If someone tells you he knows a great BBQ spot in New York, severe ties with that person. There is no such thing. In a city crawling with scams, the illusion of "quality BBQ" is one of the hardest to tolerate (you thought I was going to say "hardest to swallow" didn't you, you cynical skank).
Most NYC barbecue destinations are wickedly overpriced. Leave it to Manhattanites to pay a premium for blue-collar cuisine. To those not held captive by Zagatspeak, barbecue should be synonymous with bargain. You will see a humble backwoods church scraping together funds for a summer barbecue. You won't see that church holding a Palm Sunday Beluga Bake.
NYC barbecue isn't so much a parody of the South as it is New York self-parody. What could be more New York than overpaying for a third-rate version of po' folks' grub? Instead of blogging, I should open a rib shack called "3-Course Monte."
Before you know it, these conned-mopolitans will be paying top shekel for "gourmet military rations."
Speaking of "down home" food in NYC, I'm seeing sweet potatoes on more and more menus, and I'm not liking what I see. Most restaurants don't realize or don't care that sweet potatoes contain more water and therefore must be prepared differently. Now that SP fries are everywhere, a generation of suckers is being raised to believe that soggy, orangish salt sticks are a cherished delicacy. How will we know when we've lost sweet potatoes for good? When Ronald McDonald has toxic "McSweeties" falling out of his McFro.