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Williamsburg's first post-millennial barbecue joint is also its most adventurous. Pork belly, a rare find in the city's barbecue community, is a menu mainstay here, but if you happen to see any lamb or goat, jump on it. Feeling cheeky? Pinch at the glistening face meat of both pork and wagyu beef. In another New York barbecue first, Fette Sau was also the first outfit to experiment with slow and low pastrami.
Voted NYC's Top BBQ for the fifth year running, this Williamsburg "meatfest" staged in a "converted garage" is lauded for "sinfully succulent" 'cue priced by the pound and washed down with "craft beers and bourbon"; "cafeteria-style" service and "picnic-bench" seating lend some down-home authenticity, but no reservations make for "interminable lines."
This Williamsburg joint's been lauded as the king of New York's barbecue scene, and for good reason: housed in a converted garage, Fette Sau serves spectacular smoked meats by the pound, like pulled pork shoulder ($16/lb), loin chops ($20/lb) and boneless beef ribs ($4.75-$19). For sides, get the baked beans ($5.25 for a small, $8 for a large), but they're pretty meaty themselves, so consider yourself forewarned. There's no sitdown service at Fette Sau—food is consumed at communal tables, and you wait on a typically loooong line to place your order, so bring some friends or a good book, and be prepared to feast.
Both the best and worst that can be said of Fette Sau is that it’s pure Williamsburg: too cool for school, lackadaisical in its work ethic and overly art-directed all apply. Yet, when it’s on, it’s fantastic, and then there are the eccentric specialty meats that set it apart, such as pork belly, skirt steak and lamb ribs. The long wooden tables, meat-image wallpaper and ambient rock music set the tone, and the well-chosen beer selection, served in growlers, adds to the fun.
Joe Carroll (Spuyten Duyvil) pioneered Williamsburg’s smoked-meat boom in 2007 with this auto-shop-turned-ramshackle-roadhouse, whose name means “fat pig” in German. Starving throngs wait dutifully for their gluttonous turn at the counter, while picnic tables are shared by leather-clad locals and European tourists. Tractor-seat stools and kitchen-knife taps line the bar, where thirsty patrons get gallon jugs of craft brews (Sixpoint Vienna Pale Ale, Coney Island Mermaid pilsner) before slipping back into the raucous crowd. Fill up on a rotating selection of lamb, beef and Black Angus brisket ($19), St. Louis–style ribs with ends properly trimmed ($22)—and sides such as Dante’s German potato salad (small $3.25, large $5.25), whose chunks of onion-studded spuds are coated in a zesty vinaigrette.
Hours: Open Mon - Thurs 5 pm - 11 pm
Fri/Sat/Sun Open 12 pm - 11 pm.
Kitchen and front yard close at 11pm
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