Food & Drink

EVENT: All Hail 2014’s Brisket King of NYC!

by Lea Faminiano

DSC_0015[Hill Country BBQ]

There is a honor, a most honorable honor, a honor bestowed in New York City, an honor that stands as one of the highest of honors. Some people train their whole lives for it, and for some people, it may remain only a dream, but it is a sacred title that many strive for. Brisket King NYC. 

But how does one choose a Brisket King of NYC?

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Answer: you eat a lot of brisket.

This past Wednesday, this year’s Brisket King NYC took place at the DCTV Firehouse on Lafayette Street, which acted as a very crowded venue consisting of various rooms filled with all the glorious brisket and booze you could dare to handle. Called upon by Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy’s No. 43, these eateries competed for the title of Brisket King NYC, showing off their stuff to a crowd eager to see what they were all made of. The floor was slick with grease, everyone’s hands were sticky with sauce, it was basically a meat lover’s heaven, because how could anyone be upset with unlimited meat and booze (unless you’re a sober vegetarian)?

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[Le Rivage classed up the joint with a beef brisket bourguignon, an unexpected yet tasty take on a classic French dish.]

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The Wandering Que served up deliciously sweet and slightly charred oak & apple smoked brisket burnt ends, complete with enormous jars of pickles for the picking. Across the room, Who The F*ck Is Emma offered a choice of lean, fatty, or the chef’s choice of meat (always choose the chef’s choice, duh), as well as slaw, which was so good (we ate two plates) I was left seriously wondering: who the f*ck is Emma? (Answer – Emma Feigenbaum!)

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[Emma Feigenbaum’s classic brisket and slaw]

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[Mok Bar’s BBQ nori wrap]

Mok Bar (they’re opening in Chelsea Market soon – get excited!) won “Most Innovative” with their BBQ nori wrap which was a cross between BBQ, a taco, and sushi, which is basically all my favorite things literally rolled into one. My guest and I each ate three plates of Dinosaur BBQ’s brisket which came with a hefty squirt of BBQ sauce – I may be wrong, but can only assume this was their Sensuous Slathering Sauce because I would readily slather it sensuously all over my body.

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[Dinosaur BBQ]

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East Village Meat Market’s Julian served us braised brisket with mustard (or horseradish?) and pickles, and I’ve already started referring to him as “my butcher” even though I haven’t actually gone there yet, because I will. Not pictured because after a while, you get tired of taking photos and trying to balance your plate and camera and you’d rather just eat.

Should one wish to wash that brisket down with a little something, there was also tons of booze to sample – such as Tito’s Handmade Vodka (one of my favorites), Four Roses Bourbon, Angel’s Envy, and much more scattered throughout the venue.

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Will Horowitz of Duck’s Eatery was crowned Brisket King of NYC, which I unfortunately wasn’t able to try – some of the meateries (that was a typo but I’m keeping it) had run out of dishes at the event’s halfway point, which may further prove that the meat here was pretty legit.

Was the event worth it? If you like meat even just a smidgen, yes. I’m still recovering from the meat binge, which conveniently has occurred prior to a snowstorm, and I spent the majority of Thursday making like a bear in the dead of winter, living off all that brisket as the source of my energy for the day. Enjoy your reign, Duck’s Eatery (I’ll be stopping by!), and to everyone else, get on it – it’s never too early to start preparing for next year’s title.