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Front Street Smokehouse, Elizabeth


TMus1111
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I saw these guys last night on the Food Network - Memphis in May with Bobby Flay (or something like that) - they were competitors. Wondering if anybody has been here or knows anything about them - their website says that they serve Memphis Style BBQ but the kitchen is a work in progress, but I saw somewhere that they were serving lunch. No answer when I called the # today around 11. Just curious if anybody has any info. Website

P.S. Daniel - this is in your territory when you're in Jersey - maybe you can check it out next time you're in the area.

Edited to add that I see they won a competition in PA on 8/27 - see here

Edited by TMus1111 (log)
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I seem to have answered my own question - there kitchen will not be officially ready and open for 6 to 8 weeks, but they will be having a "tasting" of sorts on the 23rd. Here is an e-mail I received from the owners. Maybe some of the egullet BBQ lovers would be interested in checking this out - especially if they're giving out samples of BBQ. :wink:

From Bruce - bkain@frontstreetsmokehouse.com

The Old No. 7 Band will be appearing once again at their new bar,

(& soon to be BBQ restaurant):

Front Street Smokehouse & Saloon

On the waterfront in Elizabeth, NJ!

Friday, September 23rd - 7 P.M. – Midnight

The Old No. 7 Band:

Bruce Tucker – Banjo / Guitar

Howard Cohen – Guitar

Bruce Kain – Bass

Jim Kimak – Sax

Len Hunt – Drums

Come down for a great night of music…

We will be serving samples of our award winning BBQ specialties from our upcoming menu!

And try the Front Street Smokehouse & Saloon specialty drink, The PIGTINI!

Front Street Smokehouse & Saloon

1 S. Front Street

Elizabeth, NJ 07206

908-354-1818

www.Frontstreetsmokehouse.com

Directions: N.J. Tpke. to exit 13A. Pay toll. Stay right onto Jersey Gardens Blvd.

2nd light, make right onto Veteran’s Memorial Drive. Stay straight 1 mile to Elizabeth Ave. Make left onto Elizabeth Ave. Go to the waterfront. We are on the right corner.

Coming later this Fall….

Memphis Style Barbecue Restaurant!

Congratulations to Executive Chef Bruce Kain & the Front Street Smokehouse Team for winning “Grand Champion” at the Cabela’s BBQ Cookoff in Hamburg, P.A., and earning an invitation to the Jack Daniels Invitational Barbeque Championship in Lynchburg, Tennessee this October!

Edited by TMus1111 (log)
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It would be great to have a Mephis style barbeque restaurant in Elizabeth or anywhere else in Union County.

The thought of being "down-the-port" at midnight all loaded up on "pigtini's" sends chills through my spine. :smile:

I caught the tail (no pun intended) end of that Bobby Flay special last night and saw that one of the competitors had a banner that said they were from Linden, is this the crew from the Front Street Smokehouse.

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  • 1 month later...

Has this place opened yet? Any knew talk about this place?

Edit to add: Just called.. They open at 4 I guess on weekdays.. They dont have a menu to fax.. I wonder what the delay is?

Edited by Daniel (log)
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  • 4 months later...

Front Street Smokehouse if finally open for business. I went on Saturday afternoon around 5:00 - the place was pretty empty, I guess because this place is still pretty much a secret. Its a small, but clean, nicely decorated place with a bar on one side, a pool table and maybe 8 or 10 tables for sit down. You can order take-out at the bar, but we decided to sit down to eat since it wasn't crowded. Their kitchen is open from 11:30 a.m until 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. We tried their brisket, a half rack of ribs and the pulled pork. The sides we ordered were mac & cheese, sweet potatoe fries and cole slaw. The brisket was fantastic, great smoke ring, tender and very flavorful. The ribs and pulled pork were excellent as well. Wonderful taste and the bottle of warm BBQ sauce they give you is not only very tasty, but its nice to be able to control the amount of sauce yourself. The mac & cheese was really really good - and I couldn't get enough of the sweet potatoe fries. All in all, a very good meal, a nice atmosphere -and for me its great to have good BBQ so close to home. I realize it may be a distance for some, but it is worth checking out. I know Daniel went, and when he returns from his trip to Vegas he will be posting his review, and hopefully some pictures. And there is another review in the "Lunch in Elizabeth" thread.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Front St. Smokehouse

1 South Front St

908-354-1818

The place is great.. Let me just come out and say it, they are offering some of the better BBQ I have had.. To eat here is to get a lesson in Pork.. The Pitmaster brings out and shines a spotlight on all the wonders of the Oink.. Not over sauced, not over rubbed or smoked, you can tell this man has a vision on what BBQ should be..

Here is the menu:

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The BBQ is Memphis style.. A dry rub is applied and the meat is put in the 700lb Ole Hickory Smoker.. There it is smoked and slow cooked for __ :biggrin: _ many hours, occasionally being spray with __ :biggrin: _ to season and moisten..

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So yesterday, for lunch, I ordered this combo plate.. Pulled Pork, Brisket,Ribs, Chicken, Mac and Cheese, sweet potato fries, and cornbread muffin.. This let me try most of there offerings.. I was really impressed, it was a ton of food and it was all very good..

Here is the plate minus the ribs.. In order to get a clear shot, I put them off to the side..

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Oh here they are..

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Lighty tug off the bone, perfectly pink and juicy, beautiful ribs.. The dry rub is geared to highlight the sweetness of the ribs.. Not spicy, but well seasoned.. The smoke and and the rub, really draw out the flavors of the Pork.. Goes really well with there "rich mans" version of Peter Luger Sauce. The homemade house BBQ sauce is just fantastic and I could just drink it with straw..

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I was trying to show in this photo just how moist the chicken is.. BBQ chicken is not my favorite thing, but this is a great piece of chicken right here..

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Here is the shot of the brisket.. Notice the smoke ring.. Also notice that nice layer of fat on the opposite end.. A thing of beauty..

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One more shot:

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Though there isnt a great shot of it, the pulled pork might be my favorite.. Its actually between the Ribs and the Pork.. The Pork is just done so well.. Not a ton of smokey crunch skin bits, but damn good.. There is some like white wine or maybe vinegary undertaste that I have not had, but cant get enough of..

Also on the plate were the Mac and Cheese, beans and sweet potato fries. The Mac was solid.. Nothing exceptional, but a good side.. More cheesey then most BBQ places, which is a plus.. It also had the comforting feel of an herb crust baked on top.. The beans were good, but I felt the subtle pork flavor couldnt compete with the beans.. The sweet potato fries are awesome.. Fried perfectly, crunchier then any I have had before.. I like them better then there french fries..

Washed down with a Briar's Birch Beer on tap in a frozen mug.. Icy bits of Birch Beer Floating around, dripping down the sides and freezing.. Its a thing of beauty..

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This place is for people who appreciate BBQ.. You are not going to come here and get a really saucy, over smoked, piece of meat.. There is no liquid smoke, there is no KC style sauce that drowns the meat.. Here, Pork is on display in all its beauty.. Great cuts and quality of meat, prepared by a man who knows his Oink.. I would choose this place over any BBQ place in New York or New Jersey that I have tried..

Note: I have heard of the owner through business (having nothing to do with restaurants), but have never met him before.. After going to his place and loving his food and talking about BBQ with him.. He invited me to go to a competition with him.. I paid for all my food.. The bottom line is, if the food wasnt as good as I say it is, I wouldnt travel halfway across the country paying my own way, to be his grunt :biggrin: ..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Here is a shot of the inside.. Being that the place has been totally rebuilt, the place is clean and really comfortable.. They have these tin cielings that give it an old school feel..

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Like this shot.. Here are some of the beers on tap.. On the right there is Birch Beer on tap.. Such a good thing..

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So here is todays lunch.. I got a pulled pork sandwich with fries.. Also got a side of there awesome chili..

Pulled pork sandwich.. With that really great sauce they use on the pork and I added some of there awesome BBQ sauce to everything.. Served on a simple bun.. Very good.. However, I prefered it just on a plate to experience the true flavor of the meat.. My one major hang up is the fries.. Certainly the fries a good.. But, I would really love if they did homemade fries, maybe tossed with some garlic and parsley.. Or perhaps they would make a chili cheese fries, just because that chili is so amazing.. "Front Street Fries" perhaps? The place has been open for about 4 weeks and is producing amazing meat.. Thats first and foremost..

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Here is the chili.. When asked what was in it, I was told pretty much everything they offer.. Its a mixture of pork, brisket, sausage, ribs, just a lot of meat.. Its not spicy, its again, a little sweet, a little smokey and very hearty.. I loved it.. One of my favorite chili's this side of Wisco and Ohio..

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While leaving, I was introduced to an item they dont have on there menu.. Its there "Fred Flinestone" special.. This is just a monsterous smoked beef rib.. This thing most likely weighed 2 pounds.. At like 14 bucks, its a great deal.. But more importantly, the taste. Its like eating a big juicy smoked steak.. I might really have to return tomorrow just for this.. I had a little piece and it wasnt enough..

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The thing is just gorgeous.. I am almost definately going back tomorrow.. :biggrin: Take that bone and wear around my neck, so I can gnaw on it from time to time..

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Edited by Daniel (log)
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OMG Daniel. Fabulous fabulous pictures. What an eyeful just before I head up to bed.

I know what I'll be dreaming about tonight!! (If I can even fall asleep now!)

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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The thing is just gorgeous.. I am almost definately going back tomorrow..  :biggrin: Take that bone and wear around my neck, so I can gnaw on it from time to time..

:laugh: LOVE that image, Daniel!!! Great pics--thanks for the report. We must RUN...

"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

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Daniel, thank you thank you thank you. :wub: You already know I am a huge fan of you, your pictures and Front Street Smokehouse. I have been twice already and can see it becoming a regular weekly affair. When I go, I am pretty anonymous, but maybe I'll have to speak up and then I can get to see some of the stuff you have. Question - the Beef Rib, is that on the Special board or is still a work in progress - cause I want one. And I can't say enough about the sweet potatoe fries - they are truly awesome. I though the same thing about the pulled pork, definetely a vinegary yummy taste to them. But my chicken didn't look like yours, I think I got the chicken legs instead of the half chicken (looks like another reason to return). And as for the atmosphere, it really was great on the Saturday afternoon when I went. When I went back on a Friday night, it was a bit more crowded, I guess because it is also a bar - so we got it to go.

Susangiff - to answer your question - definetely no reservations. It really is a small place with a bar on one side and a few tables, maybe 8-10, and a pool table on the other. Just walk in and have a seat kinda place.

P.S. I really hope people will check this place out now that Daniel has shown everybody some BBQ Porn. I just want to make sure they have enough customers to keep them in business for a long time to come.

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Tmus, thanks for your kind words and for telling us about this place.. And yeh, I was just shocked at how well the sweet potato fries were done..

I have not actually seen the special board.. But I do know I saw about 8 beef ribs in yesterday. I think its something they keep forgetting to put on the menu.. I would call ahead to double check..

In terms of the reservation thing, I would be surprised if they do.. But notice the next time you go in, there is an upstairs.. I know that they are planning on opening that up, if/when the business calls for it..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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are dey open on da sunday aftahnoonze?

Tommy, the e-mail I have from Frontstreet says Monday through Sat. 11:30 a.m through 9:00 p.m. As I mentioned earlier, I went on a Saturday around 5:00 and it was great. Only one other table was occupied and maybe 2 or 3 people at the bar ordering take-out.

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Thanks Daniel and Tommy for clarification. Sorry, I guess since I got the e-mail they have changed their schedule.

And Daniel, as to the beef rib, and this is what Bruce said:

"Hi Teresa,

To answer your questions about the beef rib: Yes. We are running it as a special now with the possibility in adding it as a regular menu item. "

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Front Street Smokehouse & Saloon

1 S. Front Street

Elizabeth, NJ  07206

908-354-1818

www.Frontstreetsmokehouse.com

Directions:  N.J. Tpke. to exit 13A.  Pay toll.  Stay right onto Jersey Gardens Blvd.

2nd light, make right onto Veteran’s Memorial Drive.  Stay straight 1 mile to Elizabeth Ave. Make left onto Elizabeth Ave.  Go to the waterfront.  We are on the right corner.

For those who have been to FS already, are these directions good?

"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

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Edit (in a new window b/c the Edit button didn't appear):

And/or are the directions on the web site better (from Exit 13)?

"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

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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I don't have time for a long post, and really, Daniel's pictures are worth many thousands of words anyway. But suffice it to say that we DID indeed go Friday night, because my taste buds must be obeyed. Fabulous ribs and chicken, those sweet potato fries are superb, and my pulled pork sandwich was a treat (but guys--why no slaw on top as a part of the sandwich? That's the Memphis way). We didn't order the beef ribs, which was a big mistake. To say that Bruce and Phil were gracious hosts is to wildly understate the situation. A friendly joint where our kids weren't snarled at when they hogged the pool table. And free refills on soda! What more could you ask?

Susan

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