From the bustling streets of Times Square to the equally vivacious streets of Hong Kong, people walk around with smiles after enjoying the japanese barbecue cuisine at Gyu-Kaku. The restaurant has more than 700 locations worldwide, each rooted in the belief that some of the strongest bonds between friends are forged at the dinner table. Groups dine on a huge variety of Japanese dishes, from popular meat and veggie dishes such as Harami Skirt Steak, Kalbi Short Rib, and Bacon-wrapped Asparagus - to unique Japanese-American appetizers such as the Spicy Tuna Volcano, Wasabi Crunchy Shrimp, and Ahi Tuna Poke. The real excitement takes place around individual grills, however, where diners can barbecue their own slabs of filet mignon, ahi tuna, or chicken with chili mayo until they are ideally tender or encircled by on-duty firemen.
From under the grill at Britt's BBQ, flames reach their flavor-enhancing tendrils up to barbecue-glazed ribs, tender pork shoulders, and skewers loaded with fresh veggies, infusing the whole menu of barbecue eats with their smoky essence. Grill-savvy chefs fill sandwiches, entree platters, and fresh salad greens with cuts of brisket, ribs, and chicken as guests order, resulting in hot meals fresher than a daisy on laundry day. A flavorful assortment of sides and freshly squeezed lemonade enhances the sensory experience of barbecue feasts, surrounding entrees with verdant slivers of cucumber salad, herb-speckled chunks of potato salad, and scoops of beans glistening in pools of barbecue sauce.
The aroma hits you first. It could be the brisket fresh off the smoker, or the candied yams carmelizing similar to how grandma use to make them. No matter the dish, D's Original Take Out Grill makes sure it's menu carries the soulful essence of owners Damon and Wendy Stalworth's southern roots. He whips up Louisiana-style chicken sausages, and coats St. Louis-style ribs in a sauce inspired by his grandmother's recipe, which is now sold at Whole Foods. Diners can also enjoy the signature sauce on wings or take bottles of the sauce home to paint edible murals on open walls.
Huston's Texas Pit Bar-B-Cue’s cooks slow-roast meats over real wood, continuing barbecue traditions that date from the restaurant’s opening in 1944. Diners lounge at small wooden tables near large windows, chewing through barbecue sandwiches full of sliced beef, pulled pork, chopped chicken, or other barbecued specialties from an extensive menu. Sliced or chopped meats can also be purchased by the pound, then hauled home to feed a ravenous crowd of dinner guests or flock of waist-high baby birds.
At Smoke Star BBQ, every cut of meat is slow-smoked and slathered with house-made barbecue sauce. Smoked pulled pork, baby-back ribs, chicken, and beef brisket come à la carte, accompanied by two sides and bread, or layered between buns. Sides such as potato salad, baked beans, and coleslaw accent meaty entrees, creating full meals for dining in, delivery, or catered events such as birthday parties or anti-Arbor Day demonstrations.:m]]
JNJ Burger Shack’s four-finger burger may leave you with one digit free, but it’d be wise to wait until you’re finished to flash the thumbs-up sign. With two patties, two hot dogs, three slices of bacon, and an egg, you’re going to want to clamp that thing tight. Have no doubt, though—the food here, from the scrumptious burgers to the Louisiana-style barbecue, definitely deserves some gesture of approval. Jay Nelson Jr. worked in the lumber business in Louisiana, and he brought together elements of his old occupation and his native state when he built JNJ. Louisiana flavors inform the succulent brisket, smoked pork, and blackened spare ribs. Jay’s lumber experiences, meanwhile, helped him nail down the perfect combination of hickory, oak, and pecan to fuel his smoker. At this family restaurant, Jay tends to the barbecue, his wife works the burger stand, and his mother makes sweet potato pies. Every dish here is crafted with an attention to detail and flavor, but Jonathan Gold of LA Weekly zeroed in on the pork spareribs, citing their “jerkylike chaw” and describing them as “charred at the tips, saturated with smoke, and profoundly spicy.”