Friday, February 02, 2007

Daisy May's BBQ

***Note: I wrote this back in December but forgot to post it***

Last Friday, we made our annual trip to New York City for the holiday season. Every year, we make the pilgrimage into Manhattan, go fight the obnoxious crowds at the Rockefeller Center to see the tree, and usually sample one of the fine restaurants the greatest city in the world has to offer. Rather than visit Les Halles, Gramercy Tavern or Union Square Café, we decided to visit the establishment of a fellow BBQ competitor.

We have wanted to visit Daisy May’s BBQ for some time now. I first read about Adam Perry Lang in Food and Wine magazine a while back, and finally had the chance to meet him when he kicked our butts at the Hudson Valley Ribfest in New Paltz in August. I only spoke to him briefly then, and met him again at the Jack.

Adam Perry Lang

Adam is not your regular BBQ competition cook. Most of them are a lot like me: fat guys who cooked so many racks of ribs that they got it down to a science, then realized we could gather with other fat guys, cook, eat, drink, camp, eat some more, cook some more, then collect small checks and cheap plastic trophies for our efforts. (Apologies to the in shape BBQ cooks.) Adam is a real chef, CIA grad, French trained, having cooked at arguably some of the best restaurants in NYC, including Restaurant Daniel under Chef Daniel Boulud, LeCirque and Chantrelle.

Adam is not a cook. He’s a chef. A very good one.

That being said, I really wanted to try his BBQ. I made sure not to eat a lot, so I could really feast when we got to Daisy May’s, which is his joint in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.

Talk about cross promotion!

Being it was a Friday night, I expected the place to be busy. It was surprisingly quiet, which I believe had a lot to do with the location at 11th Avenue and 46th Street. The restaurant is located in an industrial area, largely surrounded by car dealerships. I remarked to Sheila that if his place was three blocks east and had a bar, it would probably be mobbed 24/7. They probably do a pretty brisk lunch take out business though.

We missed Adam, as we arrived at 6:30 and the guy at the counter said he had left for the day.

The Counter
The layout is cafeteria style, you order in a line, then pick up your food either to go or to sit in the picnic tables located in the new dining area. The area was empty, but it appeared that they had a group coming in a little later because there were reserved signs placed on the tables while we were eating.

The Dining Area

We ordered the Kansas City sweet and sticky ribs, a brisket sandwich, chili, creamed corn and mashed potatoes.

The Ribs

Everything we had was delicious. The ribs were spares, meaty and smoky with just enough sauce. The meat was chopped on the brisket sandwich, and it was also very good. I was really blown away by the sides. The corn was the best I have ever had, and the chili was outstanding.

I wish I had tried the beef rib. I’ve read on a few other sites that it’s really good. We ate most of our food, brought some home, talked to some of the workers for a while, bought a few t-shirts and headed out.

I’m glad we made the trip. Adam's food lived up to our expectations, and then some. I highly recommend that if you're in the city, stop by and give his Q a try. You won't regret it. He also has two carts that he sends out into Midtown, 7th Avenue and 50th Street, and to 40 Wall Street in the financial district.

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