New BBQ in Southern New York/Northern NJ Rt. 17

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bartl
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2009/07/07 20:33:59 (permalink)

New BBQ in Southern New York/Northern NJ Rt. 17

My wife and I are always on the lookout for good barbecue in the Northern New Jersey/Southern New York area. So, while taking Route 17 through Sloatsburg, the sight of a roadside eatery embellished with a cartoon pig topped by Texan stars immediately got our mouths watering. Once inside Hog Heaven BBQ, the delicious smell of smoke and the beautiful platters of the side dishes hooked us in. We met Bart Gaber, the owner, who, once he found out we were barbecue buffs, struck up a conversation with us while we examined the menu. He's a long-time barbecue enthusiast, whose desire is to make his new restaurant a great experience for those who share his love of superior smoked meats.

The restaurant is run as a family affair. After watching "Daddy" Bart's son dishing up platters behind the counter, we decided to put ourselves in their decidedly capable hands. While sampling our platters of pulled pork, smoked brisket, smoked meat loaf and sides of collard greens, chili, and the home made mac & cheese, Bart dropped by our table to chat. He explained to us that his primary objective was to enable the customer to really taste the flavor of the meat. He favors cherry and maple woods, which gives the meats a light, slightly sweet, smoky flavor. He believes in using only dry rubs in all his barbecue, putting sauce on the side, unlike too many places which smother barbecue with sauces regardless of the customer's preference.

Both the pulled pork and brisket are piled high, with crispy, caramelized ends complementing the lean, juicy pieces. Bart let us in on the secret to his pulled pork: it's marinated in apple cider for 24 hours before smoking. The brisket is the perfect balance of tender beef and smoke, reminding us of why we love barbecue. Comfort food lovers will be happy with the tender, baked-in-the-smoker meatloaf, which brings an old favorite to a new level. The outstanding chili was made in a competition style; if you've never had that, the meat is cubed rather than ground, with intense beef flavor that stands up to the rich tomato and cumin background. The inclusion of beans in the recipe will disturb only the overly fussy and Texans. Ribs, of course, are a favorite here, though Bart tried to tempt us with wonderfully scented meaty slab of Hog Heaven's best, we regretfully decided to hold back and give the St. Louis ribs, as well as their chicken and smoked sausages, our full attention on our next visit.


You will have a hard time choosing from the large, freshly prepared parade of side dishes. Finely chopped collard greens glistened in their 'pot liquor', just crisp enough and not too salty. The mac & cheese was the real thing; southern style, baked in a casserole, certainly not the macaroni with cheese sauce added you find in most restaurants. Bart's attention to detail led him to research area bakeries until he found a ciabatta roll with real heft, texture and flavor for his sandwiches.

And that was just our lunch. We plan to come back for dinner, and write a more complete review; in the meantime, if you want to give him a try, he's located at 110 Route 17 in Sloatsburg, NY, and can be reached at 845-753-5555. Bart tells us a web site is just about ready to go up.

post edited by bartl - 2009/07/07 21:04:46
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    tommyeats
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    Re:New BBQ in Southern New York/Northern NJ Rt. 17 2009/07/07 21:08:14 (permalink)
    before reading this i knew of exactly 1 bart:  bart simpson.  now i know of 3, and 2 of them love bbq.  

    this place is only about 20 minutes from me, so i'm going to give it a shot soon.  but bart, you really should get that website going.
    #2
    bartl
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    Re:New BBQ in Southern New York/Northern NJ Rt. 17 2009/07/07 21:17:36 (permalink)
    tommyeatsthis place is only about 20 minutes from me, so i'm going to give it a shot soon.  but bart, you really should get that website going.

    When I have dinner there, I'll pass it on to Hog Heaven's Bart.

    I haven't met many Bart's either, and it can be confusing. One I know is a cousin; I went to college where he was attending law school. My dorm's floor counselor turned out to be one of his study partners. When they were studying in his room, he said, "Bart, meet Bart. Bart, meet Bart. Hey, are you too related?" He almost fell to the floor when we said we were cousins.

    Bart (not related to the owner of Hog Heaven BBQ)

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    tommyeats
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    Re:New BBQ in Southern New York/Northern NJ Rt. 17 2009/07/07 22:11:35 (permalink)
    reminds me of that scene in Spies Like Us.  "Doctor, doctor, doctor, doctor, doctor, doctor, doctor, doctor, aaaaaaand doctor."
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    seafarer john
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    Re:New BBQ in Southern New York/Northern NJ Rt. 17 2009/07/09 09:17:33 (permalink)
    Thanks for the tip on Hog Heaven. We''ll be happy to take a ride down there sometime soon and compare it with Barnstormer BBQ only a few miles away on 9W.

    Cheers, John 
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    Cavalier858
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    Re:New BBQ in Southern New York/Northern NJ Rt. 17 2009/08/05 14:32:47 (permalink)
    Heading there at 4:00PM today  Rt17 North
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    bartl
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    Re:New BBQ in Southern New York/Northern NJ Rt. 17 2009/09/07 13:56:28 (permalink)
    seafarer john Thanks for the tip on Hog Heaven. We''ll be happy to take a ride down there sometime soon and compare it with Barnstormer BBQ only a few miles away on 9W.

    I spent a few days in the Bear Mountain/West Point area, saw Barnstormer Barbecue, and remembered your recommendation. My wife and I had a couple of meals there; I'll be posting a review in the next few days in Trip Reports. Short version: We really liked it; the food had a strong hickory smoke flavor which might be too much for some.

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    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:New BBQ in Southern New York/Northern NJ Rt. 17 2009/09/07 14:00:27 (permalink)
    Tell them they might want to try apple wood.
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    chewingthefat
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    Re:New BBQ in Southern New York/Northern NJ Rt. 17 2009/09/07 17:06:40 (permalink)
    I googled Hog Heaven, there are a bunch of Q's named Hog Heaven, is this one part of a chain?
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    bartl
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    Re:New BBQ in Southern New York/Northern NJ Rt. 17 2009/09/11 00:43:41 (permalink)
    chewingthefat I googled Hog Heaven, there are a bunch of Q's named Hog Heaven, is this one part of a chain?

    Well, it's a pretty obvious name for a barbecue; the owner told us this was his first and only one.

    Bart

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    seafarer john
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    Re:New BBQ in Southern New York/Northern NJ Rt. 17 2009/10/15 20:59:45 (permalink)
    We had lunch today at Cristines BBQ on lower Broadway in Newburgh, NY. The place has been open since April but we only became aware of it a few weeks ago. It is family operated by a retired journalist and his son - both very personable and welcoming.The place is a totally renovated and very comfortable storefront in a neighborhood that is painfully and slowly recovering from fifty years of blight and neglect.

    The menu is short; BBQ chicken, pork, brisket, standard sides, hamburgers, soft drinks, desserts. We had the chopped pork sandwich with a relatively hot vinegar based sauce, a pulled pork sandwich with the same sauce but not as spicy hot, fries, and coleslaw. There's no sauce on the table and the sandwich comes already sauced - a drawback, but, in this case, not so bad. The sweet tea was very good, and a block of bread pudding with whipped cream was spicy and warm and  excellent. At $20 bucks for the two of us it was a reasonably priced and pleasing lunch.

    The smoking is done in the kitchen on the premises and everything, except the buns, is made on site. We're looking forward to going back to try the brisket and the chicken as soon as possible.

    Cheers, John 

     
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