Here are five NYC restaurants that are giving the South a run for its money. By Carly Petrone.
More: Spring Grilling Tips
If you’re really craving some good old fashioned BBQ then make your way to Virgil’s Real Barbecue. Go big and order The Pig Out ($32.95), which includes all of their signature bites, like the Memphis-style pork spare ribs, sliced Texas beef brisket, Carolina pulled pork, and barbecued ¼ chicken. Plus, you can wash it all down with a fresh watermelon margarita (tequila, muddled watermelon, and lime) or a “June Bug” (rum, Midori, and pineapple juice). Is your mouth watering yet?
Danny Meyer knows a thing or two about good BBQ. The restaurateur opened up Blue Smoke back in 2002 and it’s been a hit ever since. Start out your meal with the NOLA barbecue shrimp with beer-Worcestershire butter or the smoked Alabama white wings before moving onto the big stuff. Opt for the Pit Stop ($30), which includes one choice of meat and two sides or grab a plate full of southern fried chicken or smoked pork tenderloin. You can end your meal on a sweet note with their banana cream pie with vanilla cookie crust, caramel popcorn, peanuts, and caramelized bananas or beignets with coffee and chicory crème anglaise. You can’t go wrong at this truly Southern BBQ joint. See website for more locations.
You’ll get the real deal at Daisy May’s BBQ. Pull up a chair at this informal cafeteria-style restaurant and enjoy different cuts of beef, chicken, and pork with all the fixings. Favorites include the sweet and sticky ribs that are smothered in their Kansas City-style sauce — the meat falls right off the bone. If you’d rather have a sandwich, they’ve got everything from a pulled pork sandwich, piled high with coleslaw, to a delicious beef brisket sandwich that is served with handmade pickles in a brown sugar and molasses Texas-style sauce. Don’t forget to add a few sides too, like golden corn bread, Cajun dirty rice and beans, and Bourbon peaches. The best part? They also deliver.
Enjoy North Caroline-style BBQ at Brooklyn’s Arrogant Swine. Owner Tyson Ho smokes the pig for almost a full 24 hours in order to get the meat perfectly tender and full of flavor. Guests can dive into a half-pound order of the East Carolina whole hog, which has been pulled, chopped, and seasoned with the vinegar pepper sauce and topped with cracking. The pork belly is another tasty entrée choice, which comes with spicy tamarind dip and crispy shallots; while the Greensboro Pitmaster Chix wings have a bit of an Asian flare, thanks to the Vietnamese caramel sauce glaze. Their sides are just as delicious, with selections like sweet potato waffles, apple mustard slaw, and pit-smoked beans. Wash it all down with a cold beer and call it a day.
Celebrate National BBQ Month with some live music over at Hill Country. All of the meats here are carved to order, sold by weight, and served with white bread (or crackers). Choose from traditional favorites like brisket and prime rib, or try one of their specialties like their Hill Country Hot Link Sausage or turkey breast that has been brined in buttermilk and herbs before smoking. But if you’re looking for something smothered in sauce, definitely try their market chicken, which is slathered in their “If You Gotta Have It” barbecue sauce. They also have both hot and cold sides like White Shoepeg corn pudding, sweet potato Bourbon mash, “Cool as Cucumber” salad, and confetti coleslaw. Stick around for a live show (there’s rarely a cover charge) and dance off all of those calories you just consumed. Check their music calendar to see who’s playing this week.