Summer is the time for picnics; picnic season means it’s time for barbeques. While growing up in Korea, the term “barbeque” only meant the zesty sauce that McDonald’s gave out with my four-piece chicken nuggets. It was only after moving to the states that I came to understand the origin of this word. After indulging in my first barbeque during a summer night in California, lounging around in my uncle’s backyard, I realized that America was the land of good food. Barbeques are cooked slowly over a smoked fire, allowing the meat to fully soak up all of the smoky taste, then sauced with a sweet and tangy concoction. Despite my love for the classic barbeque, NYC hasn’t been the perfect setting for the type of barbeque restaurant that I desperately have been seeking; until I visited BBQue’s Smoke Shack on 6th avenue.
Upon walking into the restaurant, I instantly fell in love with the barn-meets-cowboy interior, wooden logs surrounding the place with southern antique pictures hanging on every part of the walls. The menu is filled with traditional southern-styled foods, ranging from pulled pork to collard greens. Joe Cutolo, the owner of BBQue’s Smoke Shack, briefly explained the menu, recommending the pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw. As mentioned by the owner himself, BBQue’s Smoke Shack is “great BBQ served fast, and an alternative to fast food”. Using no preservatives and only pit smoked barbeque meat, it only makes sense that the popularity of pulled pork is on its high – people coming in and out of the restaurant were leaving with trays of pulled pork sandwiches.
My meal came out quickly and I was able to dig into the infamous pulled pork sandwich. With my first bite, I came to understand just why Joe had recommended this to me. This was BBQue’s Smoke Shack’s finest, with the pit smoked taste fully integrated into every part of the pork mixed with their special barbeque sauce; I knew that this was the type of barbeque food that I’d been searching for. The tender meat, fresh and tangy homemade coleslaw, and the crunchy waffle fries: this was the perfect combination of a well-done southern meal. My friend had opted for their stuffed burger and waffle fries, which she said was cooked to perfection as well. We sat in silence as we buried our faces in our trays of food, only lifting our heads up to tell each other of how great the meal was.
Having the choice to dine-in, take-out, or to have your food delivered, BBQue’s Smoke Shack certainly is a busy college student’s dreams come true of having a rewarding meal in the streets of Manhattan. BBQue’s Smoke Shack will also be incorporating draft beer and wine into their menu soon, opening up their drink selection to a wider variety of customers. In my personal opinion and after tasting their pulled pork, I firmly believe that the accompaniment of a cool, refreshing cup of beer with the zesty sandwich will have customers begging for more. With this new drink selection filled, there’s no doubt that BBQue’s Smoke Shack’s popularity will continue to increase. I loved the laidback ambiance and the friendly service of the restaurant, and I can’t wait to return to try their Smoke Shack ribs and more of their southern styled sides. Offering flavored wings and platters of pulled meats as well, their classic barbeque menu is enough to remind students of the barbeques they had with their families back at home. My experience at BBQue’s Smoke Shack was fantastic and has given me a new perception that quality meals can be served quickly. Check out their website at http://www.bbquessmokeshack.com/ and take a trip to BBQue’s Smoke Shack – it’s a meal worth the subway ride.