It started with a simple text message. Blue Smoke. Tomorrow night. 7:45.
Eager to soak up all things Danny Meyer, I accepted without hesitation. It was, as expected. Delicious. We over-ordered, indulging ourselves with shrimp corn dogs and chicken wings before our Rhapsody in ‘Cue even arrived. There was enough food to stuff five people beyond the point of even considering dessert , and still have enough left over to give me lunch for two days.
One week later, the next text. We’re at Fette Sau. Late arrival qualifies this as only a half-stop on the grand tour, but I sampled some brisket, and that’s all that matters.
The next day, Super Bowl. Our obsession with BK Star‘s shrimp and grits paid off with an invite to their Super Bowl party. And that meant fried chicken and brisket in Momofuku-trained chef/owner Joaquin Baca’s backyard.
This is not a review. It’s not even a comparison. It’s brisket. In the last two weeks, I sampled 5 different briskets. Five. Four of them I could have again. Any time I want. Go to the restaurant, place an order, watch them slice it off Fette Sau or Hill Country Style, or wait for it to come to your table. But that’s not what I want. I’m over restaurant brisket. Each of those briskets I could describe in three words or less. Tasty. Meaty. Tough. Well-seasoned. Pick and choose, they’re all some combination of the above. But Super Bowl brisket. Baca brisket. Brisket from heaven. Backyard, February night, hammer and nails drinking game, wood fired, fried-chicken appetizer, eat a sandwich then stand next to the pan picking pieces with your fingers brisket. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but this brisket needs a million. And below, a few of those million.
Tender yet toothsome, charred peppercorn crusted, glaze of fat between the crust and the meat that melts into flavorful meaty buttery goodness with every bite. Not a hint of gristle. Pure flavor. Stuffed onto a potato roll with a squirt of homemade bbq and a healthy spoonful of cole slaw and enjoyed in the company of New York foodies. You’ve ruined me, Quino. Until next year, when I will show up to your Super Bowl party invited or not. People have done much crazier things for much less than heaven-sent brisket.
I guess I’ll have to stick to pulled pork for now.