A few weeks ago while on business in NYC, I stopped in Adam Perry Lang’s first restaurant, “Daisy May’s BBQ USA“. BBQ in NYC you say? You better believe it! Keep in mind it’s said you could eat at a different restaurant every day of your life in NYC and never go to the same place twice. NYC is a hotbed for foodies and BBQ enthusiasts alike. It seems every major publication is gushing – from The New Yorker to Food and Wine, GQ to Vogue about Daisy May’s. So I invited a few co-workers to a dinner meeting. Both fellow foodies, I had no idea how they would react.
After arriving in the rain, Daisy May’s isn’t much to look at from the outside. This is no Barbecoa borne of wrought iron and steel newness in London. Once inside however I was welcomed by familiar smells of smoke and spice. I could smell the Ancho and Chimayo chiles that Adam Perry Lang made semi-famous in his book, Serious Barbecue.
After my friends arrived by taxi, we noticed that the new Ogilvy & Mather offices were right across the street. Feeling very “Mad Men”, we went in for an Old Fashioned – BBQ that is. We were greeted at the door by a shout from the proprietor, Adam’s business partner in Daisy May’s. After talking it up a bit, he made some recommendations – from Adam’s cookbooks to details on the menu. He offered us a Half & Half order of Memphis and Kansas City style ribs. The key difference being dry-rub vs. wet rub.
I wasn’t expecting much, considering the late hour I expected the ribs to be rubbery and fall of the bone. I put my KCBS Judging Cap on and took a bite – the ribs came away clean, clear bite marks without being mushy. The smoke ring was clear and the spices well balanced – a better and more subtle job than my own attempts at home using Serious Barbecue.
The chicken our friend ordered was also good as were the sides. I preferred the beans, a good Texas-style mix of beans. The Slaw was my only complaint – it was fresh and crisp, but the flavor was a little off for my likings. The greens were also good, though a little mushy, expected for the time of day.
Zagat is also impressed, winner of Zagat Survey 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. Not sure what’s happened recently but NYC crowds can be fickle – you’re the hot stuff for a while before someone else builds a better mouse trap.
If you’re visiting NYC, be sure to check out Daisy May’s at the original location at 623 11th Ave (corner of 46th St.) or the Street Cart.