Brisket Boom

In April 2012, Texas native Daniel Delaney started Brisketlab, a pop-up shop featuring, what else, smoked brisket. In 48 hours, he sold 2,500 pounds of meat and earned a name for himself and his product. Now, Delaney dishes up brisket at his first brick and mortar shop Delaney Barbecue, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There, you can buy tender, fatty brisket and smoky ribs by the pound, along with a tangy potato salad and coleslaw. Bring your own beer to chase the meat, and lots of friends to share it with.

Also dishing out stellar brisket is Bill Fletcher, who runs Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue in Gowanus. What is Brooklyn barbecue you may ask? The owner said it’s not from Texas, it’s not from St. Louis, and it’s not from the Carolinas, it’s from Brooklyn. Plus, in sticking with the local, organic, grass-fed beef trend that, thankfully, many restaurants in the borough have adopted, Fletcher’s also makes sure their product remains sustainable. You can also buy by the pound here, and, aside from ribs and brisket, they serve Pat LaFrieda spicy sausage, pork shoulder, baked beans, and house-made fridge pickles.

Recently, in Astoria, Queens, The Strand Smokehouse opened up with former Jeffrey’s Grocery chef Eric Milley cooking pulled pork, smoked pork loin, and macaroni and cheese. They have a good selection of beer and have a handful of whiskey-filled barrels right for tapping. 


Photo Credit: Critter

SUPERBURGER: Burger Battle Royale with Cheese

Eleven chefs have answered the call this year for the sixth annual SUPERBURGER (aka Hamptons Burger Bloodbath) competition at the Montauk Yacht Club this Saturday, and all are in it to win it. For the first time, this formerly invite-only event is selling tickets, giving your average Joe Lunchpail a chance to rub greasy elbows with the cognoscentis of ground chuck and watch as dreams are fulfilled, hopes are dashed, and burgers are eaten.

Headlining the event is Emile Castillo from The Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien, with competitors Seamus Mullen of Tertulia, Zak Pelaccio of the Fatty Crab, PJ Clarke’s Mike Defonzo, Sarah Simmons from City Grit, Harold Moore from Commerce, Alex Stupak of Empellon, Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly of Fedora, and PJ Calapa from Sweet Afton. Also present will be last year’s runner-up Jesse Gerstein, James Ramsey, and Ryan Solien of the Montauk Yacht Club reppin’ the host venue. Last but certainly not least, Momofuku Milk Bar’s own Christina Tosi will be concocting madcap confections for dessert. Sitting in judgment of these aspiring meat Michelangelos will be Pat LaFrieda (owner, LaFrieda Meats), Lee Brian Schrager (founder and director, Food Network South Beach and NYC Wine and Food Festival), Spike Mendelsohn (Good Stuff Eatery, and Top Chef contestant), Kate Krader (restaurant editor, Food & Wine Magazine), and Josh Capon (executive chef, Lure Fishbar and B&B Winepub).

Event sponsor Amstel Light is bringing the beer, Pat LaFrieda’s has the meat, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka will supply the higher octane imbibables. Tickets aren’t cheap, but even at $135 a pop, you’re still getting more high-concept burgers than you can comfortably eat, free drinks, and the chance to be a part of burger history. For tickets, go to We start fasting Thursday.

Celeb Chefs Step Up Airport Cuisine

It is a truth universally acknowledged than an airport must be in want of fresh, delicious food for any price. Even the godfather of the celebrity-chef concept, Wolfgang Puck, has allowed his brand to become so diluted that his name on your pizza box guarantees little besides the requisite thin crust. But as the new generation has swept in to our ever more Food-Networked world, they’ve started taking up real estate in the terminals that deserve some attention.

Rick Bayless has managed to create a deep respect among his fans for both Mexican cuisine and the Chicago culinary scene, so it’s no surprise that Tortas Fronteras serves up its giant (and we mean giant) tortas and open-face sandwiches at O’Hare, in Terminal 1. Across the pond, London Heathrow tapped Gordon Ramsay to create Plane Food in their Terminal 5, offering everything from blini and Sevruga caviar to sea bass and braised lamb — and you can even get it packaged to take on your flight.

A different kind of English cuisine is happening at Boston’s Logan Airport, where Todd English’s Bonfire is grilling up steaks from around the world in a mix of Argentinean, European and American steakhouse traditions. And though customers may stumble into Las Vegas’ McCarran with nothing more than a Bloody Mary in mind, David Burke’s Burke in the Box offers up a wide selection of gourmet American offerings, like not-so-traditional prosciutto and arugula pizza and pretzel panini. But if we’re being honest, our favorite celebrity chef airport joint isn’t run by a celebrity chef at all — it’s celebrity butcher Pat LaFrieda, whose Custom Burgers joint in New York’s LaGuardia airport turns out beef so tender, you won’t even need your dinky plastic knife.