All it takes is passion, time, and wood smoke.
Here's the truth: Until a decade ago, New York wasn't much of a barbecue town. There were chainlets and upscale theme spots, and one or two serious restaurants that stood out from the crowd, but there was no real barbecue culture. There was wood smoke, but there was no soul. Anyone who has visited the major meat-smoking regions of Tennessee, Kansas City, the Carolinas, and Central Texas will tell you that barbecue restaurants are social and communal in ways that few other culinary establishments are. Of course, the barbecue experience is ostensibly about eating smoked meat. But it also has deeper cultural implications — both because its origins lie in the celebratory feast, and because the food reflects the place where it's served.
Published June 13, 2016