Despite what you may have read — especially if you read the article “Why is Brooklyn barbecue taking over the world?” on the Vice Munchies blog this week — there is no such thing as Brooklyn barbecue.
In fairness, the journalist, Nicholas Gill, is a seasoned food writer and Brooklynite of the most conspicuous vintage, and he was writing about a very specific and well-known Brooklyn restaurant, Fette Sau, in Williamsburg, one among a dozen or so that have cropped up in the last 10 years.
At Fette Sau the brisket gets rubbed with espresso instead of cowboy coffee like in some parts of Texas, the potato salad is dairy-free, and the pickles are $1.25 apiece.
And the pulled pork runs $23 a pound. For comparison, Stamey’s charges $9.50. Not the same thing, I know. But please.
The place’s format and style — meat by the pound, minimalist settings, craft beer and Edison light bulbs — have been replicated in several places around the world, as Gill documents ably. But really, what he meant to say is that Brooklyn barbecue is taking over Brooklyn; it is Brooklyn itself — once the scrappiest and most culturally diverse borough in the city of New York now the epicenter of young, urban chic — that is taking over the world.
At least, that’s what they’re saying in Brooklyn.
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