Flatiron Lunch: BBQue’s Smoke Shack Might Satisfy Your Barbecue Cravings

Every Friday we go south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.

The closing of R.U.B. made me nostalgic for barbecue, so I decided it was high time to visit one of the remaining barbecue spots in Flatiron – BBQue’s Smoke Shack. Given UltraClay’s tentative “first look”, I went with mild expectations.

On a previous walk by BBQue’s, they had handed me a flyer for $2 off a sandwich combo or platter. Of course, it would have been useful, but alas, as these things always work, I didn’t have it on me when I needed it. But considering this discount would bring most of the sandwich combos into the ML budget and the platters would be only $11 or $12, it’s worth trying to get your hands on one.

Using UltaClay’s photos as a guide, I was so excited for the chicken waffle breakfast item with fried chicken strips and fried egg sandwiched between two toasted waffles. Yes, please!!!!! So imagine my disappointment that BBQue’s chicken waffles sandwich had disappeared from the menu. As if I wasn’t already disappointed enough, my next choice the BB-Cuban (a Cuban sandwich with pulled pork) was also missing from the menu. WHY?!?!?!?!!??!???

So with a heavy heart, I settled for the pulled pork sandwich ($7.95) and even though it put me over the ML budget, I made it a combo with waffle fries and a soda (for an extra $3.95). The bun was good, but the pulled pork fell flat and didn’t hold up in the sandwich. Like many people who grew up eating Chick-Fil-A, I don’t know if I have ever met waffle fries I didn’t like, and these were no exception, especially since these were seasoned.

You would think that with a smoke ring like this, the pulled pork should have had more flavor.

About half way through my sandwich, I really dug into the barbecue sauce on the table. In an attempt to slow people from over saucing, the nibs of the squeeze bottles were barely opened which was incompatible with the seeds in the New Mexico Spicy sauce. Not being shy, I opted to unscrew the lid and just pour the sauce on. Good move. I loved this sauce. If they sold it by the bottle, I would be the first in line to buy some for my fridge (and it is not like I am lacking condiments!)

For anyone into sweet tea or flavored tea, BBQue’s has this dispenser with several flavor options. I’m pretty sketched out by these types of machines and prefer plain un-sweetened fresh brewed tea, so I couldn’t bring myself to try it. They also have a standard fountain soda machine.

With signs out front advertising Best Wings as voted by NY Wingfest, it seemed only fair to try them as well. With a layer of the New Mexico Spicy sauce, how could they be bad? They weren’t. They were good-sized and the sauce was awesome.

If you are a fan of wings and Man v. Food style eating, BBQue’s offers a Holy Holy Habenero Wing Challenge. With only three documented winners (is the challenge that difficult or does nobody participate?), anyone interested in the challenge has the opportunity to be prominently displayed.

Unless I can use the Force to will R.U.B. back into being, BBQue’s might just satisfy your craving on a cash-poor day. But to really take care of a craving, I would favor Hill Country’s out-of-budget options.

The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • BBQue’s makes me think wings aren’t just Sunday football-watching food.
  • I am thinking about making a meal of BBQue’s seasoned waffle fries.
  • I am willing to eat anything with New Mexico Spicy sauce.

The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • BBQue’s reinforces the view the Flatiron and Manhattan have inadequate barbecue.
  • Why would anyone get rid of a waffle chicken strip breakfast sandwich??
  • The iced tea machine seems scary and unnecessary.

BBQue’s Smoke Shake, 668 Avenue of the Americas btwn 20th and 21st Streets, (212) 929-4227


Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.