Celebrating One Year of NYC BBQ Weekly

Here I am posing with the book Smoked, of which I wrote the foreword. (Photo by Ben Hon)

Here I am posing with the book Smoked, of which I wrote the foreword. (Photo by Ben Hon)

This is the NYC BBQ Weekly newsletter. If you would like to receive this in your inbox weekly, you can easily subscribe here!

One year ago, I launched the NYC BBQ Weekly newsletter with the aim of keeping barbecue fans informed of the best restaurants, big events, important news, and more. What started with a modest first issue has evolved into a weekly blast of editorial, photos, news, and events happening in New York and throughout the Northeast.

Thank you to my family, friends, followers, and supporters who have helped make this newsletter a success. I also want to say thank you to Ryan Cooper, with whom I co-founded The Smoke Sheet. Our national BBQ newsletter has taken me to many more events around the country and helped broaden the scope of what and who I write about. Both newsletters are important for writing about the next chapter of barbecue in this country, and I look forward to building on the groundwork laid over the past year.

To celebrate one year of NYC BBQ Weekly, check out six of my favorite stories from the past year that you may have missed.

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Pig Beach’s Jeff Michner Benefit Was A Glimpse of NYC BBQ’s Future
This enormous barbecue benefit was a look at what may be in store for barbecue events in NYC BBQ's future, where we will have more intimate events, rather than just one or two large events each year. Read the story here.


The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party Will Not Happen In Summer 2019
The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, one of the largest barbecue events in the nation, was not held this year in NYC. I used the NYC BBQ Weekly newsletter to clear up confusion around the event and reflected on its important history. Read the story here.

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Newcomer Juicy Lucy BBQ Stuns With Brisket King 2019 Win
Earlier this year, Juicy Lucy BBQ from Staten Island won Brisket King 2019 without even opening its doors yet. The restaurant, which has since opened, is one of the best BBQ joints in NYC and well worth a visit. Read the story here.

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Rib King NYC 2019 Featured Fierce Competition, Flavorful Ribs, and Full Stomachs
Rib King NYC 2019, an event curated by yours truly, was held in late May and showed off a diverse array of NYC chefs and pitmasters making excellent pork and beef ribs. Read the story here.

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Smoked, the Best BBQ Cookbook of the Year, Features Tons of Northeast Joints
The cookbook Smoked, by Handsome Devil BBQ’s Ed Randolph was released earlier this year, with the foreword by yours truly. This book is unique among barbecue books with its emphasis on Northeastern BBQ joints and recipes. Read the story here.

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NYC's BBQ and Culinary Community Pays Tribute to Chef Carl Ruiz
Carl Ruiz, one of the most boisterous voices in the New York culinary and barbecue world, passed away in his sleep at the age of 44. He was remembered fondly by friends and colleagues. Read the story here.


These are just a few of the stories I've highlighted in the past year. A new version of my website has just launched as well where you can read many of my best stories and lists. I'll be adding to the site with more features over the next months, including a shop where you can buy BBQ-related merchandise.

I would love to hear your feedback on the newsletter and on the redesigned website. Please send me an email and let's talk barbecue!

Sean Ludwig
Founder, NYC BBQ


Hometown Bar-B-Que has opened a new, smaller location in Industry City building in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. (Photo by Alex Staniloff)

Hometown Bar-B-Que has opened a new, smaller location in Industry City building in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. (Photo by Alex Staniloff)

  • The long-awaited second location of Billy Durney’s Hometown Bar-B-Que has opened this week in the Industry City building in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The restaurant was originally called Hometown Deli, with an emphasis on smoked meat sandwiches, but it eventually evolved into a second Hometown Bar-B-Que location with a few new sandwiches on the menu. I’ll be visiting soon and hope to bring more info on the restaurant next week.

  • Speaking of Billy Durney, Pete Wells of the New York Times visited Durney’s Red Hook Tavern and heaped praise on the burger, calling it “one of the few absolutely mandatory burgers in New York City.” (You can read my thoughts on Red Hook Tavern here.)

  • Following up on last week’s tributes to chef Carl Ruiz, well-known radio host Opie recorded two episodes that remember Ruiz in detail from his work on the radio program. Close friends of Ruiz including Mario Chape, Nick Solares, and more show up to talk about their memories, La Cubana, #ruizing, and more. Listen to part one and part two of the broadcasts.

  • Jimmy Carbone of Food Karma Projects and Heritage Radio Network has released a podcast that was recorded before Pig Island 2019, with guests Tank Jackson (Holy City Hogs), Phil Wingo (Pork Mafia), and Mauro Chiefari (Juicy Lucy BBQ). Together they discuss the collaborative nature of BBQ is collaborative and how low-and-slow wood smoking is like baking. 

  • Business Insider writer Erin McDowell recently published a story on “13 things I never thought I'd miss about Southern living,” and one thing she mentioned was “barbecue” with the suggestion that New York doesn’t have any Southern barbecue. (I’ve sent McDowell a note to tell her about some of the best barbecue joints in NYC to hopefully correct the record.)

  • A new Carolina-style barbecue joint called Fixin's Biscuits & BBQ in has opened in Lincoln Park, New JerseyNorthJersey.com reports. The menu features 15-hour smoked pork, ribs that are smoked for 12 hours, and biscuits baked with garlic and cheddar.

  • A relatively new BBQ joint called Underdog BBQ in Erie, Pennsylvania was the center of the recent Discovery Channel TV show Undercover Billionaire. On the show, a billionaire traveled to Erie with the goal of starting a million dollar business from scratch, so he focused on opening a BBQ joint with lots of merchandise including t-shirts, sauces, and more. (Spoiler: He was unable to make the joint a million-dollar business.)

  • Rich Daviau of Damn Yankees BBQ in South Deerfield, Massachusetts was interviewed by the Greenfield Recorder recently, and he shared his own recipe for “Damn Yankees BBQ Poutine.”


Titans of BBQ at NYCWFF on October 12 will be the last big barbecue event of the year, and will be hosted by Dario Cecchini, Pat LaFrieda and Michael Symon.

Titans of BBQ at NYCWFF on October 12 will be the last big barbecue event of the year, and will be hosted by Dario Cecchini, Pat LaFrieda and Michael Symon.

Here are the top BBQ (and related) food events coming soon to the New York metro and the Tri-State area:

  • October 5-6: The Infatuation’s food festival, EEEEEATSCON, is returning to Forest Hills Stadium in Queens – and this year, it’s two days. On October 5th and 6th, they’ll be bringing together top-rated NYC restaurants like Crown Shy, Tokyo Record Bar, Di An Di, and Mama’s Too. There will also be non-NYC food vendors like Hattie B’s Hot Chicken from Nashville, Sanguich De Miami, and Bite into Maine. 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.


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Sean LudwigNYC BBQ Weekly