Barbecue is eaten all over the country in many ways. Some people have different bases for their sauces or cook theirs at a different temperature than others. Although, it might all seem the same to you it isn’t. It tastes different, smells different, and is prepared differently.
One of my dad’s friends Chris (everyone calls him Crafty though), is a barbecue judge! He is from South Carolina and judges barbecue based on a few things: taste, smell, and how the chef prepared it. While he was in New York, we took him out for his birthday to Pik Nik BBQ in Tarrytown where he gave me some tips on barbecue.
When I got there, we sat down and he told me something that is the number one priority for good barbecue: Low and slow, not high and fast. What that means is you cannot rush the barbecue. You have to put it at a low temperature so the meat can cook and also kind of fall apart when you eat it. When you cook it on a high temperature, it doesn’t get to really absorb the sauce or break down. On the other hand, when you cook it on a low temperature, the opposite thing happens. It breaks down and it absorbs the sauce. Now which option would you pick? For me, I would definitely pick the second option.
After Crafty talked to me about how to cook barbecue, we ordered our food and drinks. For drinks, we got South Carolina Sweet Tea. Then, for dinner we ordered burnt ends, pulled pork, brisket, and ribs. The sides were brussels sprouts and bacon, baked beans, and mac & cheese.
Now I know that you might think that South Carolina Sweet Tea is just normal tea, but it is very sweet and is a popular South Carolina drink. It is delicious!!! It is exactly what it is called. It is really sweet, but not too overpowering which makes it delicious.
Shortly after we got our drinks, we got the burnt ends. I was so excited! My favorite thing to eat if we are having barbecue is burnt ends. Pik Nik doesn’t have burnt ends on their menu, but they gave us some that they happened to have in the back. Crafty told me as they got to the table what we were looking for in good burnt ends. We smelled them as part of the procedure and then we ate them. They were delicious! They melted in your mouth, and if you let it sit in your mouth you would be able to savor the succulent pieces of heaven in your mouth. It was delicious and Crafty agreed we both thought they were absolutely delicious.
As we finished the delicious burnt ends graciously given to us by our waiter, the ribs came out. We again followed the procedure and when we tasted the ribs they were super good, but Crafty did say that there was some membrane that was under the bone which you can eat, but is just not something that they look for in good ribs when they are judging. Besides that the ribs were awesome and I recommend getting them if you go there. After the ribs, everything else got to the table: the pulled pork, the brisket, the bacon and brussels sprouts, mac & cheese, and finally, the baked beans. The brisket was very good, but sadly I only got a little taste because it was a big hit at our table. I enjoyed the pork a lot. The only thing I have to say is that it was a little dry, but the ketchup based sauce on the table made it very good and moist.
Now, we have the sides. For some reason, sides always seem the most exciting part of the menu. Sometimes I get a dish because it has such an amazing side. Weird, right? Anyways the sides were amazing, I think we got the best sides on the menu. The brussels sprouts in the brussels sprout and bacon dish were very crispy. The bacon was also very crispy and they both went very well together. The mac & cheese was amazing!! It was ooey and gooey and the crust of bread crumbs on top was a wonderful pairing, as well adding another level of textures. The last side was the baked beans. It was the best side! It had chorizo which added a lot of flavor to it it. Overall the sides were amazing!!!
Pik Nik had very good food, and I thought it was very kid friendly. I would love to go there again and I think you should too.