You’ve all heard of my fried pickle quest – I do so love fried pickles, you know – but did you know how much I love Justin Timberlake? YouTube “Plasticville” or his “immigrant” SNL skit.. or any of his Digital Shorts like “Dick in a Box” – well look, I love JT. Now that the hype has died down from his restaurant opening eons ago, I swung by to check out the place and see if the BBQ was well, any good. Y’know. Cuz I’m such an expert on good BBQ, being a NYer and all, y’know.
As soon as I saw this item on the menu, I knew we had to get it. Come on: BBQ glazed thick-cut fresh bacon, would you pass that up? Even if you had about 15 more lbs of food coming per person alone? Sweet, succulent, though it wasn’t quite what bacon is, in my vernacular – crispy, thin, crackly, – it was still damn delicious. No knife required – my fork sliced easily through the tender meat. Oh so good. Oh sooo good.
My dining companion chose to also order “jalapeno bottle caps” – deep fried sliced jalapeno peppers with ranch sauce. I mistakenly assumed they’d be filled with cheese, like most deep fried jalapenos that I’ve experienced, but as these were not, I could eat only a few before succumbing to the heat. Whoops. My dining companion inhaled all of them so I would imagine they were good.
DEEP FRIED PICKLES!!! I was super excited to see these and even more excited by how crispy they looked. And they were super crispy! And better dipped in the ranch that came with the jalapenos than in the sauce that came with the pickles… BUT. Someone super-dried these pickles pre-deep-frying (safety concerns, perhaps? – to prevent spatter?) so the pickles were super crunchy, but no burst of briney goodness issued forth in each bite and therefore… no pickle taste. Who wants fried pickles that taste just like fried anything? You want the pickle taste! You want the briney goodness! So while these were tasty as potato chips, they were not fried pickle delicious. Sadface FAIL. (That isn’t to say I wouldn’t eat them again, but it is to say these are by far not the best fried pickles I’ve had.)
What is that saying? Your eyes are bigger than your stomach? I do have pretty big eyes… and this case proved no exception. I will maintain, however, that 1- I intended to have leftovers, ANYWAY and 2- it was the fried foods in the beginning that helped me hit the wall. I mean, really, my stomach turns when I eat too much grease or oil, so I have to ease back… really! I ordered the King’s Combo, which included Memphis-style dry rubbed spare ribs, sliced brisket, fried chicken, two sides and a biscuit. I chose tater tots (cuz who can resist tots? REALLY!) and creamed spinach as my sides.
A brief moment to say that I basically ate a small piece of brisket, one rib, looked at the fried chicken, and then a couple of tater tots… but had to stop myself from eating all of the creamed spinach. I mean MY GOODNESS that was GOOD creamed spinach. Buttery, garlicky, creamy… I could bathe in this stuff and die happily in a big vat of it. WHOA.
I actually wound up taking pretty much everything home… but the waitress forgot or just straight up didn’t bother packing my creamed spinach. I was REALLY sad about that; this seriously was the best creamed spinach I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a lot, seriously). Mmm. Everything held up nicely to reheating (gently), and I liked everything from my platter a good deal, though I prefer saucier BBQ – which may be blasphemy to some of you, but it is what it is, I like what I like. So, yummy. And definitely on the creamed spinach.
An order of mac & cheese goodness. I didn’t find this terribly interesting actually – alright, it sufficed – but my dining companion really liked it and basically inhaled it. Wow.
Corn bread with honey butter. I was in love with the honey butter. The corn bread, not so much, but I don’t usually find myself dying for corn bread anyways.
Last but not least, my pig of a dining companion ordered the fried chicken & waffles. Not really many places on the UES that will have this, so it was total WIN – and look at that giant bowl of syrup accompanying! Ridiculous! But somewhat awesome. I know these were good cuz I tried some of the waffle – crisp, slightly sweet, tender insides. And the fried chicken was legit. Pig destroyed the platter and then some. Nom.
Yvo says: While I can’t comfortably say this is a must visit for any BBQ connoisseur (return trips needed!), I did enjoy my food and would definitely go back to try more stuff. The place is comfortably casual, with lots of wood paneling, imitating what this city girl thinks feels like a ranch dining or a roadside stop… the service was super friendly, and if you read their Twitter, you can get discounts using a secret password, which I’m totally down with. The place was pretty empty on a Monday night, which I prefer… and they have bottled root beer (I believe it was Abita), which is always a win (non-Pepsi/Coke root beer is usually a good thing, in my book, even growing up loving Barq’s as I did – before Coke bought them). I definitely enjoyed myself.
recommended, though no need to go out of your way to try it