If you love barbecue, run — do not walk — to the newly-opened barbecue restaurant RUB BBQ on convenient Hempstead Turnpike in nearby East Meadow, Long Island.
Coming to Long Island from a hugely successful location in Manhattan, at West 23rd Street, the team of award-winning BBQ chefs is bringing its successful format and recipes closer to us. It’s snuggled into a small strip mall just a few blocks from Nassau Medical Center and a mile from the Meadowbrook Parkway.
The informal setting with subdued lighting and many TV screens makes it great for sports lovers and families. The booths and open space is welcoming and warm. There is a long bar serving many beers on tap and others from around the world, as well as a full selection of liquors. As an added touch there is outside seating, weather permitting.
RUB BBQ is run by a man who calls himself the “Baron of Barbecue” and his chef is the “Pit Master.” These people take BBQ very seriously. On my visit I was given an impressive tour of the ovens they use to smoke their carefully-chosen, high-grade meats. There is a reason why the company has received over 425 barbecue cooking awards.
We began what was to become a feast with the juiciest pastrami we ever ate. The slices were just the right blend of fat and meat and cooked to a crispiness that had me smacking my lips. I would have been content after this appetizer but more was to come. My favorite was a first for me, fried green tomatoes, served with a Cajun style rémoulade sauce. It was outstanding. There are also jumbo BBQ chicken wings, also the best I’ve ever had. My grandson would have loved the southern fried crispy chicken tenders.
For a fast bite there is a wide selection of barbecue sandwiches. Choices range from pulled pork on a bun to a dish they call the BBQ Reuben Crusher — it crushes any diet but is worth every bite – it’s a combo of BBQ pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on toasted rye bread. Fortunately we were a group six so tasting was possible and I had an opportunity to try dishes I never had before. Try their “Puttin-on the Dog,” made from their own sausage in a natural casing, smoked fresh every day.
Each dish is presented with the sauces on the side so you can decide how spicy you want your dish. They even cater to vegetarians with a Pulled Portebello dish smothered in smoked onions, served on a bun.
Of course there is a wide selection of hickory smoked meats — chicken, pork, turkey, ham, beef brisket, pastrami and sausage — presented with two side dishes. I chose the sausage sampler.
Another good choice for a group is what they call the “Taste Of the Baron,” which tested my capacity because each tasting was extraordinary. Here we had a tasting of beef, pork, ham, pastrami, turkey, chicken and sausage all topped with a quarter rack of ribs and two side dishes. I had the coleslaw in a vinegar base. The onion stings were crisp and the super fries not to be missed.
And what is any meal without a grand finale of dessert. Steady yourself and eat the deep- fried Oreos and bacon chocolate chip cookies. I can say no more than try RUB BBQ. You will love it and come back again and again!
2367 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow
Open 4 to 11 p.m. seven days a week
All credit cards accepted