Williamsburg, Brooklyn NYC | Last summer I endeavored on a Gotham BBQ: NYC Barbecue Tour of some of the most noted 'cue joints in the city.
There were very few overall disappointments, while there were some real standout gems of particular dishes in more than decent places (the highly recommended "brontosaurus" rib at Mighty Quinn, the smoked pastrami at John Brown Smokehouse), and two places that were extremely successful across the board. (Both, admittedly, in Brooklyn.)
First was the highly estimable and most excellent Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue in Gowanus; second was well-established and -revered Fette Sau, one the original tent poles of Williamsburg's established food scene.
My first and long-overdue visit, the last stop on this "tour", found me enjoying a properly delivered brisket—tender, juicy beef with great salty char that also highlighted the beef's slightly caramelized natural sugars, with melt-in-your-mouth nearly fully rendered fat that barely hung on to the leaner parts and boosted each bites aromatics.
The baked beans were impressive as well, and I look forward to returning to Fette Sau to try some of the other barbecued and smoked meats. (I may need to bring other people with great appetites with me, so we can fully explore the menu—as I was far luckier to have at Fletcher's.)
I just hope that the brontosaurus ribs (and the even better baked beans with burnt ends) at the Mighty Quinn's that's soon to open just blocks away from me here on the Upper East Side isn't to much of a deterrent/distraction. :)