In my recent review of Fette Sau I commented that they produced a style of barbecue that might one day be known as "NYC" style. I was unaware at the time that the term had been coined by Fort Green, Brooklyn barbecue restaurant The Smoke Joint, who do indeed eschew regional allegiances in favor of a unique style that favors local inspiration. The Smoke Joint actually predates Fette Sau and while the menu is less ambitious I found that they turn out a more consistent product.
The food is where the The Smoke Joint reveals its local roots. The short ribs might look like classic 'cue but it is served with a spicy soy based sauce which is thinner than regular barbecue sauce. Similarly the hot dog is something that you don't see on barbecue menus that often.
The blue cheese wedge, a staple at NYC steakhouses, makes its way on to the menu again emphasizing The Smoke Joints local roots. While it did not quite match up to to what you will find at a chophouse it only costs $4. The coleslaw was also quite tasty
The beef shorts ribs cost $16 for two and proved to be a bargain. While I did not much care for the soy based sauce that comes with them I thought they were succulent enough to stand on their own, no sauce required.
The beef rib had a wonderfully tender and flavorful interior, ribbons of smoky meat easily succumbed to the slightest fork pressure. The exterior crust, while not anywhere near as thick as the bark that covers the 'cue at Fette Sau, was still substantial and while it might have lacked a bit of bite it had a pleasing caramelized texture.
I enjoyed the food at The Smoke Joint, while the menu is more limited than its Brooklyn neighbor Fette Sau the beef items on offer are, pound for pound, more consistent and the sides are better. Just as at Fette Sau, The Smoke Joint won't make me give up my Manhattan favorites and I wouldn't travel a great distance to eat there but if I lived close by I could see myself eating there with some frequency.
The Smoke Joint
87 S Elliott Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11217