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Mothership Meat Company

Restaurants, Barbecue Long Island City
3 out of 5 stars
Mothership Meat Company
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
No matter the style of barbecue, the meat always garners the accolades. The sides get the Susan Lucci treatment: They’re consistently a part of the conversation and sometimes raved about, but, more often than not, it’s a case of “always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” At Mothership Meat Company, the supporting cast of dishes (each $4–$7) takes center stage.

Consider the peppery pork and beans, which could easily be a satisfying entrée on its own. The fluffy cornbread is not too sweet (like too many versions we’ve wasted calories on). Our order of mac and cheese, each noodle swaddled in melted cheddar, tasted as if it had been lovingly baked all day.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise in a whimsical space where graffiti art of aliens and spaceships, instead of the usual taxidermy and cowboy boots, adorns the walls. As it turns out, pitmaster (and co-owner) Josh Bowen has always been a bit of a nonconformist. When he opened the nearby John Brown Smokehouse in 2011, the menu boasted Kansas City–style smoked meats in a borough known more for bibimbap than beef short ribs.

Here, the barbecue inspiration turns to Texas. The meat is ordered by the pound: We’d go back for the short-rib pastrami ($30/pound), with its balanced salty and smoky flavors.

The fatty brisket ($26) is superior to the somewhat dry lean brisket ($23). If you order the prime rib ($30), be sure to ask for some rarer slices. We savored the beef-and-pork sausage links ($8), a juicy German-style bratwurst. As we dug into our tray of meat sweats, we couldn’t help but take one more bite of the side dishes—the true stars of our meal.

By: Bao Ong

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Address: 27-20 40th Ave
Queens
1101
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