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BBQ capital of Northern NJ


tomservo
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This is odd. At some point during the last couple of years, a number of BBQ restaurants have opened up in Montclair, as if to compete with what used to be the lone BBQ restaurant in town, Indigo smoke. Let's take a look at the competitors.

Indigo Smoke

387 Bloomfield Avenue

Montclair, NJ 07042

(973) 744-3440

www.indigosmoke.com

The first BBQ place in Montclair that I was aware of. They serve KC-style BBQ. They don't have pulled pork though, which is one of my favorite BBQ'd meats. More info in the Indigo Smoke thread.

The Wood Pit

108-110 Bloomfield Avenue

Montclair, NJ 07042

973-954-4679

www.thewoodpit.com

This joint opened up a little over a year ago. When I first read that it was Southern-style, images of ribs that were boiled, grilled, then drowned in BBQ sauce first came to mind (nothing against Southern-style BBQ, that's just standard rib-prep for the chicken and rib places around here). The name though did imply that there was some smoking going on, which was later confirmed by a glowing review from Pete Genovese. I plan on trying them out tomorrow.

Ruthie's Bar-B-Q & Pizza

64-1/2 Chestnut Street

Montclair, NJ 07042

(973) 509-1134

www.ruthiesbbq.com

I don't think this place is much older than The Wood Pit. Genovese gave it a decent review, but noted, "The Wood Pit, on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, would win the local barbecue joint showdown, but Ruthie's has the advantage of pizza, and better parking." They offer a few different styles of BBQ (Carolina pulled pork, Memphis-style ribs, etc).

Sandy's St. Louis Style BBQ & Soul Food

146-148 Bloomfield Ave

Montclair, NJ 07042

(973) 233-0510

I know the least about this place. There's very little information on the internet and no reviews - they might not even be open any more. Seeing as most rib places around here don't smoke their food, I suspect that it might not be real BBQ. Grilled/boiled ribs aren't bad, they're just not BBQ.

There you have it. There are now 3 (possibly 4) BBQ restaurants in Montclair alone, when a mere decade ago there were barely that many in NJ. So how is the Montclair BBQ scene? What do you guys think of these places? Who makes the best ribs? Brisket? What should be avoided? I figured it'd be easier to share experiences in a single Montclair thread rather than start a new thread for each restaurant.

Disclosure: I really like BBQ. In fact, I first discovered eG's forums while scouring the internet for good, local BBQ places, at a time when NJ was mostly devoid such smokey subsistence. I had been to the chains (Famous Dave's, Big Ed's, Dallas BBQ), but wanted something more authentic. With eGullet's help, I discovered many decent to good BBQ places (Stickey's, Front Street Smokehouse, Grub Hut, Bourbon BBQ in NJ; RUB, Dinosaur, Brother Jimmy's, Hill Country, and Daisy May in NYC). Thanks eGullet!

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  • 4 weeks later...
This is odd. At some point during the last couple of years, a number of BBQ restaurants have opened up in Montclair, as if to compete with what used to be the lone BBQ restaurant in town, Indigo smoke. Let's take a look at the competitors.

Indigo Smoke

387 Bloomfield Avenue

Montclair, NJ 07042

(973) 744-3440

www.indigosmoke.com

The first BBQ place in Montclair that I was aware of. They serve KC-style BBQ. They don't have pulled pork though, which is one of my favorite BBQ'd meats. More info in the Indigo Smoke thread.

The Wood Pit

108-110 Bloomfield Avenue

Montclair, NJ 07042

973-954-4679

www.thewoodpit.com

This joint opened up a little over a year ago. When I first read that it was Southern-style, images of ribs that were boiled, grilled, then drowned in BBQ sauce first came to mind (nothing against Southern-style BBQ, that's just standard rib-prep for the chicken and rib places around here). The name though did imply that there was some smoking going on, which was later confirmed by a glowing review from Pete Genovese. I plan on trying them out tomorrow.

Ruthie's Bar-B-Q & Pizza

64-1/2 Chestnut Street

Montclair, NJ 07042

(973) 509-1134

www.ruthiesbbq.com

I don't think this place is much older than The Wood Pit. Genovese gave it a decent review, but noted, "The Wood Pit, on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, would win the local barbecue joint showdown, but Ruthie's has the advantage of pizza, and better parking." They offer a few different styles of BBQ (Carolina pulled pork, Memphis-style ribs, etc).

Sandy's St. Louis Style BBQ & Soul Food

146-148 Bloomfield Ave

Montclair, NJ  07042

(973) 233-0510

I know the least about this place. There's very little information on the internet and no reviews - they might not even be open any more. Seeing as most rib places around here don't smoke their food, I suspect that it might not be real BBQ. Grilled/boiled ribs aren't bad, they're just not BBQ.

There you have it. There are now 3 (possibly 4) BBQ restaurants in Montclair alone, when a mere decade ago there were barely that many in NJ. So how is the Montclair BBQ scene? What do you guys think of these places? Who makes the best ribs? Brisket? What should be avoided? I figured it'd be easier to share experiences in a single Montclair thread rather than start a new thread for each restaurant.

Disclosure: I really like BBQ. In fact, I first discovered eG's forums while scouring the internet for good, local BBQ places, at a time when NJ was mostly devoid such smokey subsistence. I had been to the chains (Famous Dave's, Big Ed's, Dallas BBQ), but wanted something more authentic. With eGullet's help, I discovered many decent to good BBQ places (Stickey's, Front Street Smokehouse, Grub Hut, Bourbon BBQ in NJ; RUB, Dinosaur, Brother Jimmy's, Hill Country, and Daisy May in NYC). Thanks eGullet!

There's Famous Dave's.

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I live in Bloomfield, which borders on Montclair. There is no question in the world that the barbecue capitol of northern NJ is my backyard, in which resides a double-barreled wood-burning smoker that I built myself five years ago out of two 55-gallon drums and a stove conversion kit. We use it year-round for hams, pork, chicken and turkey, but all that is really just preparation for the massive party we have each summer. Last year, we did 40 lbs of pulled pork shoulder, 12 racks of spare ribs, six chickens and four strings of sausage, all washed down with a keg of Sierra Nevada pale ale. Phenomenal.

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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