Way up yonder on 6th Avenue lies a BBQ joint filled with the finest bourbon, blues and meat-based entertainment this side of the Gowanus. It’s called Bar BQ and if you’re smart, you’ll find your way over there pretty soon.
Bar BQ is a pretty tight space with a full bar, about five tables and a performance space (nook?) in an area about the size of your living room. It offers several “theme nights,” for lack of a better term. Mondays and Tuesdays feature live music and great drink specials. Wednesdays are home to hot sauce enthusiasts, The Brooklyn Fire Eaters. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays have bad-ass happy hours. Price wise – Let me tell you that 97 bucks for 8 people for dinner is a pretty sweet, sweet deal. Free bourbon shots are a sweet deal. $2 Blue Points are too. Throw some live blues in the mix and Bar BQ is a fantastic place to get hammered on any night.
Now, we here at Brooklyn Skeptic are basically a meat-loving bunch. You might be able to tell that from ChezJJP’s meatsweat®-inducing recipes he posts from time to time. But one of us (me) is a vegetarian and as much as I love drinking heavily with few interruptions, I like not being hungry even more. This presents us with some difficulty in writing this review as most people would likely be interested in the quality of the meat offerings and I have nothing to say about that. But I have a lot to say about other things, so this is the compromise: I will review the bounty available to the veggie-munching crowd and our resident meat specialist, ChezJJP, will review that which is available to the Normals.
Bar BQ Review for Meat Lovers
After several Blue Points and about five totally free shots of awesome Kentucky Tavern bourbon, our crew of eight sat down to chow. It became rather obvious after checking out the menu that it was our duty to order the $50 platter called “The Big Seven” (seven meats dewwwd!). I think that it being the tail end of Labor Day weekend, they were out of some items. And that was cool, because the good natured hostess made up for it. The baby back ribs were meaty and moist and had a nice smoky flavor. The pulled pork was also flavorful and especially fitting with the vinegar based sauces they have in squeeze bottles at every table. Aside from that, the brisket was pretty tender (perhaps a bit dry for my taste) and the sausage was great as well. I’ll be honest here and say this is not the all time best slow cooked BBQ I’ve ever had, but I will assume that they were hit pretty hard that long weekend and it must be tough for an out-of-the-way Brooklyn BBQ restaurant to gauge just how much demand theres gonna be. It was delicious nonetheless, and the vinegar sauce must be some sort of weird pheromone generator because I was doin’ some talkin’ to the ladies that night. All in all, highly recommended to the carnivores.
Bar BQ Review for Vegetarians
Both of the occasions I journeyed to the South Slope to go to Bar BQ were on Mondays in order to attend Blue Monday. Now, let me just tell you, Blue Monday is a severe misnomer. Because when I get busy with free bourbon, $2 Blue Points and live blues, I literally couldn’t be happier. Be certain, this place is home to a significantly convivial crowd of Monday night booze chasers. When the music gets going and the bourbon is flowing, you’re yelling across tables, making best friends with greasy Brooklyn types and hollering “hoooooooooweeee” to the tunes.
But then you get hungry. Because this is Brooklyn, or because they’re not cold-hearted snakes, Bar BQ has a reasonable number of vegetarian food options considering that BBQ is traditionally very heavy on flesh. There’s a portobello sandwich, a smoked seasonal vegetable platter (which they were sadly out of last night) and potentially five veggie side dishes to choose from. I haven’t checked out the BBQ beans, but the collard greens (holy shit), mac & cheese, mayonnaise-less potato salad (amazing), and cole slaw (didn’t try it) are all safe.
So what I’m trying to say here is that if you’re like me and all of your friends take pride in their ability to consume entire barnyards of livestock while you whisper sweet nothings to sweet potatoes, then this is a good place to go with them. You probably won’t want to kill yourself. I’m looking your direction, Belleville.
698 6th Avenue at 20th Street
South Slope, Brooklyn