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BBQ in NNJ


BeerGut
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We should convince Alan to make barbecue his career and open up his Kamado for us all.  His meat is fantastic!  Ask Jason and Rachel; they know.

He makes such wonderful pulled pork and kalbi.  Mmmmmm!

I'll be his agent and just take a small percentage of the cut. 

A little food porn:

http://www.zenreich.com/ZenWeb/images/bulgoki9.JPG

http://www.zenreich.com/ZenWeb/images/lambribs3.JPG

how one makes food porn:

http://www.zenreich.com/ZenWeb/bulgoki.htm

http://www.zenreich.com/ZenWeb/bbribs.htm

All of these are grilled items, though, not "barbecue". Korean BBQ isn't Barbecue in the technical sense, i.e., low temperature slowly smoked meats over a wood fire. Korean BBQ is cooked over charcoals pretty quickly at a very high temperature.

Alan DOES make a fine BBQ pork butt, with that Kamado of his, however.

http://www.zenreich.com/ZenWeb/pulledpork.htm

One of the nice things about the Kamado, as it is made of ceramic, is it can function at low temperatures and very high temperatures, so it can do barbecue smoking, grilling and even bread and pizza baking, and it can use both gas and wood coals as fuel.

I'm hoping to put in an order for a Kamado thru Alan in a few months, he's a sales rep for the company.

True, I was looking for a picture on the site that would show how juicy his pulled pork is but didn't find a good picture so put up some other food porn from his Kamado cooking section, including the Kalbi. So forgive the generic usage of the term.

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Is Mason Jar a mixed bag, or totally forgettable?

it should be a great place. as it turns out it's not. haven't tried the burger yet (and it didn't look promising), but i will soon. i do like the young vibe they've got there. no doubt due to its proximity to a college.

take two: one of the best burgers i've had in NJ. good enough to make me forget the mediocre pizza and barely passable BBQ.

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Anyone have the BBQ at Silver Oak Bistro yet in Ridgewood?

I had a bit of their sauce with my amuse bouche "home-made" potato chips. That BBQ sauce was reminiscent of our time living/visiting/staying in Texas, it was reaaaaal GOOD! :wub:

Stacey C-Anonymouze@aol.com

*Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads!-G. B. SHAW

JUST say NO... to CENSORSHIP*!

Also member of LinkedIn, Erexchange and DonRockwell.

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Anyone have the BBQ at Silver Oak Bistro yet in Ridgewood?

I had a bit of their sauce with my amuse bouche "home-made" potato chips.  That BBQ sauce was reminiscent of our time living/visiting/staying in Texas, it was reaaaaal GOOD!  :wub:

i think silver oak will definitely be a contender in the BBQ game.

That was pretty damn soon.

i don't mess around.

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Is Mason Jar a mixed bag, or totally forgettable?

it should be a great place. as it turns out it's not. haven't tried the burger yet (and it didn't look promising), but i will soon. i do like the young vibe they've got there. no doubt due to its proximity to a college.

take two: one of the best burgers i've had in NJ. good enough to make me forget the mediocre pizza and barely passable BBQ.

How does it compare to the Franklin Steakhouse?

or Michael's Roscommon, which I still would love to try?

Blessed are those who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called, "Dentists." (anonymous)

Life is too short for bad Caesar Salad. (Me)

Why would you poison yourself by eating a non-organic apple? (HL)

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There is a place just off Rte 17 in Mahwah called Mason Jar.  I have heard that they use an actual BBQ pit here, they slow-smoke everything, and that the quality is excellent.  They have been there for about 30 years.  If anyone has hands-on info, please post.  Here is the website: 

http://www.masonjar.com/

Hmm, thought I had answered this somewhere above, but here goes again. Mason Jar is a BBQ place. They do have a BBQ pit and do slow-smoke meat. Unfortunately, BBQ is as much a state of mind as a piece of smoked meat. Their BBQ is all right for northern NJ but being from the south, it's a pale imitation of the real thing. I only go to the Mason Jar when I absolutely totally have to have slow smoked meat...I should ask my brother to open a North Carolina BBQ place around Mahwah. He'd make a fortune.

Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!

Tommy Smothers

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And I'm sure I'll start some kind of a debate with this, but is "Real KC BBQ" considered the gold standard of BBQ, or would that be Texas or Carolina BBQ.

What are the major differences between the various styles?

Oh my...what a debate you may have started. As far as I can tell, the only real BBQ comes from North Carolina and those other guys are pretenders. NC BBQ is pulled pork and the whole hog is pit cooked for a l-o-n-g time until it's falling off the bone. As far as I can remember from Texas BBQ, they use beef (no self-respecting BBQ can ever come from beef)...NC BBQ is hand pulled, never sliced. There are at least two authentic BBQ sauces, one that uses vinegar and is (obviously) tart and one that is mustard based. The spiciness varies depending on the BBQ place. One of the best BBQ places in the world is in Lexington, NC. Barbecue Capital of the US (maybe the world) Of course, YMMV.

Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!

Tommy Smothers

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there's really no debate, unless people choose to pointlessly argue about their favorite style of BBQ.

How does it compare to the Franklin Steakhouse?

or Michael's Roscommon, which I still would love to try

quite favorably.

it's tough to compare, though. try michael's. continue to go to franklin steakhouse. and if you're up near mahwah, stop at the "the jar" for a burger.

it's got a good, young, college vibe. franklin has an ex-stripper vibe. michael's has a shot-and-beer joint/diner vibe. they're all different, and all good.

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Unfortunately, BBQ is as much a state of mind as a piece of smoked meat.

I'm not sure I get the gist of this reasoning. Isn't enjoying BBQ part of the palate? Or is it an experience? Sure, there are Regional differences in terms of what is acceptable. Deep Dish Pizza and Dunkin Donuts Bagels don't go over here in the NY Metro, either, but that is a matter of what tastes we find acceptable. Is a Regional Difference what you mean by "" state of mind"?

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it's got a good, young, college vibe.  franklin has an ex-stripper vibe.  michael's has a shot-and-beer joint/diner vibe.  they're all different, and all good.

That's a great call about the Franklin Steakhouse!!!

I've often felt that the ladies tending bar were just shy of a pole. It's almost comical. My wife (LI native) calls it "NJ cheese," and it's tough to argue.

They do make a fine burger though... Not to mention some tasty sweet potato fries.

Blessed are those who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called, "Dentists." (anonymous)

Life is too short for bad Caesar Salad. (Me)

Why would you poison yourself by eating a non-organic apple? (HL)

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Unfortunately, BBQ is as much a state of mind as a piece of smoked meat.

I'm not sure I get the gist of this reasoning. Isn't enjoying BBQ part of the palate? Or is it an experience? Sure, there are Regional differences in terms of what is acceptable. Deep Dish Pizza and Dunkin Donuts Bagels don't go over here in the NY Metro, either, but that is a matter of what tastes we find acceptable. Is a Regional Difference what you mean by "" state of mind"?

Who makes better mac & cheese than your mother? Who fries better chicken than your grandmother? The tastes you grow up with are the ones you're most comfortable and familiar with. I'm not saying that makes one thing better than another, it just gives you a starting point when you begin to compare. If you grew up with beef BBQ, you'd taste pork BBQ and have to establish a whole new set of criteria as to taste, flavors, textures, etc. and you'd still be comparing it to what you are used to. I hope that makes the statement a bit less obscure.

Edited by tsure (log)

Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!

Tommy Smothers

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Went to Bad Bob's BBQ in Keyport and it was, well...bad.

I ordered

A pulled pork sandwich w/slaw and BBQ sauce on the side

New Brunswick Stew (w/corn, potatoes, pork and chicken)

A baked potato

total cost around $10.50

Service

The lady behind the counter was helpful and friendly. Two types of sauces are offered, mild or hot. I chose mild. She asked if I'd like my slaw and sauce on the side and I happily replied "yes". Some people will drown your sandwich in sauce and slaw to the point where you wear more of the sandwch than you eat. Others will put so little on you won't be able to taste it. I like to take every opportunity to make my food the way I like it and I wanted to first judge the pork without any other flavors getting in the way. I ordered soup, but wasn't given a spoon. The place was clean inside and there is a nice view of the bay towards the back of the restaurant. They also said they are working on having a private room in the downstairs for private parties. No alcohol is served, bringing your own is welcome. She said the bbq smoking is done on premises. She said business is slow during the week but weekends have been pretty good.

As with anything I eat I'm hoping for the best. To be fair I showed up at 4:00 PM on a Tuesday. I'm near certain the pulled pork was not cooked that day and I wouldn't be surprised if it was leftovers from the weekend. The sandwich was served wrapped in white paper ala a Whiterose System burger, I like that sort of thing. I unwrapped the sucker and it looked real good. I ordered the smallest size sandwich and the bun was nice and poofy not flat like a wonder bread hamburger bun, nore reminiscent of a Colandra's hamburger roll. The bun fit perfectly in my hand and was a good size for the amount of pork on it. The bun was actually very well suited for BBQ unfortunately my pulled pork was not. I took the first bite with no sauce or slaw. It was dry, not sahara desert dry but the bun was more moist than the meat...ugh. The meat seemed to have some rub thrown on top for flavor. The dominant flavor to me tasted of salt. It wasn't that there was too much salt but salt was all that I tasted. No smokey taste was apparent in the pork. It was kind of tender but the dryness killed it. Looking back the bun was more memorable than the BBQ, not that the bun was special more that the BBQ was pedestrian. I enjoyed the sweet but not too sweet and vinegary sauce. Once the sandwich was slathered in it it was somewhat saved.

The slaw served was limp with a bland attempt at a vinegar flavor. It was definately not fresh.

I liked the New Brunswick stew, though for two dollars the serving size was incredibly small (sorry for this, but think urine sample cup) and the soup was served in styrofoam. Maybe it's just me. I hate soup served in styrofoam. The spoon makes that horible scraping sound at the bottom and sides and the lids are always a pain to get on and off when eating on the go.

The baked potato was the real bummer. I think it was a case of expecting one thing and receiving another. I hadn't had one bite to eat all day. I had a horrid, screaming, evil hangover from the night before. I'm looking over the menu and I see "Baked Potato" with no description. This baked potato was what my hangover was screaming for!!! My starving gut didn't need a description from the menu. The Idaho potato marketing machine's years of conditioning my mind for just this moment had finally arrived. Visions of an enormous-the size of my tv hopefully!-, fluffy, steaming white potato. The kind you see on the commercials. The kind that burst open with all their baked-potato goodness when you push the ends toward each other. I knew that would fix me up real good. The humble potato had been curing my Irish ancestors of their hangovers for many a generation and now it was my turn. My enormous, fluffy, steaming white potato was wrapped in foil, the spit was running down my chin, and I was getting happy just thinking about how good I would be feeling after I was done inhaling this thing. I was starting to feel better without even eating yet. When I unwrapped my enormous, fluffy, steaming white potato it turned out to be just big and not enormous, and it wasn't fluffy...or steaming...it wasn't...even...white. Apparently the sucker was smoked. I didn't need to push the ends togeter, apparently it cracked in half during the cooking (and I use that term very lightly) process. This monstrosity was dead-leaf brown all the way through and the reason it wasn't steaming was because all the water had been cooked out of this poor spud long, long ago. You could dehumidify your basement with this potato or suck all the odor out of a messy fridge with it. It had about a dozen uses I could think of off the top of my head and none of them involved eating it. This thing was killed, toast. I don't think I've ever seen a potato so abused. It was so dry it made the pork seem like a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summers day in comparison. The rub topping from the pork sandwich made an ignominious return on the potato and I could only stomach three bites of the potato as the dry, crusty taste of reality slapped me in the face. I was hoping it was just dry at the surface and I dug my fork deep into it. I shouldn't even say dug, that poor thing split like Moses and the Red Sea when I plunged my fork into it. It came with some butter, I didn't even bother. If this potato had a family they would seek out whoever cooked it with revenge in their eyes. I disgustedly chucked it out the window of my van and said a prayer for whatever poor stray animal would come upon it. It was so bad I'm gonna have to go get a potato tonight and cook it the right way just to get this nightmare out of my mind. STAY AWAY FROM THE POTATO!!!!

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Anyone have the BBQ at Silver Oak Bistro yet in Ridgewood?

I had a bit of their sauce with my amuse bouche "home-made" potato chips.  That BBQ sauce was reminiscent of our time living/visiting/staying in Texas, it was reaaaaal GOOD!  :wub:

i've had their ribs. i think the BBQ is likely the best thing on their menu. to my taste at least. i'm looking forward to more BBQ offerings from chef gary. i have a feeling it's all going to be pretty damned good.

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Chef Gary used to own a BBQ joint in Kansas..I think (he told us this story after the wine).  He had a huge business...more than he could handle.  He really seems to know good bbq and how to make it.  He said after 9-11 business went bust.

that makes sense. it's pretty clear that the man is no stranger to BBQ. aside from the ribs being really good, the pulled pork looked excellent. looking forward to more. and more.

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i've had their ribs.  i think the BBQ is likely the best thing on their menu.  to my taste at least.  i'm looking forward to more BBQ offerings from chef gary.  i have a feeling it's all going to be pretty damned good.

Do they have an actual pit and/or smoker? If not, what's their BBQ method?

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i've had their ribs.  i think the BBQ is likely the best thing on their menu.  to my taste at least.  i'm looking forward to more BBQ offerings from chef gary.  i have a feeling it's all going to be pretty damned good.

Do they have an actual pit and/or smoker? If not, what's their BBQ method?

I recall when Chef Gary came out and spoke to Jeff and myself that he mentioned them having a smoker. I could be wrong, but either way I've had BBQ (or Bar-B-Que) in the Carolinas because one of my sisters live there. I've also had it in Dallas/Fort Worth areas in Texas and up and down the east coast and on vacation in Puerto Rico once too! For me it's a tossup between the carolina's style and the texas style but I do prefer sauce on side so you can pick how much you want to dip or pour. Western Kitchen? was in Glen Rose and the owner passed on recently... now THAT was good BBQ! However... Chef Gary's BBQ Sauce that comes with the Amuse Bouche of chips is really really good, you could have heard me "mMMmmmMMmm" all the way to NYC! ::grin/laugh:: :wub::biggrin::laugh::cool::laugh::biggrin::wub:

Stacey C-Anonymouze@aol.com

*Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads!-G. B. SHAW

JUST say NO... to CENSORSHIP*!

Also member of LinkedIn, Erexchange and DonRockwell.

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Silver Oak has a smoker, but its the indoor/stovetop kind.

:blink::shock:

i'm not sure what you stuffed in your :shock: tonight, but i had some excellent BBQ from Silver Oak. stove-top smoker or a hole in the ground, i couldn't care less.

i'm no BBQ expert, but i have excellent taste (it's just a fact. you have to accept it). chef gary is producing very, very, very good BBQ.

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What's the name of the rib place in Hackensack that's not too far from the prison or I-80?  My dad took me there all the time when I was younger, and I remember that they had decent ribs, probably BBQ as well.

That's Cubby's. I used to go there a lot a while ago- mostly for the cool truck stop vibe, chili dogs, beer, grilled chicken and stuff like that. They do have tasty ribs, but they are not something that a BBQ afficianato would like- if I remember correctly they aren't even smoked. Good place, though- really used to pack 'em in.

Cubby's went out of business last year. Or maybe it was the year before, hard to keep track. In any event it's been just another hot dog place for some time now.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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What's the name of the rib place in Hackensack that's not too far from the prison or I-80?  My dad took me there all the time when I was younger, and I remember that they had decent ribs, probably BBQ as well.

That's Cubby's. I used to go there a lot a while ago- mostly for the cool truck stop vibe, chili dogs, beer, grilled chicken and stuff like that. They do have tasty ribs, but they are not something that a BBQ afficianato would like- if I remember correctly they aren't even smoked. Good place, though- really used to pack 'em in.

Cubby's went out of business last year. Or maybe it was the year before, hard to keep track. In any event it's been just another hot dog place for some time now.

cubby's on river street in hackensack is indeed still in business. they closed the cubby's on route 17 a while back. i forget if it was the same owners or not.

regardless, cubby's serves the saucy sweet type ribs, without smoke from what i recall, and they're probably not a player in serious bbq. it's a nice family friendly place, though.

Edited by tommy (log)
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