There’s this thing about New York City where, after you’ve lived here for a while, you get very used to having the best of everything at your disposal. Especially when it comes to food. We have the greatest restaurants in the world here, in damn near every category and type of cuisine imaginable. But there are – as I’m sure you’ll agree – some exceptions. And one of those exceptions is BBQ. No sane person can make the argument that New York holds claim to having the best BBQ restaurants in the country. But we are so used to having the best of everything else that we refuse to accept this fact and be happy just taking the occasional meat vacation to Memphis. The New York spirit makes us determined to solve the problem. And so every year or two, a new BBQ place opens up somewhere in town, promising to deliver the real deal, in reasonably close proximity to your tiny apartment. This year it’s Daniel Delaney and Briskettown.
The problem that Delaney is out to solve with Briskettown is the fact that you have to go all the way to Central Texas just to eat the famous smoked brisket that Central Texas is known for. That seems so silly. So Delaney procured a smoker and some of the signature Post Oak wood from that part of the world, drove it up to New York, and started doing meat parties to test his product under the name Brisketlab. It was a huge success. You see, Delaney is not only pretty good at running a smoker, but he’s also really good at marketing himself. Before too long, he was selling out of brisket as fast as he could make it, and had enough money in the bank to open up a brick and mortar restaurant. Fast forward to the end of last year, just months after it all began, and Briskettown opened its doors to lines of hungry people.
We never actually made it to any of the Briksetlab events last summer, but we are huge fans of Texas BBQ, and made it a point to find out what all the fuss was about as soon as we could. After a few visits to the restaurant, we find ourselves a bit conflicted. Delaney’s brisket is good. But it’s not great. Does it scratch the itch if you’re dying for some Texas BBQ in your life? Sure. But it’s also got a tendency to be inconsistent. Sometimes it’s way too dry. And it’s always a little shy on flavor. We found ourselves wishing there was some BBQ sauce nearby, and that’s a cardinal sin when it comes to properly smoked meat. You’re not supposed to want it, and you definitely shouldn’t need it. It also comes at a hefty price of $25 a pound, which means a meal for two can easily set you back fifty bucks or more after all the sides and fixins. We did, however, love the ribs, and the brisket tacos that Delaney serves in the mornings are incredible. You should make your way to the restaurant just to eat those two things.
At the end of the day, we’re happy that Briskettown is making the attempt at bringing Central Texas to New York. It’s a good addition to the restaurant scene, and we’ve got a lot of respect for what Daniel Delaney has managed to do in such a short period of time. But the restaurant often feels more like a marketing experiment than it does a tried and true BBQ spot. Maybe we should just be OK with the fact that we don’t have smoked brisket in New York just like they do in Lockhart. They probably have really sh*tty bagels there. So we’re even.
This meat is the whole reason this place exists, and in our opinion, it’s good but not great. The lean parts can be a bit dry, so you definitely want to ask for the fatty stuff. But the bark still lacks seasoning for our taste, and we found ourselves wishing there was some BBQ sauce around. There isn’t.
We actually liked the ribs at Briskettown more than the brisket. They’re big, tender, and very flavorful. You want some.
German Potato Salad
A killer side that we had to pace ourselves on, because we were in danger of eating the entire serving before we actually really got into the meat.
A delicious and appropriate way to end your Brooklyn BBQ meal. These pies apparently sell out before the meat does from time to time, so get in there and fight for your slice.
Officially our favorite thing at Briskettown. These tacos are absolutely incredible, and are a perfect vehicle for the brisket. If you live in Williamsburg and actually get out of bed before noon, come get some.
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