New York is known for many things, but Southern BBQ is not one of them. As I consider BBQ to be some sort of epicurean gospel, when I hear of a new joint in NYC to scope out, you can bet that I’ll be there.

During last year’s Summer of Fun series, I wanted desperately to investigate The Smoke Joint in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood, but alas, there just was not enough time. So this summer, it went to the top of my list…and I kicked myself for having not gone sooner.

Stepping into the restaurant is like pulling over to the side of a dusty southern road and stepping into a wood shack with smokers smoking and flames licking turning hunks of meat. However, once you get a look at the list of obscure bourbons and artfully concocted cocktails, it’s easy to remember that you are still in Brooklyn’s hipster-meets-haute center.

I sampled the pulled pork sandwich (because that is one dish I can never say no to). It comes with pickles and cole slaw, but be sure to leave room for sides. The mac & cheese is epic, as is the corn bread.

Some in our dinner party felt that the sandwich was a bit too greasy, but you can order the pulled pork as a platter without the bun if that is your concern. Personally, I don’t mind a little grease dripping down to my elbows, however when you’re off to see a lecture at the nearby Brooklyn Academy of Music (as we were), you may not want to be smelling of pork.

Anyway, this restaurant gets my vote and is yet another reason to venture outside of Manhattan.