is it BYO?
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#3 Jason Perlow

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 07:50 PM

I presume so, he doesn't have a bar setup nor does he have a wine list.
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#4 tommy

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 08:05 PM

do you see this place giving our boy Fink a run for his money? this place definitely has an advantage from a size perspective. and they're pretty damned close too. but, i don't think you can have too many BBQ places, especially considering fink's is the only one worth going to in most of northern nj.

#5 Jason Perlow

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 08:12 PM

Its going to be a very different operation from Finks, and I suspect his 'Q will taste very different.

David Finklestein makes an excellent product but its not always consistent, and he is really kind of a boutique BBQ joint. He also offers a lots of different kinds of stuff on his menu and gets more creative (and not afraid to make mistakes with his experiments either) because he has specials and such, and he also serves breakfast.

Stickey's is going to be a hardcore barbeque restaurant along the lines of what you find in Kansas City, which is a different animal altogether. He's also only doing lunch and dinner, and really has a much more limited menu, although he has like 3 variations on his basic meat barbeque -- sandwich, wrap and salad (and meat platters).

I think there are certainly times when I will want to go to Finks, and times when I will want to go to Stickey's -- provided his product is good, which I am thinking it will be, after having had several conversations with Larry.
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#6 Rosie

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 06:30 AM

Don't forget that Fink does a mean pig roast!
Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"
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#7 tkrongold

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 07:58 AM

i am really looking forward to their opening. it sounds great & while Fink's is good, it's not like a "real" BBQ joint (a la KC, NC, or TX). NJ needs real BBQ! Jason, will you let us know when they open? thanks.
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#8 finker99

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 09:57 AM

when I go should I wear the fake glasses with the bushy eye brows?
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#9 Jason Perlow

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 10:30 AM

when I go should I wear the fake glasses with the bushy eye brows?

Next monday, presumably...
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#10 Jason Perlow

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 04:45 PM

Stickey's won't be ready on Monday (probably towards the middle of next week) but here's a sneak preview for NJ eGulleteers:

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This is a sample of the 3rd rack of pork Kansas City cut ribs (Hatfield, sourced independently by SYSCO) to come right off his brand new smoking rig.

They were tender, tasty, and had a nice balance of smokiness to rub seasoning. Stickey's formulation of BBQ rib sauce (he has about 3 different BBQ sauces that he has patented) is added for glazing in the last stage of cooking to finish the product. Its a little sweet with some good tanginess.
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#11 jhlurie

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 04:53 PM

If he's going for Kansas City instead of North Carolina or Texas, he needs BURNT ENDS.

BURNT ENDS, people. Yummy BURNT ENDS.

EDIT - Okay, with the word "Texas" in about 30 places on that menu, I suppose the cut of his ribs is the only KC influence.
Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

#12 Jason Perlow

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 04:56 PM

I think his technique is KC, but the actual style of BBQ is texas, hence the inclusion of beef ribs and beef brisket.

Over the next week I'm planning to go in there prior to opening to document the whole process of how he preps all the different meats, etc, and hope to sample more of the other Q varieties prior to the soft opening, which we will probably be attending as well.
Jason Perlow
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#13 Curlz

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 10:11 AM

Do let us know if he needs extra folks to sample for him!!! :biggrin:
Sure looks yummy!
"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

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#14 ahr

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 10:53 AM

For the sugar-conscious, will the ribs be available minus that stick(e)y glaze?
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#15 Jason Perlow

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:23 AM

For the sugar-conscious, will the ribs be available minus that stick(e)y glaze?

Yes, you can get them without sauce.
Jason Perlow
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#16 Jason Perlow

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 07:57 PM

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Stickey's BBQ -- Opening Friday, April 2 for Lunch and Dinner

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The Stickeys Crew -- Larry Hage, Owner, center

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The 650lb Smoker

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Pork Shoulder, in early smoking stages

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More Shoulder

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Brisket

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Makin' cornbread for the big day
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#17 Rachel Perlow

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 06:43 AM

They're having a guy in a piggy suit there today for the opening. :laugh:

#18 menton1

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 10:44 AM

Could you please post a copy of the menu?

#19 Jason Perlow

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 10:47 AM

Could you please post a copy of the menu?

Its already posted, check the first post.
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#20 menton1

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 10:52 AM

thanks, I missed it... sounds like a winner-- prices are MUCH higher than Finks, though... (but I'm guessing they didn't get their smokers on eBay, either! )

#21 Jason Perlow

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 11:16 AM

thanks, I missed it...  sounds like a winner--  prices are MUCH higher than Finks, though...  (but I'm guessing they didn't get their smokers on eBay, either! )

I don't think they are that much higher -- a rack of ribs is like a whole dollar or two difference, for example.

The portion sizes at Stickey's are also going to be a bit bigger, I think. Notice the emphasis on no appetizers.

As to the smoker -- it was ordered specially from California and built to Larry's specs (its gas ignited as opposed to just wood burning) and cost $7000.
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#22 Rachel Perlow

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 06:39 PM

Sadness... Stickey's wasn't open tonight. A piece of kitchen equipment was malfunctioning and they couldn't open. However, it has been fixed so the opening is rescheduled for tomorrow. Jason took some more pictures and will be posting them shortly.

#23 Jason Perlow

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 07:21 PM

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Stickey The Pig Welcomes You to Stickey's!

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Grandpa Stickey, circa 1925.

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Larry Hage, Owner/Pitmaster of Stickey's

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Pulled Pork, extreme closeup

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Pork during pulling stages

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Pork Shoulder peices, closeup
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#24 jhlurie

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Posted 03 April 2004 - 02:14 PM

Day 1 Reactions to Stickey's BBQ:

Okay, for those of you who are new to eGullet, let me start this off with an adaption of the standard "this is not a review" disclosure which many of us with official sounding titles feel compelled to give when talking about a new restaurant. This is especially important when we talk about a restaurant on it's first day of business. An outfit like The New York Times would be irresponsible almost to the point of criminality if it went into a restaurant on the very first day and then printed a review. But we work in a different mode here, because of the different medium. We can place comments into a context which a newspaper usually can't--time. We can revisit a place and illustrate the evolution in the same format as the original comments--this thread--whereas a newspaper review becomes monolithic and beyond response. Also, people can debate what we write here, so as well as the ability of our own responses to evolve, your responses are present as well.

In short... this is not a review. Let's call it... a first look. This allows me to write with a bit more freedom, since I'm hardly a BBQ expert on the level of Varmint or Dave the Cook--I'm just a reasonably informed amateur. Also, there's another basic advantage to the eGullet approach... we can be cheerleaders without pretense. After a look at Stickey's... frankly I'd love for them to succeed.


Stickey's, on day 1, has enormous promise. To me, the base of any BBQ--the platform upon which you inevitably build--is the meat. Today I got to try three kinds of meat--pulled pork, pulled chicken and BBQ Brisket--and all three are very solid. The smoking is almost perfect, and they all had nice clean, vibrant tastes.

The first tier you place upon that base is the sauce. The basic BBQ sauce is very good, if a bit sweet for my tastes. However, I know that if you fill a room with 100 BBQ enthusiasts, no two of them will agree on a sauce. But the basic division lines usually seem to form around "sweet" vs. "spicy". I just happen to be a "spicy" person.

What I'd hope to see eventually to help address this basic divide is two styles of sauce--a sweet one and a spicy one. Since the sauce is added post-smoking/pulling, this seems possible. Jason's comment, upthread, that Stickey's has multiple sauces patented makes we wonder if these variations don't perhaps already exist, but if so the menu and the help need to specify that this is the case.

The second tier on top of that meat base, at least for the sandwiches, would be the coleslaw and the bread. Both are pretty damn good here. The overstuffed "pile high" approach ensures you probably aren't going to pick these suckers up... but that's okay.

On to the sides... we sampled several: Texas Chili (w. Cornbread on the side), Macaroni & Cheese, Baked Beans, Yellow Kernel Corn, Black Beans & Rice.

Here's the other thing about going on a first day... kinks aren't worked out. Stickey's has been having a problem with their steam table, and the immediate casualty of that was that their Beans and Rice were dry. So if you go in during the next few days and notice that, we've got their assurance that this will change.

But there was one thing overall which I noticed about the sides. The ingredients are excellent. The preparation is good. But what I hope to see evolve here is the fat content: frankly there isn't enough. The Mac and Cheese was a great specimen, but I felt it needed to be a tiny bit cheesier. The corn was good (not overcooked--it's a pet peeve of mine when corn kernels are), but needed a bit more butter in the mix. The baked beans were excellent, in kind of a unique presentation which gave them a refried bean-like appearance (but a bit more solid), but might have benefited from some pork or bacon bits mixed in. And the cornbread accompanying a fairly solid Texas chili was great in that it was fantastically CRUMBLY, but might have been even MORE excellent if there were some cracklings or bacon fat in the mix.

One thing was obvious from our first day visit (as well as from going last night, when they had an aborted opening due to the previously mentioned Steam Table problems). Tons of neighborhood people in Teaneck are dying for a place like this. It's day one, and the take-out line was huge, and the restaurant itself was at least 3/4 full at all times.

We're definitely going back to Stickey's. The base is what matters, and the base was well thought out and well implemented. The service, despite the hectic nature of the first day, was cordial and polite--and I'm sneaky enough to have crept around a bit and watched the help with OTHER patrons rather than simply depending on my own experience.

Things are at a good starting point here, and admittedly we've only yet sampled a small percentage of their huge menu. Next up will probably be wings and ribs.
Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

#25 woodburner

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Posted 03 April 2004 - 03:08 PM

Anybody notice the brand of cooker? (Jason)
It has the appearance of a Southern Pride unit, that also seems to be powered by gas.
Not that there is a problem with gas, I'm just inquisitive. :wink:

Looks like some decent pork in those pictures.

woodburner

#26 Jason Perlow

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Posted 03 April 2004 - 05:45 PM

I'll elaborate on these photos later -- for now you can savor them.

Stickey's was EXTREMELY busy today during lunch and had very long wait times on the orders because they received about a 4-1 ratio of takeout to eat-in orders on their first day, which totally overwhelmed the kitchen and they weren't prepared for it.

I expect the service issues to resolve themselves over the next couple of weeks, but I think any super-critical analysis of the restaurant is totally premature and screw-ups have to be expected en masse the first week if not all thru the first month of operation.

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Chicken and some Brisket (or they might be beef ribs)

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Ribs

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Ribs...

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Chicken and Beef Ribs

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Pulled Pork Texas "Pile High"

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Brisket Texas "Pile High"

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Pulled Pork "Pile High" closeup

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Brisket "Pile High" closeup

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Texas Chili

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BBQ Baked Beans

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Texas Style Fries

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Cornbread

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Deep-Fried 1/4lb Snickers Bar

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Closeup of Snickers Bar

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Slaw

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Rice and Black Beans

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Mac 'n Cheese (If you go out to eat with Rachel, make sure you order your own and keep it out of arms reach, otherwise it will walk away if you turn your head away even for a minute!)

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Mo Jo Sauce (this is a tangier BBQ sauce that is somewhat spicier and has chunks of various things mixed in with it)

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Cornell Sauce, which can be had over Chicken. Its a vinagrette based sauce with olive oil, although its heavier on the olive oil and doesnt really taste like a Italian salad dressing.

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Happy Patrons
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#27 Mayhaw Man

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Posted 03 April 2004 - 06:01 PM

Looks good!(especially for a bunch of Yankees :wink: :laugh: )

How was the slaw? Jon didn't mention it ( I don't think anyway, I looked twice).
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#28 woodburner

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Posted 03 April 2004 - 06:08 PM

I'd never wait two hours for that shit. :angry:

Four hours yes, but not two. :laugh: :laugh:

Nice images Jason.

Belly bombs. :laugh:

woodburner

#29 Jason Perlow

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Posted 03 April 2004 - 06:55 PM

Looks good!(especially for a bunch of Yankees :wink: :laugh: )

How was the slaw? Jon didn't mention it ( I don't think anyway, I looked twice).

Excellent slaw.
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#30 Jason Perlow

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Posted 03 April 2004 - 06:56 PM

Anybody notice the brand of cooker? (Jason)
It has the appearance of a Southern Pride unit, that also seems to be powered by gas.
Not that there is a problem with gas, I'm just inquisitive. :wink:

Looks like some decent pork in those pictures.

woodburner

Its not a Southern Pride -- its some sort of custom made rig by some company out in California.
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