Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue + BrisketTown

The Kings County smoked-meat scene heats up.

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  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Fatty and lean brisket, cranberry slaw, and pecan pie at BrisketTown

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Brisket at BrisketTown

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Brisket at BrisketTown

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Pecan Pie at BrisketTown

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    BrisketTown

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    BrisketTown

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    BrisketTown

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    BrisketTown

Photograph: Jolie Ruben

Fatty and lean brisket, cranberry slaw, and pecan pie at BrisketTown


In barbecue, like medicine, there’s something to be said for specialization. And Daniel Delaney’s BrisketTown makes a very strong case for the extremely narrow approach: doing a few things really well in the Texan tradition. While shooting an online travel show a few years back, the former Web journalist cajoled some Lone Star State legends into sharing their secrets: Louie Mueller Barbecue helped him get started with brisket; Austin’s Franklin Barbecue sold him a smoker. The young obsessive started out smoking the hardest cut to get right, brisket—so tough to begin with, so easy to dry out—at his New Jersey home. A quick study for a Yankee, he rapidly built a cult following for the preordered pounds at sold-out pop-up events throughout the city.

Delaney’s restaurant debut channels the humble joints that inspired it, featuring farmhouse shelves lined with old crates and Coke bottles, and a stand-up piano near a high saloon bar awaiting a liquor license. While the amber-lit walls look like they might’ve been tarnished by years of wood smoke, the cooking is in fact done off-premises, in his 18-foot-wide mobile smoker.

Delaney himself is often behind the counter, framed by a neon-lit cow outline, gingerly cutting and weighing meat. His concise menu, tacked to the wall, lists just a couple of proteins and sides. But every one is beyond reproach. The brisket, Pat LaFrieda meat in a salt-and-pepper rub, deserves a host of blue ribbons. In both fatty and lean iterations, it’s never dry—potent with smoke, with an intense peppery ring around the edges. Pork ribs, finished in brown sugar and maple syrup, are impressive too—dense, meaty and falling off the bone. You won’t need a lick of sauce with either of them—and in true Texas style there’s not a drop in the house, just white bread, pickles and onions to go with the meat.

The only two sides, German potato salad and red cabbage slaw—both easy on the mayo—are tangy and fresh. And pies made in-house—classic pecan, more savory than sweet, and rich apple-custard—are also top-notch, with tender buttery crusts.

BrisketTown is a traditionalist’s barbecue shrine, celebrating a singular style and, mostly, one cut of meat. You can eat pretty well at Fletcher’s too, if you choose carefully. But that elemental combination of smoke and meat is best in a purist’s hands.

 

Vitals: Briskettown

Eat this: Lean and fatty brisket, pork ribs, German potato salad, pecan pie
Drink this:
The place, strictly BYO, serves decent iced tea and lemonade.
Conversation piece:
The tattered American flag in the dining room used to hang outside Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas. The owner gave it to Delaney to celebrate the opening his own place.


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