Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blue Smoke

A visit to NYC would not be complete without meeting up Camie, who is kind enough to trek into Manhattan to have dinner with us!  As a UNC-Chapel Hill grad, Camie is no stranger to BBQ and recommended Blue Smoke for dinner.

One of the things I love about Manhattan is how many great restaurants are within walking distance - sure, it's equally as easy to catch a cab to go places but I love the fact that if you're willing to walk some city blocks, your own two feet can take you to some fantastic food. So walk we did, and we ended up arriving within minutes of Camie.

Here's a picture of my dining companions for the night (without flash):

And with flash (Camie is making one of her classic expressions, so which is why I posted the no-flash photo so at least she looks normal in one of the pics!)

Any place that uses towels for napkins is guaranteeing some good, messy BBQ!

As a table, we skipped ordering separate entrees and decided to split a random assortment of appetizers, dishes and sides!  First up was homemade BBQ potato chips with a blue cheese and bacon dip:

One of my favorites for the night - Crispy Chili Crusted Calamari with Charred Red Pepper Mayo:

I didn't think I was going to enjoy this much but Camie and Amanda insisted on ordering it and I was so glad in the end - Shrimp and Organic Grits, with bacon, cremini mushroom, roasted tomatoes and scallions.  So good and even a non-grits fan like myself will scrape up every last bit when it has such a flavorful gravy on top:

Camie recommended the spicy cheese fries - I don't remember any spiciness but I adored that cheese sauce. I tend to prefer fake cheese (sacrilege, I know) over real cheese on things like nachos and fries because of the texture but this cheese was oh-so-thick and good:

Of course, you can't go to a BBQ joint without ordering some BBQ! We wisely went with the Rib Sampler, which gave us a taste of Memphis Baby Back Ribs, Kansas City Spareribs and Texas Salt & Pepper Ribs:

To round out the meal, we also got a basket of cornbread. I have to complain about the measly portion size (we almost ordered another basket right away) but with all the other food we ended up sharing, a bite of cornbread each ended up being all that we could fit in!

So yes, you can find some decent BBQ in NYC.  And dinner and drinks with good friends is always a good time!

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