It's a bold claim, and I wonder to myself how good can the best barbecue in New York City be?
It rains again that evening, and since I don't want to walk very far in the rain, I decide to put the cabbie's claim to the test. I cross 44th Street and enter Virgil's domain.
It's like stepping 1,200 miles back to Westport in Kansas city. The rustic decor definitely elicits the barbecue mood. I request a table for one. The place is packed, as I imagine most restaurants in Manhattan would be on a Friday night, raining or not.
I'm seated and order a Brooklyn Ale and the beef short rib. While I'm waiting for the food to arrive, I browse the placemats that tell a short story about Virgil's quest for great barbecue. It shows a map of the eastern half of the United States (they don't eat barbecue out west), along with markers for the best BBQ by region.
Happily, I see the KC metro with the highest concentration of notes:
Presently my dinner arrives. The short rib is served in a bed of sauce and grits. It was good, though probably not worth the $25 price tag. Then again, diner was on the company tonight.
- Kansas City, Mo.: Haywards Pit Bar-B-Que, made "burnt ends" into an art form.
- Kansas City Masterpiece, great example of KC style brisket.
- Arthur Bryants, a Kansas City tradition.
- Lenexa, Kansas, home of Paul Kirk, the "Baron of BBQ" world class cookoff champion and our Mentor and Hero
As for whether Virgil's is the best barbecue in the city, I really couldn't say since I didn't sample any other barbecue.
All I know is that it's no Oklahoma Joe's.
tagged: travel, New York, barbecue, Kansas City, Lenexa, Broadway, Virgil's, Oklahoma Joe's