NYCReview

Au Jus image
7.3

Au Jus

BBQ

East Harlem

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerLunchBig Groups
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If you're a consumer of animal products, get to know Au Jus’s Oklahoma BBQ sampler tray. Not because it contains the greatest barbecue in the city—the pieces of smoked pork and beef are thirsty for barbecue sauce—but because it’s a cost-effective way to eat an ungodly amount of meat. For $27.95, you’ll get rib tips, smoked wings, brisket, smoked bologna, pulled pork, pulled chicken, and hot links that have just enough heat and totally steal the show—as well as some baked beans and mayo-heavy coleslaw. To say this is enough food to feed one person is an understatement, so bring tupperware or a friend. The storefront is small, but they have a nice street dining situation on Lex, so you chug lemonade outside while your ribs drink some Oklahoma gold BBQ sauce.

Au Jus image

photo credit: Will Hartman

Food Rundown

three pork ribs

photo credit: Daniel Isaac

Pork Ribs

Outside of a pretty simple salt-and-pepper dry rub, there’s not much in the way of flavor on these ribs. That makes them a perfect sauce vehicle, cooked long enough so your teeth will leave a bite mark. You can always order individual ribs like you're buying a cone from an ice cream truck.

Rib Tips

Our favorite of the meats on the sampler tray, these rib tips stay juicier than their pork rib counterparts. If you’re splitting the tray with someone, make sure to grab one for yourself.

Brisket

If you asked some barbecue aficionados about warming a thick slice of brisket via the direct heat of a griddle, they’d probably melt like an ice cube on a summer roof at the thought of brisket cooked with two heat sources. We don’t mind, but it does take away some of the intensity of the smoke flavor.

Pulled Chicken

Somehow the pulled chicken is juicier than the pulled pork. If you’re ordering one of these in sandwich form, this is the one to get.

Pulled Pork

Slightly stringier than we’d hope for.

Bologna

You might see this referred to as "Oklahoma prime rib" on their menu, and frankly, that description is spot on. It’s juicy, salty, smoky, and tender, and makes you feel sad that this isn’t the bologna that was in your lunchbox growing up. (Unless it was. In which case, nice.)

Hot Links

If you’re listening, Au Jus, please sell these to your local pizzeria for a collab. We wish we could take a bowl of these spicy, smoky, fatty, and porky things to the movies and snack on them.
baked beans and mac and cheese

photo credit: Daniel Isaac

Mac and Cheese

This mac and cheese primarily uses gouda, which differentiates it from your standard cheddar macs of New York City. Unfortunately, the gouda isn’t distributed very evenly. It’s not going to rearrange your thoughts on mac and cheese, but it is a perfectly good side dish if you’re in the mood.

FOOD RUNDOWN

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