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Gowanus’s burgeoning restaurant row got a meaty boost when this streamlined cafeteria opened on Third Avenue in November. Barbecue nuts Matt Fisher (Rub NYC) and Bill Fletcher met and bonded over the smoky craft at the Grillin’ on the Bay BBQ cook-off in Sheepshead Bay, and decided to turn their shared interest into a full-time gig. While the J&R smoker was trucked in from Mesquite, Texas, the duo have kept their low-key chophouse Brooklynized. Upholding the borough’s locavore ethos, the protein is sourced from Rodman, New York’s Lucki 7 Farms and the pit’s fueled with upstate sugar maple and red oak. Flanneled regulars nurse local pints over house-cured fridge pickles and chili-drenched mac and cheese, and graphic prints of crushed beer cans line the walls. Even the meat itself gets an urban upgrade: Along with grill staples like sauce-slathered ribs and 18-hour-smoked brisket, the chalkboard menu features funkier stuff like char siu ($7/quarter-pound), pork lubricated in a ginger-hoisin marinade and smoked to succulence for six hours.
Of the city’s traditional pan-regional barbecue, Fletcher’s is the very best, with A-plus performances in all the major barbecue categories (ribs, brisket, hot links), plus awesome specialty products like Chinese char siu pork steak. The moist, smoky, perfectly seasoned and rendered chicken is a major standout—about as good as BBQ chicken can get—and is available by the 1/4, 1/2 and whole bird. True, if you’re coming from Manhattan, its location in the mostly industrial Gowanus section of Brooklyn can be off-putting, and the interior has all the atmosphere of a Tulsa Wendy’s, but it’s what’s behind the sneeze guard (and in the all-wood smoker) that counts.
Open for Lunch & Dinner 7 days:
Sunday - Thursday: 11:30a - 10p / or until sold out
Friday - Saturday: 11:30a - 11p / or until sold out
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