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BBQ Joints > New York

Fette Sau

354 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211


3rd Degree Berns Barbecue Sabbatical

Immaculate Infatuation




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June 7, 2011, 7:25 p.m.

As always the lines at Fette Sau are intimidating, though sipping a few beers in line certainly helps to get through it. You'd think those mason jars would get tiresome by now, but here it seems right at home. We didn't realize it was "Whole Hog Thursday" and much of that hog was finished by the time we got to the counter. Our guests (we were a group of four) declared "no face meat!" so it was on to the other offerings of the night. Surprisingly we were treated to a fresh pile of spare ribs that weren't on the chalkboard menu, and then a whole slew of other tempting meats that were listed.

Sorted from first to last, here are my rankings of our bites from May 23, 2011:

1. Pork sausage links: I never would have ordered these on my own, but they were incredible. Juicy, smokey, a snappy/crunchy skin that pops when you bite into it. A really nice kick of spicy heat, and a (not-at-all) healthy fat-to-meat ratio that kept me coming back to the link throughout my meal. That's one killer link! A surprise 1st place for me.

2. Boneless Beef Ribs: these puppies were cooked perfectly. Crisp and flavorful bark, with a juicy interior. I'd say the smoke flavor was moderate, and thankfully didn't mask the flavor of the beef. A very nice balance. Truly outstanding.

3. Pork Belly: I would have skipped the belly entirely, but one of my dining companions is a big fan. And man I am glad she insisted on it... perhaps the leanest pork belly I've had, and it was a great balance of "bacony" flavor with "porky" flavor. The smoke was considerably sweeter to my taste, and makes me wonder if they switch woods around in that Southern Pride. Very tender. Very tasty.

4. Spare Ribs: the pile of slabs of spares was too tempting to pass up. They were cooked very well... you could take a bite right out of the rib and see your chomp marks. They are definitely some solid ribs, but there is a spice combination in the rub that doesn't cut through the richness of rib meat. I can't place it exactly, but I'm guessing coffee? Its super rich. Though a few dabs of the vinegar sauce did a pretty good job of correcting that richness for my taste buds.

5. Pork Shoulder: the pulled pork sadly falls to the bottom of the list. I was really optimistic about the shoulder (I must have had it before but can't be sure), but it really fell short. Perhaps it had been reheated ineffectively, or it was just sitting exposed for too long, but it was dry and had the similar taste that cooked chicken gets when its sat in the fridge for a day. It wasn't an issue because we had $90 worth of other meats on our tray, but I was really bummed it didn't compare. Pulled pork is my absolute favorite barbecue!

Overall it was a truly great meal. It still reigns as my favorite nyc barbecue... though there are some newcomers that I need to try this summer to compare.