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For BBQ "Blue Smoke" Style








Whenever I like something, I really like something. My enthusiasm cannot be hidden. I want to brag about it to anyone I see and show them my pictures. Now that I have this blog I mostly try to save my best descriptions for my writing. I feel that if I share too much in person I won’t have enough zest for reporting back on my blog. There are only a few rare experiences that I can get all heated up talking about no matter how many times I rave about them. Blue Smoke in New York City is definitely one of them.

About three or four years ago I went to Blue Smoke in their original Flatiron location, which at that time was their only location. I had read many great things about them and I was so looking forward to going there. I was there with my family and we were going to celebrate Father’s Day. My father absolutely loves fried chicken and can eat it any day of the week. I was interested in seeing how good their corn bread, chicken fried steak, creamed spinach, and macaroni and cheese would be too. Everything just sounded so good it was leaping off the menu and dancing around in my mind.

On that very first visit our excitement was soon replaced with satisfaction. Every bite we took seemed to be better than the next. Each person wanted to show the other what to eat next. We were all squealing with delight. I couldn’t imagine a more fulfilling meal. It was instantly placed high on my go to restaurant list. I recommended it to many and went back many more times. I have even listed it as must on my N.Y.C. blog (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2011/04/for-keys-to-my-new-york-city-part-iii.html).

Since that first visit I have learned many things and experienced many different kinds of food. I have been to Memphis for example and their BBQ and fried chicken are among the best in the world. It is not a fare comparison to any other and so I leave it in its own class. As I have been writing more and more food blogs, I have often thought about Blue Smoke. I had not been there in quite awhile and I wondered if I would still feel the same way about it. The ultimate test would be, knowing what I know now, would I still feel the same way about it? Would it still hold up as a go to restaurant for me?

Well I got my sign. A new downtown location has just opened up. I took that as a sign and excuse to go and check it out. This way I was getting to see the old and new restaurant at the same time. Now this menu is slightly different than the one I had previously ordered from so I was not able to order the fried chicken for lunch. But this may have been a blessing in disguise. I otherwise would have ordered my staple, go to meal. But now I had to think outside the box and try something new. I would not be disappointed.

My eating companion and I decided to share two entrees and sides so that we could taste each other’s. We ended up going with the pulled pork sandwich, half an order of Memphis style baby back ribs, cornbread and of course the macaroni and cheese.

My friend had never been here before so I wanted to make sure he got the full effect of the food. Of course I have wonderful taste so he need not have worried but still I wanted to see the joy in his eyes with his first bite and sure enough it was there. We tore through our food with barely any words exchanged between us, always the sign of a good meal in my book.

For dessert we could not pass up sharing a piece of bourbon pecan pie topped with crème fraiche. This homemade topping was so good I need to buy a case of it. It was not your regular whipped topping although it looked exactly like Cool Whip. But this tasted more like a mix of sweet and sour creams. It gave the pie more of a bite. Sometimes pecan pies can be too overwhelming sweet or stick to the inside of your mouth. This pie was incredibly delicious but it was this topping I believe that put it over the top.

As a coincidence I saw Blue Smoke on the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” not too long ago. On the “Finger Foods” episode, Chef Susan Feniger was promoting their warm barbeque potato chips that are served with blue cheese and bacon dip. That is so good you can literally lick the bowl clean of that dip and always crave more. No matter how full you get it will always be a good idea and way to properly start your meal. It was certainly the way I always did.

This new location was smaller and cozier than the original. Since there is no jazz club attached to it as the midtown one, it stands on its own. There are some adorable and brightly colored seats outside perfect for a nice day. I loved the red seats as they reflected off the blue neon Blue Smoke sign. Down near the World Financial Center, Saturdays are usually very calm and quiet. There was this day for the most part too, except for the packed house having lunch at Blue Smoke.

So just like I saw on a t-shirt on my very first visit, I am proud to say “this little piggy went to Blue Smoke.” You should too.

For your next meal:

http://bluesmoke.com/blue/

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