Chris discovered a place in Brooklyn, the Smoke Joint, which turned out to not be too far away from LIU, so one day last week, after he was done with work, he took the subway down to my neck of the woods and we met there for dinner. It was pleasant enough place, and I think I'd go back if I was looking for something local. (Chris had ribs, which looked great and which were apparently quite good, and a side of decent mac & cheese. I had the Brooklyn wings, which were covered in a spicy slightly yet sticky sauce - the type that gets all over you and won't let go - that I wouldn't have liked if it were not spicy; and for the main course, tolerably good hacked beef (needed salt) and a side of coleslaw, which I tend not to care for but which Chris raved about.)
That weekend, quite inexplicably and without planning, we went to the local Famous Dave's, which is a chain. We weren't expecting anything amazing, but we were pleasantly surprised. Not fabulous, really, but I think we'd go again. (We both got a two meat BBQ combo with an extra meat; Chris had the ribs, brisket, and hot link sausage with a side of cole slaw and potato salad; I had the ribs, roasted chicken, and sweetwater catfish with a side of "Firecracker green beans"; and of course we shared.)
Last night we met up with Vhary and went to Virgil's BBQ in the Theater District in New York City. This was probably the best of the three places we'd been to. We split an order of the "Trainwreck Fries" and "Oklahoma State Fair Corndogs," which were both good. Vhary tried the brisket melt for an entree, while Chris and I each had a two meat combo (he had the ribs and brisket with sides of cole slaw and, I believe, country greens; I had ribs and lamb, with sides of macaroni & cheese, and cheese grits). I don't think Vhary's brisket melt had her over the moon, but I was thrilled with my ribs and lamb.
I still don't know enough to differentiate between the different types of BBQ, and I'm not that excited about the prospect of adding sauce; each place we visited within the past two weeks seemed to have different sauces available (usually on the table, but not always), in variations of hot, mild, and something mustardy. I know there are differences in smoking the meat, types of wood used, different rubs, etc. But the ribs I've had so far have been amazing and I think that from now on, they'll be a staple of whatever I order at a BBQ joint.