Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Meat of the matter

BBQ and NYC have never really gotten along. Perhaps it's the lack of space for a proper pit, or perhaps it's just this town's overpricing on subpar meat (Peter Luger or any other well-branded NY steakhouse, anyone?). Whatever the problem, I have never had anything that closely approximates the yummy cheap meats you can find down south.

Enter RUB. I live around the corner from this joint, dubiously named Righteous Urban Barbecue. I believe the pitmaster/owner hails from one of the Carolinas, which ordinarily--as a Texan--would not impress me. But this being NYC and all, a pitmaster from the South is better than one from say, Syracuse. (Not that I'm completely dissing Dinosaur BBQ because their meat is good, it's just not BBQ.) I tried RUB last summer, and was completely disappointed. My friend and I ordered a good portion of the menu, and the only thing that satisfied was the fried Oreos. But I hear rumors they've gotten their act together and are actually producing some decent 'cue. And every night, waves of sweet-smelling meat waft into my apartment (which is another reason why BBQ has never succeeded in NYC--apparently people complain (?!) about this delicious smell, which puts places out of business). So I may give them another try. If they taste as good as they smell, perhaps it ain't all bad. But if it still sucks, at least they've mastered the art of a fried cookie--a supremly unique delicacy I'd never tried and after one bite, wondered where it had been my whole life.

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