John Brown Smokehouse

John Brown Smokehouse

After eating at SriPraPhai in Woodside, Queens, my next Queens stop was……….the Butcher Bar. I was pretty excited to try this place and had made plans with friends to try it. Seeing all those delicious looking photos, I had my mind set on the PBLT sandwich and some double smoked burnt ends. Though just a few hours before heading out to Astoria, the INTERNET spoke and said that I should go to John Brown Smokehouse instead. Being a cheap aZZ, the cheaper price at John Brown Smokehouse quickly won my over.


Located across from a school, it was a bit of a walk from the train station. The inside was tiny with just a handful of tables. Looking at the menu on the board, they have daily specials and a list of people that get to eat there for free…like President Obama. New goal in life? TRY TO GET ON THAT LIST.

John Brown Smokehouse

For $14.50 I got the 2 meat platter with 2 sides. I really wanted the burnt ends but they were out of it so I ended up getting rib tips and pork belly. For the 2 sides I got collard greens and mac n cheese.

John Brown Smokehouse

I wonder if I went on an off night. I wasn’t too thrilled with the meats that I got. They tasted delicious but the rib tips were a little tough and dry. The slices of pork belly were mostly fat (I know pork belly is fatty), may I ask for half lean and half fatty next time?

I ate half of my friend’s pulled pork sandwich and that was mighty tasty.

John Brown Smokehouse

The stars of that night were definitely the sides. Mac n cheese, heck yeah! Fries, oh yeah! Collard greens, may I have more?!

Couple pieces of chewy rib tips is not going to stop me from going back to this place. My friends truly enjoyed their meal and went back couple weeks later. I have to go back and try the burnt ends and eat more collard greens.

John Brown Smokehouse, 25-08 37th Ave. Long Island City, Queens

  • Brian Hoffman

    You will change your mind when you try those burnt ends!

  • Donny

    those are BIG words Hoffman!

  • http://www.adamkuban.com/ Adam

    The burnt ends were good the one time I had them. The baked beans were good, too. (Kansas City does some good beans.)

    One thing … “The slices of pork belly were mostly fat (I know pork belly is fatty), may I ask for half lean and half fatty next time?”

    ME TOO. I can’t comment on JBSH because I haven’t had the pork belly there, but I sort of feel like NYC places in general do this. It’s like that whole 2008/2009-era* PORK BELLY craze ignited this idea that FAT was the best. It’s good, don’t get me wrong. And it’s nice that we’re finally all recognizing that lean pork/meat is not super flavorful. But I think the pendulum has swung too far to where you’re now not getting any meat with the fat.

    I can’t remember where it was now — one of the ramen joints — that the pork belly I got was basically just a freegin’ hunk of fat. Come on.

    *Or whenever it was — mid to late aughts, whatever.

  • http://www.adamkuban.com/ Adam

    Beautiful pics, by the way.

  • Donny

    Thanks!

  • http://www.adamkuban.com/ Adam

    UGH. I keep trying to post a comment. Your site doesn’t seem to like what I have to say.

  • Donny

    OH NO! what is it doing? or not doing?

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  • http://theeatenpath.com James

    Do go back, Donny! I would strongly recommend trying the spare ribs, burnt ends (if you get there early enough), and chicken (surprisingly fantastic the last time I had it). I would avoid the turkey, brisket (though it may have turned around), rib tips, and belly.

    AND YES, ADAM SPEAKS THE TRUTH. The way to correct America’s institutionalized obsession with “fat free” is not for a handful of urbane, ironic city insulants to fetishize the ingestion of pure fat on a regular basis. Pork belly can be amazing (see Fette Sau), but it’s not the simple presence belly fat that makes it work. The only thing more gratuitous is brunch.

  • jon

    You must return to my favorite meat place in NYC! First of all get the PBLT. I had it last night for the first time and there was an equal amount of fat and meat on those lovely slices of pork belly. Second, get the brisket. Yes while it’s true that their brisket was a tad dry, they have vastly improved it. Third you must try his pastrami!! Beats Katz’s hands down! I must say that I’m biased since i eat there at least once a week (or more) and went the day after they opened last August. And I live around the corner. The turkey is fabulous too. Nice smoky flavor. And I usually hate turkey.