***Update:  John Brown Smokehouse 10-43 44th Drive, Long Island City, NY 11101 moved to 10-43 44th Drive***

We are so happy to announce yet another awesome joint in the Long Island City vicinity, John Brown Smokehouse 25-08 37th Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101. Owner and pitmaster Josh Bowen was at Hill Country before opening up his own place yet the food — other than being barbecue — does not remind us of his previous employer.  In this game of “Too Good to Be True?” we’re all winners! John Brown Smokehouse is perhaps the best BBQ in NYC and right now, the least expensive.

rib tips 4

While early reviews have all favored the burnt ends, which are delicious, the tender, juicy, and charred ends of brisket are actually my second favorite; the true stand-out being the smokey pork ribs. While most hide behind a sweet sticky sauce, this one stands on it’s own dry rub, a perfect balance of sweet, savory, and pure meaty goodness.  We’ve eaten the JB ribs now with six other people on two different occasions and the consensus was solid: amazing ribs.

Pork Ribs

The rib tips, lamb sausage, and pork belly are close behind. (The pork belly was better the first time: sliced thicker, later on sliced thinner.)

pork bellypork belly and lamb sausage


The brisket was drier the second time and I didn’t love the pulled pork, but neither were bad, just not as noteworthy as the rest. What is noteworthy: the sides, they are wonderful.

The pork and beans have more meat than any other pork and beans you’ve seen. Slathered on some included Wonderbread, it’s enough for a meal.  The other stand-out, which everyone we ate with commented upon was the cole slaw. The slaw is the perfect vinegary antidote for the meat and unique amongst competition.  And the mac and cheese is really good when it’s still hot.

Slaw 2 Mac & Cheese

The prices are insanely good compared to Manhattan joints. Many meats are sold by the pound. The place is pretty small so we recommend taking the food to-go and eat it at home (if you can wait that long).  JB also get extra points on customer service for bringing the food out to my car across the street so I didn’t have to wake Caya. Yay for John Brown Smokehouse!

posted by jessica at 12:09 PM Filed under American and New American, barbecue, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.