John Brown Smokehouse – Long Island City, NY

Best BBQ ever. Hands down.

Review By: Stefanie Parks –

Dave and I have tried to go to John Brown Smokehouse several times, but every time we’re thinking about it, we’d call before we were ready to leave and they’d tell us they were out of one of their meats, usually their burnt ends. Well, we couldn’t go and not get the burnt ends, so we waited and waited and waited… until Valentine’s Day.

I told Dave that Valentine’s Day would probably be a good day for us to go because I doubted it would be a busy night for them (beer and BBQ isn’t exactly what most would consider a “romantic” dinner). Luckily, neither of us care about that because I was right! We called before we were ready to leave (don’t worry, we had a couple of backups just in case), and they told us they were stocked with burnt ends!!!

We headed to Long Island City and walked the few short blocks from the train, and I swear you could smell the BBQ from down the street. We walked into the small restaurant (complete with a counter to order your food, picnic tables, and a bar in the back) and double checked to make sure they hadn’t run out of burnt ends while we were en route. They didn’t… phew! (and just a little tip, they also told us that anytime we wanted to come in, we could call and reserve whatever meats we wanted and they would put them aside for us).

We ordered the PBLT (pork belly, lettuce and tomato topped with mayo on Texas toast), the 3 ribs + 1 meat platter (burnt ends as the meat), and then cornbread and mac and cheese for our sides. Literally could not ask for a better sounding Valentine’s Day meal.

The first bite I took was of the cornbread. It was hands down the best corn bread I’ve ever had in my life. Probably like 10 times better than any cornbread I’ve ever had in my life. The pork belly on the PBLT was so juicy and flavorful and that with the lettuce, tomato, and mayo was really just a heavenly combination. Plus, it came on Texas toast, and Texas toast just makes any sandwich taste that much better. Then I tasted the ribs. When they say “fall off the bone” this is what they’re talking about… And last but not least, the burnt ends. Wow. I see why they’re sold out of them every single night. They are juicy, flavorful, and to be honest, I didn’t even know what a burnt end was before John Brown’s, but I imagine that these are probably some of the best I’ll ever have. The only thing I didn’t think was amazing out of this world was the mac and cheese. It was good, and in fact, I’m sure if I had just been eating that, I would have thought it was great, but paired with all of this other ridiculously amazing food, it just didn’t compare.

I’ve had a lot of BBQ in my day and I’m not kidding when I say that John Brown Smokehouse was probably the best I’ve ever had. Definitely the best in NY, by far.

Oh, and at the table behind us there was a guy doing a John Brown Smokehouse Wing Challenge. The wings had the hottest sauce JBSH could come up with and if this guy ate them, he got free JBSH for life. Yes, for life. Check out my video to see if he won!