Texas Monthly BBQ will host a pop-up barbecue event at Hill Country Barbecue Market in Brooklyn
On March 27th, East Coasters will have the chance to enjoy some of the best barbecue out of Texas.
On March 27, Texas Monthly BBQ will host a TMBBQ pop-up at Hill Country Barbecue Market Brooklyn, featuring three of Texas’ top pit masters. Barbecue lovers who make their way to Brooklyn will be rewarded with brisket from Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge, beef ribs and sausage from Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue, and pork ribs from Nick Pencis of Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue.
Along with Texas beer and “hard-won barbecue wisdom,” guests will have the chance to hear from Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn. TMBBQ is organized by Texas Monthly, an award-winning general-interest magazine that covers all things Lone Star State.
For anyone who’s never experienced Texas’ all-consuming dedication to barbecue, this rare East Coast outpost is the place to do it! Texas Monthly’s Brooklyn pop-up will take place at Hill Country Barbecue from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now for $125 for all the Texas barbecue you can eat, and all the Texas beer you can drink, while supplies last.
Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.
Texas Monthly BBQ Pop-Up Joint Coming to Brooklyn - Recipes
New York City's up-and-coming barbecue borough
The proliferation of Texas-inspired barbecue joints in New York is still one of the more remarkable side effects of the Texas barbecue renaissance that's unfolded over the past 10 years.
To this day, many barbecue fans refuse to believe that the Big Apple can produce barbecue worthy of the Lone Star State. And for the most part they're right. With a few exceptions, the barbecue offerings in New York range from average to inedible.
The two most famous boroughs of the city, Manhattan and Brooklyn, have led the way in the development of high-quality Texas-style barbecue restaurants. Hill Country Barbecue kicked off the trend in 2007 when it opened in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Former Houstonian Hugh Mangum would bring excellent barbecue to the East Village in 2012 with the opening of Mighty Quinn's BBQ.
Starting about 2013, the center of barbecue activity shifted across the East River to the borough of Brooklyn. The pop-up restaurant BrisketTown morphed into Delaney Barbecue in the Willamsburg neighborhood, joining the likes of Morgan's Barbecue and Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue. The Brooklyn barbecue phenomenon reached a pinnacle with the opening of Hometown Bar-B-Que in Red Hook, where owner and pitmaster Billy Durney continues to make barbecue that rivals some of the best in Texas.
North of Brooklyn, in the borough of Queens, barbecue has been slower to take hold. Indeed, the workmanlike and ethnically diverse character of Queens has always existed in the shadow of its highly gentrified, hipster-birthing neighbor.
10-43 44th Drive, Long Island City, N.Y.
Which isn't to say there is no barbecue there. On a recent weekday afternoon, I hopped on the F train and headed to Queens in search of smoked meats.
My first stop was John Brown Smokehouse, which opened in 2010 in Long Island City, a neighborhood previously known for industrial businesses that has transformed into a hub of finance and technology. John Brown sits in the middle of a work-a-day block of 44th Drive, down the street from a taxi-staging yard and across from a food-cart-repair shop.
Entering the narrow storefront reveals an even narrower dining room that shares space with an order counter and a couple of Southern Pride Smoke Chef cookers.
The barbecue at John Brown is billed as "Kansas City style," so I ordered a batch of burnt ends, some traditional brisket and house-made sausage. The burnt ends were good, but the brisket was nothing to write a column about. The sausage was stellar. In an homage to the traditionally Greek inhabitants of Queens, it's made of lamb and redolent of basil, garlic and cheese. That sausage may be a reason I make a return trip to Queens in the future.
From there, I took the N train to Astoria, a neighborhood known for its rich ethnic diversity anchored by a large Greek population. Walking past Greek restaurants and food stores, I headed to Salt & Bone Smokehouse, which opened in early 2017.
There is a Texas-style menu here with lots of options to order meat by the pound. I ordered a quarter-pound of brisket and an all-beef sausage made to the place's recipe at a farm in New Jersey. Many New York barbecue joints haven't quite figured out how to serve ribs - they usually offer them only in half or full racks. Trying to order one or two ribs just to get a taste is a lost cause.
The brisket was very good, as was the densely packed sausage. Two Oyler brand, all-wood-burning, nonrotisserie pits are prominently displayed in the open kitchen. I asked the pitmaster on duty, Thomas Smith, about the genesis of such an ambitious barbecue joint in Queens. He explained that it was started by former employees of the now-closed Delaney Barbecue in Brooklyn.
That's something of a turning point for New York barbecue. In Texas, barbecue joints often rise from the figurative ashes of places that have recently closed. Salt & Bone Smokehouse seems to be one of the first "second generation" barbecue joints in the era of craft barbecue in the Big Apple. That it opened in Queens, rather than Brooklyn, may be a harbinger of things to come.
New Tex-Mex BBQ pop-up spices up Rice Village with hot taco trend
One of Houston’s underground barbecue sensations is taking the next step towards entering the mainstream. JQ’s Tex-Mex BBQ will begin a weekly pop-up at Rice Village food hall Politan Row starting this Saturday, October 10 at 12 pm.
The pop-up will provide a more permanent home for pitmaster Joseph Quellar and his Mexican-influenced take on Central Texas-style barbecue. JQ’s has become primarily known for its beef birria tacos. Made with a chile-rubbed blend of brisket and oxtail that’s smoked and then boiled, the tender, spicy meat gets a layer of melty cheese before being stuffed into a tortilla and served with consomme made from the broth.
Once relatively unknown or only made with lamb or goat, birria tacos have become a statewide sensation. Quellar credits an article by Texas Monthly taco editor José Ralat for taking the movement from underground sensation to a mainstream dish that's suddenly menus everywhere across Houston and beyond.
“I think people were looking for something new and different,” Quellar tells CultureMap. “That’s what birria does. It looks great and of course people like lines. They want to find the new thing to do.”
Even before Ralat’s article, JQ’s earned a solid reputation through pop-ups local breweries and at events organized by the Houston BBQ Festival, but moving to Politan Row will help it continue to grow.
“I need to legitimize JQ’s completely: commercial kitchen, fully permitted, insurance. It’s us taking the next step,” Quellar says.
At Politan Row, JQ’s will serve its signature birria tacos, as well as empanadas and its award-winning smoked brisket tamales. Quellar will also offer some traditional Texas barbecue and a few sides. The event starts at noon and runs until the meat sells out.
Customers will be able to pair their smoked meats with wine, beer, or cocktails from Politan Row’s bar. The food hall’s six other vendors will be serving their signature cuisines as well, so a family could go and assembled a variety of dishes with their tacos.
“We are so excited to bring JQ's Tex-Mex BBQ into the mix at Politan Row,” Politan Row culinary director Kirstin Moburg-Davis tells CultureMap. “There is so much heart in what they do Joseph fits right in with our passionate group of home-grown entrepreneurs.”
Adding JQ’s is one of a number of pop-ups Politan Row has hosted recently, including an appearance last weekend by ChòpnBlọk, the up-and-coming West African fast casual concept that was featured in the Houston-focused episode of No Passport Required, celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s PBS series.
After limiting JQ at the start of the pandemic, Quellar has resumed his travels to spread the birria gospel. A recent pop-up in Austin drew long (socially-distanced) lines and a quick sell out. Next weekend, he’ll be at Barbosa’s Barbeque in Denver the week after that, he’s traveling to Connecticut’s acclaimed Hoodoo Brown BBQ for a two-day pop-up.
From then on, he plans to be at Politan Row every Saturday for the foreseeable future. “As long as the Politan brass says it’s ok,” he notes.
Popular Houston barbecue joint picked for new Las Vegas food hall
The Blood Bros. are coming to Las Vegas. Brothers Robin and Terry Wong and pitmaster Quy Hoang will open a new location of Blood Bros. BBQ as one of 16 stalls at Famous Food Street Eats, a new food hall at the Resorts World Las Vegas, a new, 88-acre, three hotel complex opening this summer.
Since it opened in 2018, Blood Bros. has received national recognition for its Asian-influenced take on classic Texas barbecue. Named the best new restaurant in the 2019 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, the Bellaire barbecue joint also made Bon Appétit list of the best new restaurants of 2019 and Texas Monthly’s 2019 list of the state’s 25 best new barbecue joints.
The connection between the acclaimed barbecue restaurant and the $4.3 billion dollar Vegas resort runs through chef Chris Cosentino, chef-owner of Rosalie Italian Soul in downtown’s C. Baldwin hotel. As part of the Southern Smoke Festival in 2019, chef Chris Shepherd invited all of the participants, including Cosentino and his business partner Oliver Wharton, to have lunch at Blood Bros. Wharton’s company A Perfect Bite worked with Resorts World owners Genting Berhad to curate the food hall.
“I guess there was a few barbecue joints they were scoping out, Robin Wong tells CultureMap. “Ours was the top pick.”
After being presented with the opportunity and negotiating the terms, including the ability to visit the property for quality control, they agreed to the deal.
“It’s a great opportunity, but if we weren’t comfortable, we weren’t going to do it,” Wong says. “We weren’t going to sacrifice our brand that we worked so hard for with people we didn’t trust . . . We saw that they did care, and they want to do everything they can to make the product right.”
The hotel has provided Hoang with one of the smokers that will be installed at the restaurant so that he can familiarize himself with it. Soon, the barbecue stand’s future pitmasters will come to Houston for training. In addition, Hoang will travel to Vegas for the opening to get everything dialed in and to ensure all of the restaurant’s signature sides are being made properly.
At opening, the menu will focus on the Texas barbecue trinity of brisket, pork ribs, and sausage. To give patrons a little of Blood Bros. signature spices, the stand will serve the restaurant’s gochujang pork ribs and togarashi-spiced turkey.
“We want to focus on good Texas barbecue, pretty much what got us started,” Hoang says. “We didn’t start off with all the crazy stuff. Down the line, maybe we can add a couple things.”
Opening at the food hall puts Blood Bros. in some pretty prestigious company. Other concepts include: Streetbird Las Vegas, a fried chicken concept from celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson Kuru Kuru Pa Yakitori, a Japanese restaurant from superstar DJ and producer Steve Aoki and his restaurateur brother Ah Chun Shandong Dumpling, a Hong Kong stand recognized with a Michelin Bib Gourmand designation and Pepita’s Kitchen, a stand in Manilla once visited by Anthony Bourdain, according to a release.
“It’s exciting. The ones they brought from Singapore are pretty hardcore,” Hoang says.
“You know we’re not chefs. We’re backyard guys,” Wong adds. “It’s definitely an honor to be included with those guys.”
Also exciting is what this project could mean for Blood Bros. if it takes off. Resorts World has properties through the U.S. and Asia — all of which could potentially house Blood Bros. outposts.
“There’s definitely some opportunities we hope we can take advantage of and really make Blood Bros a global brand,” Wong says. “That would blow us all out of the water.”
Food court location is a blessing and a curse for Feges BBQ
Feges BBQ, which normally operates in the Greenway Plaza food court, is offering to-go food during the coronavirus pandemic.
Chopped brisket sandwich and greens from Feges BBQ
Among Texas barbecue joints, Feges BBQ is unique in that it is located in the food court at Greenway Plaza, the sprawling campus of office buildings just east of the Galleria.
Known as The Hub, this food court serves thousands of office workers for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday.
With the stay-at-home order associated with the coronavirus pandemic, most office workers are now working from home and The Hub is closed both for lack of customers and for safety reasons.
Among the dozen or so food vendors in The Hub, this represents an existential crisis. Their entire clientele and revenue stream dried up within days. For Feges BBQ, it is an unexpected reversal of fortune for husband-and-wife owners Patrick Feges and Erin Smith, who opened to great fanfare in 2018.
Like most Texas barbecue joints, Feges and Smith have pivoted their business model to adapt to the changes wrought by the pandemic. But their location in a food court has greatly complicated that effort.
But first let&rsquos address the elephant in the room: Why open a Texas barbecue joint in a food court?
Pre-order online for curbside pickup at Greenway Plaza (weekdays) or at Spring Branch and Montrose pop-ups on weekends.
It&rsquos important to note that The Hub is not your typical food court usually associated with malls and airports. It&rsquos become something of an incubator for up-and-coming restaurateurs and chefs as a relatively inexpensive way to open a restaurant. Greenway Coffee, Burger Chan and Rice Box in addition to Feges BBQ are some of the heralded small food vendors located there.
For Feges and Smith, The Hub offered several benefits. The landlord shouldered much of the cost to build-out the kitchen and order counter. Also, being surrounded by office buildings meant there was a built-in clientele and never-ending stream of foot traffic. And because The Hub is only open for breakfast and lunch during weekdays, it offered a better work-life balance (weekends off!) to start a family.
Indeed, this all worked to plan with steady business and a stream of accolades including a two-star review from Alison Cook and a spot in Texas Monthly magazine&rsquos Top 25 New Barbecue Joints in Texas. Pitmaster Feges came up with a tongue-in-cheek label for his restaurant: &ldquoThe best food court barbecue in Texas.&rdquo Business progressed to the point where Feges and Smith recently announced a second location in a shopping center in Spring Branch.
Alas, if the food-court business model is particularly well-suited for a start-up barbecue joint, it is particularly ill-suited for a start-up barbecue joint during a pandemic.
Their customer base disappeared completely. Feges and Smith had enough money on hand to pay their seven employees for a week after they initially closed. Then, after briefly furloughing staff, they received a Payroll Protection Program loan and have brought their employees back on board to implement a radically different game plan to survive.
Though Greenway Plaza is still officially closed to the public &mdash the doors are literally locked &mdash some office workers are slowly returning and have access to The Hub. Feges and Smith have reopened the order counter in The Hub so the trickle of returning office workers can pre-order from a limited menu for pick up (the food-court seating area is still closed). They have also implemented a weekday, parking-lot curbside delivery system for anyone coming from outside Greenway Plaza.
On weekends, they pop-up at their upcoming location in Spring Branch on Saturdays and at Roost restaurant in Montrose on Sundays where they sell fully-cooked, chilled, and vacuum-sealed meats and sides that customers can reheat as necessary.
There are some indications that Greenway Plaza may re-open soon, which will hopefully restore the Feges&rsquo primary customer base. For now though, as for most Texas barbecue joints, it&rsquos a daily scramble to find new ways to survive until some sense of normalcy returns.
Texas Monthly BBQ Pop-Up Joint Coming to Brooklyn - Recipes
660 Amsterdam Avenue (between 92 & 93 Street)
New York, NY 10025
Pulled Beef 1/2 lb
Burnt Ends 1/2lb
Half BBQ Chicken
Dino Ribs (limited availability)
Thai Sticky Ribs
Pulled Beef Sandwich
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Pulled Beef Empanadas
Korean Chicken Bites
Smoked Hot Wings
Pulled Beef Tacos
Adobo Chicken Tacos
Double Patty Burger
Avg. Check: $25-$35
Succah On Succot: No
Nine Days Menu: No
Open for Pesach: No
RESERVATIONS Yes walk-ins for pickup
CREDIT CARDS All major
Sruli Eidelman&rsquos restaurant family continues growing with the latest expansion into Manhattan! Ever since Izzy&rsquos Smokehouse opened in Brooklyn in 2015, the name has been a mark of quality and mouth-watering flavors in NYC. Izzy&rsquos Smokehouse Upper West Side is no different!
The new space is designed by By Neil Schwartz of TNB Architecture, and perfectly captures the friendly, warm environment: casual with a promise of a great dining experience to come. The dining area itself is a feast for the eyes, not to mention the tastes to come - and the smells! The smokehouse relies on a 24-hour crew to help supervise the fires that smoke day and night: luckily the smell of beef, lamb, and poultry smoking over oak and cherry woods is delicious to be around on a constant basis.
The meat is sliced and weighed right before your eyes in a show that will make your jaw drop - ready to eat! The enormous Dino Ribcovered in a massive chunk of beef and the Brisket are the stars of the show: tender meat with salt and pepper bark might change your perspective on life forever &ndash or at least your relationship with beef. You will fall madly in love. The Smoked Fried Chicken Sandwich is another stunner &ndash yep, that&rsquos smoked AND marinated and fried in house batter, topped with horseradish mayo and pickles in a toasted pretzel bun. Other flavorful faves are the burgers: don&rsquot neglect the classics! And be sure to order some appetizers, like the Smoked Hot Wings and the Pulled Beef Empanadas.
[continued above, right]
If you&rsquore looking for subtle flavors, you&rsquove come to the wrong place. My advice is to get hungry and go with friends and split everything on the menu.
Christina Cottell and Shoel Davidson of Gringo in Gastown picked up the 2,300 sqft space at 337 East Hastings back in mid-January. They’ve since been hosting a series of pop-up restaurants at the address, among them Karl Gregg’s Chicken Shack and a night of reportedly excellent cheeseburgers from The Local Omnivore. As noted in this week’s Scout List, a new (and self-explanatory) pop-up called Meatball & Co. is set to take over the spot this weekend.
This “337 Series” of pop-ups will continue throughout the Summer because the address won’t see a permanent restaurant until Autumn. When that good day does arrive, it’ll witness the dawn of Dixies, an authentic 75 seat Austin-style, Central Texas BBQ joint with a late night license. Cottell lived in Texas when she was a kid, so she wants to do it right. That means live flame, a lot of pork, plenty of sausage, rubs and glazes (as opposed to sauces or vinegars), and a deep range of sides (serrano-spinach, collared greens, beans, slaw, potato salad, et cetera). We can also expect special catfish suppers, fried chicken dinners, and gospel brunches. Aside from the four taps (3 beers, 1 cider), the bar will be bourbon-heavy. I’m told we’ll also see BBQ pairing standards like Bloody Mary’s and spiked iced teas, plus boozy lemonades and punches.
After The Flower Cafe shuttered in this space a couple of years ago (after a lengthy run), the cinder block address became the short-lived Perch. Most recently, it housed Buick 6, which also withered within a shockingly short period.
Whether the two most recent iterations were both conceptual failures is hard to say, as the heart of the Downtown Eastside hasn’t been especially supportive of restaurants for a very long time. Regardless, there’s a lot of time between now and the opening, and if the (to date) largely successful pop-ups are any indication, it might not be as prohibitive a spot as its most recent failures might suggest. Speaking personally as a woefully under-served fan of regionally specific BBQ (Dixie’s is only a few blocks from the Scout office), I’m super stoked at the prospect.
New England's Largest American Whiskey Program
We are just as passionate about our whiskey as we are our barbecue. With nearly 250 whiskeys on our list, our bar program boasts the largest American whiskey collection in New England. Our commitment means we are pouring Pappy, Weller Antique, and WhistlePig Boss Hog along with some of our own custom-collaborations plus plenty of popular standards like Booker’s Single Barrel Bourbon and Uncle Nearest 1856 Tennessee Whiskey. Not into whiskey? Our bar program is rounded out with our craft beer list and craft cocktail program with each location featuring cocktails unique to their own bar.
Heim Barbecue in Fort Worth announces coming-soon Dallas restaurant near Love Field airport
Heim Barbecue, a fast-growing smoked-meat house that originated in Fort Worth, will open a restaurant at 3130 W. Mockingbird Lane in Dallas, near Dallas Love Field.
The restaurant’s namesakes Travis and Emma Heim started their company as a food truck in 2015. They amassed a serious following of meatheads, and by 2016, they opened a restaurant on Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth. A second restaurant, on White Settlement Road in Fort Worth’s River District, followed in 2019.
The Dallas barbecue joint will be the Heims’ third restaurant and is expected to open in June 2020.
Heim Barbecue is on Texas Monthly’s list of the top 50 barbecue joints in Texas and remains one of the buzziest barbecue joints in Dallas-Fort Worth. Some patrons have waited up to three hours for Heim’s barbecue. (Which means: The opening in Dallas will likely bring long waits, too.)
The husband and wife owners have a sweet story: “Emma and I opened our food truck 5 years ago with $100 to our names, praying that enough people would show up for us to be open the next day,” Travis Heim says in a statement. “We’re amazed every day by the amount of people who choose to visit our restaurants."
In its earliest days, Heim was lauded for its bacon burnt ends, a fatty, sugary bite that is often sold out — quickly — at local food festivals. The Heims also smoke brisket, pulled pork, ribs and turkey and have tacked on limited-time specials like burgers and a jalapeño-cheddar sausage corny dog to their menus.
Though Heim Barbecue has been a well-known company among Texas barbecue lovers for years, its appearances on TV shows like Food Paradise on Travel Channel and on foodnetwork.com’s list of “6 must-try spots for an ultimate Texas barbecue tour” likely contributed to its success, amid an already-hot barbecue scene in the United States, where seeking out great smokehouses is a regular pasttime for some foodies.
Heim Barbecue will move into Mockingbird Diner, a restaurant that closed in June 2019 after its operator explained that he was “befuddled” by issues at that address.
Greg Pierce, senior vice president of real estate company CBRE, notes the address’ proximity to “highly-populated and dense area of Dallas" near the mouth of Dallas Love Field — where people visiting Dallas might want to stop in for some Texas 'cue after landing in Big D.
There’s also this fact: People who love barbecue will drive for it.
Heim Barbecue is expected to open at 3130 W. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, in June 2020.