Hometown Bar-B-Que

Revisited in 2016

Amber and I were going to New York City for our fifth wedding anniversary and also to see my sister who lives there. The only time I have been to NYC was when I was eight or so with my family. My wife and I went on a "diet" before the trip so I was limited to how much barbecue I can eat. When we travel, I put a lot of focus on food so we knew our waistline was going to increase. Traveling out of town with me is not easy. I try to hit up as many BBQ joints as I can. I know my wife gets annoyed with how much barbecue we eat so we decided on one stop on this trip. Hometown Bar-B-Que located in the Brooklyn was my choice.

Lately, it seems like New York City is a hotbed for barbecue. You would think the two would not go together. A Yankee smoking meat? Where would the smokers go? Texas Monthly BBQ editor Daniel Vaughn caused a stir when he said "The brisket I've had in NYC lately is better than a lot of places Texas" in this article. I find some truth in that statement. Some of the places I have been to in Texas do not put their heart and passion into the 'cue and it shows. Hometown Bar-B-Que is owned by Billy Durney. Check out an interview of him here. Hometown just celebrated its one year anniversary. It would have been opened for business earlier, but Hurricane Sandy had other ideas.

The first thing you will notice on the menu is the price of the meats. This is New York so it is definitely not cheap. Brisket is 28 bucks per pound. Franklin is charging $20 per pound right now which is the most I have paid. We ordered a quarter pound of moist brisket and pork belly, a link of jalapeño-cheddar sausage, and a half rack of jerk baby back pork ribs. I wanted a beef rib too, but I did not want to break the bank. We also got a side of Texas-style queso macaroni and cheese. The brisket was outstanding. It was very comparable with the stuff you would find at good places in Texas. There was a nice smoke flavor, and the meat was tender. The influence of Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller showed with the peppery bark. I wish I had ordered more. When I bit into the brisket, I regretted not getting the beef rib. I knew it would have been great.

The flavor of the pork belly was superb. The sweet rub played well with the smoke. I have seen pork belly sliced but not pulled before. Every bite was rich and savory. I was disappointed in the house-made jalapeño-cheddar sausage. The grit and pop were on point, but I did not like anything else about it. There was something off about the flavor profile. I expected more heat and to taste more cheese. I gave up after a few bites. Hometown also serves a beef link but was not available today. I normally go with spareribs but went with the baby back ribs instead. It was recommended to me so I could not pass it up. The half rack of the jerk baby back ribs was delicious. The unique Caribbean inspired jerk rub packed a ton of flavor. The spices were not overwhelming and made a great duo with the sweet undertones. The meat was juicy and smoky. We ate every single one. The macaroni and cheese was very cheesy but good. It was essentially macaroni and cheese with queso poured over it.

It was worth the hour long subway and bus ride. Daniel Vaughn might be on to something. If Hometown Bar-B-Que was located in Texas, it would absolutely do well. Brisket is king here in Texas, and Billy can smoke a mean one. The highlights of the noteworthy menu included Sriracha hot wings, pork belly tacos, and lamb belly banh mi. I want it all. Maybe next time when I go back. I am thinking of hitting up Delaney Barbecue too. Maybe I should start a crowdfunding so I can do a NYC BBQ tour? Grade: N/A

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 454 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Phone: (347) 294-4644
Website: http://www.hometownbarbque.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hometownbarbque
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HometownBarBQue


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