Wednesday, February 6, 2013

John Brown Smokehouse for the Superbowl (food)

This past Superbowl was one of the most entertaining ones I've watched in recent memory. But the Superbowl is about more than just the game. There's also the ads (which felt really weak this year) and the food (it's estimated over 1.2 billion wing segments are eaten over Super Bowl weekend). I took care of the food part by going to John Brown Smokehouse and getting some quality BBQ to go. There was more than enough food to handle the extra eating time created by the blackout.

I'd read about the place on food blogs and heard a rave review from a cook during a supper club dinner that I went to a while back. I tried out a variety of things when I made my first trip there a few weeks ago (short rib, duck breast, ribs, burnt ends), and considering that the BBQ held up pretty well by the time I got home, I thought it was a no-brainer to go there for my Superbowl food needs.

I ended up getting their "First Down" Superbowl party pack, which consisted of 2lbs of meat, a quarter rack of ribs, three 16oz sides, with bread and sauce for $57, along with 30 pecan-smoked wings for $28.

Here were some (not all) of the wings. The rub was evenly distributed on all the wings, and they were huge.

Really, they were huge. I don't know if you can tell by this photo.

One of my sides was the mac and cheese. They use a long, tubular, ziti-like pasta. While there was a decent chunk of cheese on top, there just wasn't much cheese/cream sauce actually in the mac. I much prefer the one at Hill Country which looks similar but is much cheesier.

Everybody loves burnt ends. I remember going to RUB BBQ (now closed) and you had to get there early or they would run out. These were excellent, and they even held up fairly well in the almost half an hour it took me to get home. I'm sure they would be phenomenal for dine-in. Perfectly juicy with some well distributed fat, if you get one of the charred end bits there's just a wonderful depth of flavor and smokiness.

I don't usually get smoked turkey from a BBQ place, but I figured there was a high chance of leftovers and I wanted something that would probably still be good the next day. I was right on both accounts, and a cold turkey sandwich made for a delicious dinner the next night. The turkey is flavorful, and while the smoke was noticeable, it did not overpower.

Like I said, I've also tried a lot of other things from them and I think it's a great BBQ place. The location is a bit weird. It's located in Long Island City, not too far from where I used to live near the water. If you get off at the E/M station, it's a quick 3 block walk. Otherwise, it does seem like a pretty random location. They do have dine-in, which I think would be the best way to have BBQ, but I have not tried it there.

Actually, when I got home, I realized that they didn't give me the wings I ordered. When I went back to pick them up, they were nice enough to offer me some additional comped food. They are not an efficient machine like Hill Country which is used to handling a ton of people, but it's nice to know that they're trying with their service.


Brookboy said...

Enjoyed reading your blog (for the first time, found the link on Chowhound). I have one suggestion: when you review a place, please include the location. I'd never heard of John Brown's Smokehouse (yeah, I live in a cave and hibernate), hoped it was in Brooklyn, but, sigh, no it wasn't...

Anyway, great blog...

Brookboy (same on Chowhound), aka George Lynch, (

The Pretender said...

Welcome Brookboy!
Thanks for reading. I'll try to be better about listing the location. There was a while when I was doing a good job of that.