Saturday, May 26, 2012

Foodie Friday Follow-up: Fabulous Fette!

I can't remember exactly when it was that Baydog and I had an email discussion about Brooklyn restaurants, but when TQ called me Thursday morning to find out where I wanted to be taken for dinner, although I naturally first thought of my local favorites, somehow nothing was really grabbing me. I asked for some time, I went back to my spreadsheets and somewhere during the subtotalling, my long-term memory finally finished rummaging through vague recollections of places I'd wanted to eat and hadn't yet, held up a printout of this old email discussion, said "Ahem. FETTE SAU." TQ's got a car, so I raced over to his place as soon as I could get out of work and off we went to the Wilds of Williamsburgh in search of what is supposed to be some of Brooklyn's best barbeque (if you ignore the cranky people on Yelp, which I always do, what is it about Yelp that makes people so darned cranky anyways?).

354 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn. Look it up on Google and you'll wonder if you got it wrong - what you see in the first street view is an auto repair place. But it's there, shoehorned in to a little sliver of a property next door.
It had been pouring rain on and off all evening. I'd read a couple of reviews, I knew that a lot of their seating was outside, and I was actually ready to drop the idea and beat a retreat back to good old Cortelyou Road if necessary - neither of us are big fans of mob scenes, but I figured that it was worth a try, because maybe the rain would make people stay home. I'd also hurried to get to TQ's early because ALL of the reviews said "Get there early".

I think we got there around 6:30 and we were mostly just in time. Mostly. There were still seats here and there --
And this was pretty much the extent of the line - there were maybe 4 or 5 people between us and 3 customers you can see at the head of the line. Any thoughts about Cortelyou Road flew from my head and were replaced with ideas about coming back for seconds or at least STEVE'S KEY LIME PIE! Oh boy, my favorite!

Meet the meat. Yum.
Now why I say we were mostly on time, mostly, was because you see that big empty tray in the front there? Up until a second before I took this picture, that was where last few Berkshire St. Louis-style barbeque spare ribs had been. TQ had been eyeing them hungrily and then - d'oh - the guy RIGHT in front of us in the line bought them.

TQ was very bummed out. Me? All I had eyes for was that great big hunka meat in the middle tray. Brisket. I'd seen the counter guy slicing some up and it just looked insanely good.

The counterman serves up your meat on a cookie sheet. We got half a pound of pulled pork, half a pound of brisket, and TQ added 2 sausages (consolation for the vanished ribs). 

We tempered the sheer carnivorosity of the meal with some nice healthy veggies: German potato salad and baked beans. Now that's a birthday feast! 

And we did it justice!

The rolls, which just come with your dinner, were the only things we didn't touch. I like that kind of roll, but why bother? We didn't make much progress on the beans; we had a little bit of potato salad and a little bit of pulled pork shoulder left - I should've put the pork in the beans and brought it home because they were both delicious but I didn't think of it. The pulled pork was good but probably the thing we left on the tray because we both do a pretty mean pernil & this was rather in the same family. The sausages were very good, nicely spicy. As promised, nothing needed sauce - they don't cook the meat with sauce, but there are a couple of kinds of sauces alongside the industrial rolls of paper towels - I don't think I even looked at 'em though. Same as the rolls - why bother?

The brisket was as insanely good as I had thought it would be when we first laid eyes on it. Juicy, tender, a perfect strip on fat on each slice, just enough that if you wanted to be health-conscious you would probably cut it off, but if you wanted to be health-conscious, what the heck are you doing at a restaurant called "Fat Pig"? Tastes like eating the smoke of the sweetest-smelling campfire ever made.  TQ wants to go back for the ribs someday (the group sitting next to us actually had a couple more than they could eat and we were whispering back and forth about asking how much they wanted for those ribs - in the end we didn't quite have the nerve to ask so we left without even a taste). Me too, but I'll be after more brisket. Before last night, the best commercially-produced barbeque* I ever remember tasting was at the Salt Lick, out in the Texas hill country near Austin. That was years ago that my sister took us there, and that had ended up stuck in my mind as this mythically delicious ultimate bbq anywhere, and last year when I was agitating for a family trip to Texas to visit my sister & an aunt and uncle who I haven't really seen since my folks moved to NC, a trip to see if the Salt Lick was as good as I remembered it to be was high on my to-do list. Now I need to go back there to see if Fette Sau's brisket actually does stack up to the Salt Lick...I really think it might.

Halfway through our repast I said something about maybe getting my key lime pie to go. TQ said "You'd better go get in line then". I turned around and that was pretty much when I lost all interest in dessert, period. He was sitting facing into the restaurant and had been watching the tables fill up and the line get longer. By the time we left, it was out the door. My Steve's Key Lime Pie fix can wait until the next time I'm in Red Hook - and that's probably Monday (when I want to go tour the ships!). I think we'll be back, though.

Next time we'll shoot for 6:00 or before.
*I have to say "commercially produced" because "Canoe-Buildin' Uncle" has a small flock of sheep at the farm that's now been in the family for 2 generations, and when he has one of his lambs butchered and barbecues it for a family gathering, we are talking about a whole 'nother level of delicious. 


O Docker said...

I don't believe it.

How could I have gained three pounds just reading this post?

Keep Reaching said...

I was born and raised in Texas and although I have no desire to return to live there I still miss the BBQ and Tex-Mex food and each time I go to visit family I pig out on both.

I think it is a simple fact of nature that really great BBQ must be cooked and served in an environment that is a bit short on Michelin stars. Sounds like you found such a spot, thanks to a good steer.

Tillerman said...

I love eating some good steer.

my2fish said...

man, that looks like an awesome dinner! happy birthday!