With three new restaurants opening in Westchester in the last year, barbecue is hot in the county.
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➤ Q Restaurant & Bar
112 N Main St, Port Chester (914) 933-RIBS
487 E Main St, Mount Kisco (914) 241-RIBS
Q, the county’s most popular barbecue eatery, is so well liked that another branch opened in Mount Kisco last summer. Both combine counter service with waiter service. You order at the counter, receive a numbered card to place on your table, and a waiter brings your food to you. The Port Chester location also has a bar at which you’ll find baskets of addictive seasoned potato chips.
And as for the grub? Gotta love the sides: the grilled corn on the cob dusted with paprika and Cotija cheese; the big, fluffy biscuits served with maple butter; and the super-moist corn bread. The best entrée to eat with those sides? The ribs, of course. Perfectly cooked, with a smoke ring as pure as a virgin…forest, that is. (Where do you think the wood that makes the smoke rings comes from, anyway?) The meat peels off the bone, just like it’s supposed to. One quibble: too much sauce. Have faith in your meat, Q, and lay off the sauce!
➤ The Barnacle BBQ and Fish Shack
181 E Boston Post Rd, Mamaroneck (914) 777-6610
Wherever you were scheduled to eat tonight, cancel. Go to the new Barnacle BBQ and Fish Shack and eat brisket. And bring along any vegetarian you’ve been trying to convert; they’ll likely too end up chowing down slabs of bovine bliss. The brisket is life-changing: juicy, salty (in a good way), and butter-tender—hey, the meat has been smoked for 12 hours. Heaven.
So, in what surroundings will your soon-to-be-a-carnivore friend’s life change? The Barnacle was previously home to a Charlie Brown’s and then Jolly Trolley. Now, a large horseshoe-shaped bar divides the restaurant comfortably. The room is dark. There are drawings on the ceiling, condiments come in toolboxes, and, the best part, there are small towels on the table instead of napkins—great for picking up wet ribs and really digging in.
Speaking of the ribs, the Barnacle serves them both wet and dry—and both are super-tender. As for sides, there’s something called pork bites, which are strips of meat fried after being smoked. Avoid them. Ditto the pulled pork spring rolls. But do get a side of slaw—
superb. And, in a clever move that rekindled fond childhood memories, the Barnacle serves Tater Tots!
W. Dyer Halpern was raised in a family in which bad barbecue was as unacceptable as bad grades. He must admit, though, he still doesn’t really like barbecued chicken. Just don’t tell anyone.