bacon & bourbon: brother jimmy

Recently, I did a quick review of B&B for Plan B and that got me thinking that I should head to another local chain that sports an interesting mix of bourbon, brews and bbq called Brother Jimmy’s . Lately, they’ve been heavily advertising their revised bourbon menu and inspired BBQ which caught my attention, especially because one of the ads included one of my favorite bourbons, Elijah Craig.

I used to frequent the location near Madison Square Garden in my New Jersey Transit days so I knew what I was getting myself into when I hit the location near my office with the Applebees inspired cowboy lodge theme. The service was just as slow as I remembered it, which essentially fits the bill for southern fair. No need to rush, be it waiting for a delayed train or taking a break from the daily grind.

The 16 bourbons on the menu are a somewhat predictable mix of standards that span the mass produced to the barrel aged but unlike everything else on the liquor menu that comes to your table are completely devoid of pricing. They’ll tell you the Glenfiddich and Patron Platinum will set you back more than the cost of the rest of your meal but not how much a shot of Jim is, which is odd. Compared to most joints, the collection of bourbon though is pretty solid and for NYC mostly fairly priced. The rest of the drink menu is pretty forgettable, which is a shame because there’s a lot they could do with the bourbon alone to craft something unique, especially coming out to you in a mason jar which would really keep to the classic southern drinking theme.

As for the BBQ, for NYC, it’s not bad. It would never stand up to the real thing, but considering the difficulty of smoking meats in Manhattan, what you get isn’t actually half bad, particularly with a slogan like, “Put Some South in Yo’ Mouth.” The Carolina style works well for the pork, which is about the only thing I’ve ever had anyhow. It isn’t slathered in any sauce, which they leave you to work with at the table four different styles that cover most of the southern inspirations. My personal favorite is the Carolina vinegar, which also goes well with a few of my favorite sides, the fried pickles, the fried brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes fries. The smoke on the pork isn’t too strong, the bark is firm but not overly thick, the pulls are good strings with the occasional chunk with no lingering fat. It’s soft and tender and regardless of if it’s on a bun or in a wrap or a heaping mass of goodness on a plate it is consistent. For a stopover spot it gets the job done. For a destination for BBQ lovers, however, it might be a stretch.


About thedoormouse

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2 Responses to bacon & bourbon: brother jimmy

  1. Considering job #2 for me is at a BBQ joint, I’ve learned a lot about it – and the Carolina Vinegar is my favorite sauce – quite literally, I could drink shots of it.

    • thedoormouse says:

      Thanks. Always nice to have the affirmation of a non-NYer on BBQ considering the perception of the concrete jungle and it’s food. Vinegar based stuff is always my preference, BBQ sauce is just another example of it

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