Where are two Texan girls in New York City going to get dinner at on a Friday night? Why, a barbecue joint, of course!
But if I’m being honest, it’s not really an “of course,” seeing as I have this odd relationship with barbecue. I never crave it and I wouldn’t say I love it, but when I’m actually at a barbecue place, seeing and smelling all the delicious meats, I start drooling and can’t wait to gobble everything down. And I mean if there’s a barbecue place I’m dying to try, who better to try it with than another Southerner?
I had been wanting to try Fette Sau in Brooklyn for a while, so while my friend and I were waiting for our lane to be ready at The Gutter so we could go bowl (just a two hour wait, that’s all), we decided to go eat dinner first. The restaurant is a little set-back from the street and it feels like you’re walking into some sort of garage or driveway. Once inside, you can either head to the separate bar on the left or join the line on the right that goes up to the counter with the food. You pick what kind of meats and how much of it per pound you want. I normally get about 1/4 pound each of two different kinds of meats and that’s good for me. This time around, I told the guy I wanted enough brisket and ribs for two people and what do you know..he gave us 1/2 pound of each so I guess my go-to amount has been a good standard. I also totally love that the guy was being extremely generous with serving up the sides, plopping huge spoonfuls into the containers so that they were overflowing and dripping. Now that’s how you do it.
The Fette Sau menu changes daily but you’ll have a selection of barbecue favorites like pork shoulder, ribs, sausage, and brisket, along with more specialty barbecue items like sirloin tip, wagyu cheeks, and pork belly. All their meats are smoked in-house with a blend of red and white oak, maple, beach, and cherry that are all locally sourced and their own dry rub (no sauce is applied during cooking!). You also get free potato rolls with your meal (two per person it looks like), and there are other sides to choose from like potato salad, broccoli salad, pickles, sauerkraut, and beans. If I’m getting barbecue, it goes without saying that I’m getting brisket. All-time favorite barbecued food right there! My friend and I also got some ribs, the potato salad, and the burnt end baked beans.
All the seating at Fette Sau is all big, wooden communal tables (totally part of the barbecue experience), so we sat down, all nice and cozy with our neighbors, and started grubbin’. There are sauces available on the table in squeeze bottles, two barbecue sauces and one with vinegar, but they mention on their website that they think the flavor of their meat and rub is best with no sauce. Personally, I can’t do barbecue without the sauce, and I preferred the sweet bbq sauce to the other one, which was spicier and I believe made with passila chile pepper.
It’s funny because when we were ordering, my friend and I were trying to decide what sides to get and as soon as we saw the baked beans weren’t just baked beans but BURNT END baked beans we were totally sold. We both agreed that those are significantly better than normal beans. If you didn’t know, burnt ends are pieces from brisket that are both charred and fatty and just incredibly delicious. Please try some now if you haven’t before. It was pretty cool because I saw that as the guy was cutting up brisket for people he would cut off the burnt ends and put them into the container with the beans. Mmmmm. The potato salad here was also special because it had a more vinegary taste I think because of the use of Dijon mustard rather than mayo. Delish.
The prices here are a little hefty (it was $45 for two people), but I also may be a little biased coming from a state where barbecue abounds. That being said, Fette Sau consistently ranks in the top barbecue places in the city so if you’re a fanatic or someone who’s been looking to try what the cuisine is all about, you have to check it out.
Oh, and if you’re wondering… “fette sau” means “fat pig” in German. Cheeky, cheeky.
Berkshire St. Louis style pork ribs, ribs, Dante’s German potato salad, burnt end baked beans
354 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211