Hometown Bar-B-Que’s New Industry City Location May Be Better than the Original
This is the NYC BBQ Weekly newsletter. If you would like to receive this in your inbox weekly, you can easily subscribe here!
Hometown Bar-B-Que in Red Hook, Brooklyn has received a lot of praise over the years and it's commonly cited as the top barbecue joint in New York City. Barbecue lovers from around the country (and the world) often stop in at Hometown to see how it compares to the best in Texas, Kansas City, and other barbecue capitals.
So when a second location offering new menu items opened last week in the Industry City complex in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, I immediately felt the need to check it out.
This new location is a tad smaller than the original and has the feel of a deli, which is appropriate given it was originally going to be called Hometown Deli. The ceilings are lined with fancy light bulbs and the walls are lined with photos of people in the restaurant industry in New York, Texas, and beyond. One of my favorites is of Tootsie Tomanetz, pitmaster at Snow's BBQ in Lexington, Texas.
While the original location will always have a special place in the hearts of NYC barbecue lovers, I actually might like the new location more for three reasons.
First, there are now two meat cutting stations and a slightly faster system for ringing people up. This is a big deal, as standing in the long line at the original Hometown can add an extra hour or more to your visit. The new system is so effective the manager said he might bring it over to the original location.
Second, there is ample outdoor seating and the space is connected to the enormous Industry City complex, so you can pair your visit with other cool things to do. Industry City, to the uninitiated, has tons of food vendors, stores, events, and creative uses of outdoor space. It's very, very Brooklyn.
Third, the Industry City menu is nearly identical to the original and adds a few exciting new menu items to try. There are two sandwiches — a pastrami on rye and turkey club. There are tacos served on flour tortillas (the original serves them on corn tortillas) — brisket (with queso, salsa roja, white onions, and cilantro); pulled pork (with coleslaw, fried onions, and spicy ranch); and Oaxacan chicken (with salsa verde, pickled onions, and lime crema). Plus, there is a new cheddar jalapeño sausage.
Of the new menu items, I tried the brisket taco and the pastrami sandwich. The brisket taco combines Hometown's impeccable brisket with melty queso, salsa, and onions on a flour tortilla, so it's hard for it to go wrong. I don't eat a ton of pastrami generally, but the smoked pastrami sandwich was peppery and rich. I would personally rate this a tie with the pastrami at Katz's.
While this location is a neat addition to the Hometown story, owner Billy Durney also recently opened a Hometown location in Miami and a restaurant called Red Hook Tavern. Both have been given generally great reviews, with the Miami Herald calling the restaurant "game-changing." and the New York Times calling the Red Hook Tavern burger “one of the few absolutely mandatory burgers in New York City.” You can read more about Red Hook Tavern in my story on the joint.
All of this taken as a whole is a massive accomplishment, and Durney has cemented himself one of the top craft barbecue entrepreneurs in the country. It's also nice to see a case where expansion hasn't degraded the experience and food at Hometown Bar-B-Que proper.
I look forward to visiting the Hometown Bar-B-Que in Industry City again soon. If you get a chance to try it, let me know what you think.
Founder, NYC BBQ
EAT ALL ABOUT IT
There are so many fantastic burgers in New York that it’s hard to keep track of them all. Grub Street has thankfully released a new list of the best new restaurant burgers in town, which includes burgers from Red Hook Tavern, Win Son Bakery, Gotham Bar & Grill, Edie Jo’s, and Nobody Told Me.
If you can’t get enough barbecue, you may want to hop on a BBQ bus tour on October 20 that is being hosted by Dave Finkelstein of Fink’s BBQ. The tour will start at Fink's in Suffern and go to Smoked in Ridgewood, Kimchi Smoke in Westwood, Southbound BBQ in Chestnut Ridge and wind up back at Fink's in Suffern for dessert and coffee, NorthJersey.com reports. (You can buy tickets here.)
Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue was featured recently in a Washington Post article that spotlights local favorites in Prospect Heights. If you go, be sure to try the brisket, ribs, and mac ‘n’ cheese.
Long Island is getting a new barbecue option with a new Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque location coming soon to Garden City, New York. The location will open early next year and seat about 75 people for dine-in. This will be a franchise operated by Great Neck native Jason Wotman, who plans to open three Long Island locations within the next three to four years, the Garden City News reports.
Lebanon, Pennsylvania has a curious new BBQ option at Biaggio’s Premium Italian Hoagie. The restaurant’s owner Bill Hertzog also operates catering business Bill’s Open Pit BBQ, and he has been adding barbecue to his menu on Fridays with a smoked pulled pork sandwich on a Philly roll. Hertzog tells the Lebanon Daily News that he might add more BBQ to his menu soon as well.
Finally, in a funny story this week, NJ.com writer Jeremy Schneider wrote about how he is finally breaking up with the McRib. He mentions that there are much better barbecue options in New Jersey that he can enjoy instead that won’t disappoint him like the McRib.
Here are the top BBQ (and related) food events coming soon to the New York metro and the Tri-State area:
October 12: This Saturday’s Bravest BBQ on Staten Island will honor 34 local firefighters who lost their lives to 9-11 recovery-related illness. The event is open to the public and 1,000 people are expected to attend. The menu includes an all-you-can eat pig roast and unlimited beer, wine, and soda. It will also feature music by the BStreet Band, a Bruce Springsteen cover band. More info here.
October 12: The New York City Wine and Food Festival’s ultimate BBQ event returns on Saturday, October 12, and this year it’s called Titans of BBQ. It will be hosted by Italian butcher Dario Cecchini, meat master Pat LaFrieda, and Food Network host Michael Symon. More than 20 chefs and pitmasters from NYC and around the country will be there serving up incredible bites. The ticket prices are steep but the food and drinks will be top-notch. More info here.
October 16: If you like rye whiskey, farm beers, spirits, breads, and pastrami, then you won’t want to miss Pastrami on Rye, Food Karma’s featured event of NY Rye Week. Food Karma is celebrating the 3rd annual Rye Week with this fun all-inclusive food and drink event in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Buy tickets here.
October 22: Technology has turned many industries upside down, including the food industry. Civic Hall in Manhattan will be hosting a Panel on the Intersection of Food & Technology to discuss the changes including supply chain and scaling up businesses. Buy tickets here.
October 24-27: The Food Film Festival returns to NYC and like it has in the past, it will give you the chance to watch films about food while actually trying the food on screen. Films are followed by an official Festival After-Party with more food, drinks and fun, served up by chefs and restaurants from New York City and beyond. Many of NYC’s top chefs will be in attendance, serving up nearly every type of cuisine. Buy tickets for all four events here.
If you're not already subscribed to the newsletter, sign up here. You can also follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. If you want to be included in NYC BBQ Weekly or sponsor it, send me an email and let’s talk.