Downtown Lunch: "Picnick Smoked" Will Goldfarb's New BBQ Truck
Midtown workers shouldn’t have all the fun, so to even the score, I’ve brought on Daniel Krieger as an official Downtown Lunch Correspondent to write up some of the tasty stuff you can get in the lower half of Manhattan. He’s a great photographer (insuring good food porn), but more importantly he is a lover of cheap, unique and delicious eats (or as I like to call it- Midtown Lunch’ish food.) Midtown has always been lucky to be graced with the presence of the Daisy May’s BBQ Cart. Now Downtown has it’s own BBQ truck…
Not surprisingly there has been a ton of hype surrounding the opening of Picnick Smoked, Will Goldfarb’s BBQ truck in Wall Street Park. Not only do I love BBQ, but I felt like I need to bring balance back to the universe after my Vegan lunch last week. So yesterday, despite reading about torturous wait times in this horrible heat (and food running out) I did what had to be done.
12:00 – I arrived exactly at noon and stood on a lengthy line about 60 deep. Everyone waited, tapping their toes and adjusting their blue-buttoned-shirts in the heat (actually you get a decent breeze down there so it was tolerable where we were.0 In the cart however, I could see Will sweating like one of his perfectly cooked pigs, trying to keep a smile as ravenous customer after customer kept coming at him with no break in sight.
12:15 – With the line still long I started to get antsy (they ran out of food at 12:30 on Tuesday!), so I went and asked if they were running low on food or if he thought they would get through at least the next 50 customers. Will said he wasn’t really sure, but they had brought 1 and 1/2 times the amount of food they did on Wednesday. Thankfully, they were giving out free water.
12:20 – A bell rang and someone in the cart yelled “the brisket is Eighty Sixed!” People looked around not knowing what that meant- but I knew after my 4 years working as a line cook at Le Bernardin that if something is 86ed it’s done for the day. No more! Ok, so that’s a lie. I never worked there. I learned it watching the Food Network. When I told the people around me, a few let out a disgruntled mutter but brightened up when Will yelled, “We got plenty of pork and chicken though. Only the brisket is gone!
We knew we were going to be fed.
12:30 – A woman from the cart walks through the crowd and announces that each person can only order 6 orders. What? 6 orders?! How many people ahead of us were ordering food for their entire office, and just bringing it back? That kinda sucks for everyone actually waiting on this long damn line. With crowds liks this, you should be able to get maybe 2 orders per person, tops.
12:35 – An employee came back from a beer run with a 6 pack of Heineken for Will and crew. He and his partner clinked bottles, took a quick sip and put them down. Then they wiped their brows with a paper towel and continued working.
12:40 – We’re getting very close now. I can smell the smokey chicken and see a glass of fresh squeezed icy lemonade. The wait is almost over, my spirits lift! (I took this photo of somebody else’s.)
12:45 – At the front of the line after 45 minutes. I ordered the $11 Picknick Deuce, which comes with a side and drink. I decided to go with the pulled Heritage pork, and the potato salad w/dill and sour cream as my side dish. I also asked for a taste of the chicken after Will said, “the smoked chicken is great I wish more people would order it.” He told his partner to give me an entire leg, which was really cool of them.
The fresh baked bread they give you is toasted and buttered, and goes perfect with the pork. The chicken was extremely tender and had a wonderful smokey flavor. It was a bit greasy, but that’s what the bread is for. I also cleaned the potato salad container.
You can stay under $10 by ordering the pork and a single side ($9.50), but the best deal is the $11 combo (meat + side + drink), especially if they haven’t run out of the Kobe brisket yet- which alone is $8.50. They also have a $14 deal that includes a meat+side+drink+dessert. Here’s the complete menu:
So was it worth the 45 minute wait? Well, if you’re willing to take an early lunch (meaning show up by like 11:30 the latest, and just wait for them to open) I don’t think you’re going to get better BBQ anywhere Downtown. Eventually they hope to be open for breakfast and dinner.
Picnick Smoked, One the corner of Wall Street and South Street (http://www.mypicnick.com)
Photos and post by Daniel Krieger