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May, 2018

My First Tastes of Brooklyn Kosher Barbecue

Me and Andrew Newman

The first time that I’d heard about kosher barbecue was in the context of the annual kosher barbecue contests held around the U.S. I didn’t know that more kosher barbecue restaurants are opening up across the country as well. I was in New York City a few months ago, and my friend Andrew Newman hipped me to a couple of spots in Brooklyn. I owe him everything for this excellent “taste” of kosher barbecue.

Our first stop was Izzy’s Brooklyn Smokehouse.

Izzy’s website indicates that it is supervised by OK Kosher Certification which is practically next door. Izzy’s isn’t a huge place, but I liked  the feel of it when we entered.

Knowing that we had another spot to hit, Andrew and I ordered enough food to get a good sampling.

Izzy’s assertively adopts a central Texas barbecue aesthetic with the tin rectangular plates, butcher paper and pickle condiments. The sliced, beef brisket had a nice smoky flavor, the burnt ends (a daily special) were fantastic, but I really liked the smoked fried chicken sandwich: a nicely seasoned crust, and lightly smoked meat. I could definitely grub on that for a long time!

Izzy’s Brooklyn Smokehouse
397 Troy Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

Next up was Main House BBQ. It took awhile to get there (I had no idea Brooklyn is so big), but it was definitely worth the wait.

Main House BBQ

Main House BBQ is a spacious location, and it has a casual feel. Though the décor doesn’t scream central Texas, the plating does: tin rectangular plates, butcher papers with sliced pickles served on the side.

Lots of tempting options here, but we ordered:

The beef brisket was solid with nice smoke and seasoning, and the house-smoked pastrami was transcendent! That’s the definite thing to get if you only had one choice. The cornbread was soulful which means it was on the sweet side. I really wanted to try the “Sloppy Yosef” sandwich (sauoy burnt ends with pickles/slaw), if only for the name, but I was already pretty stuffed. Next time!

Main House BBQ
6001 Strickland Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11234

My Colorado Barbecue Guide!

Looking for great barbecue in Denver?  Thanks to Kevin Kelly of Kevin’s BBQ Joints, here’s a video giving you my recommendations for Denver and beyond!

Restaurants mentioned:

Top Choices in the Denver area

Places around the state:



What places would you add to this list?

Chef Alex Seidel Makes Me and Colorado Proud at 2018 James Beard Awards

I’m sooooo happy for Chef Alex Seidel! He’s been nominated several times, but tonight he won his first James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Southwest.” A great guy, and you’ll love his food at his Denver restaurants Fruition and Mercantile.

Accolades Galore for African Americans at 2018 James Beard Awards

From James Beard Foundation Website


2018 is a banner year for African Americans at the James Beard Awards. Here’s the roll call:

Chef and Restaurant Awards

Top Chef alum Nina Compton of Compère Lapin in New Orleans wins “Best Chef: South.”



Chef Eduardo Jordan wins “Best Chef:Northwest” for his craftwork at Salare Restaurant in Seattle, AND his second Seattle restaurant Junebaby wins “Best New Restaurant.”


Chef Dolester Miles of Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Alamaba wins “Outstanding Pastry Chef.”



Rodney Scott of Rodney Scott’s BBQ (with locations in Charleston and Hemingway, SC) wins “Best Chef: Southeast,” and he becomes the second barbecue pitmaster to win a James Beard Award for the best chef of a region in the U.S.


Media Awards

A fantastic night for Michael Twitty as his book The Cooking Gene wins “Book of the Year” and the “Writing” category.



Osayi Endolyn won for a series of columns that she wrote for the Southern Foodways Alliance‘s quarterly publication, Gravy.


Leadership Awards


Photo by Nicol Harrison.

Dara Cooper is “[h]onored for dedicating her life to racial equity and justice in the food system, and increasing capacity and visibility of Black-led narratives and work. Read more about Ms. Cooper here.

Shirley Sherrod is “[h]onored for defending farmers and farm equity as well as building farmer coops in the South.” Read more about Ms. Sherrod here.

Please support them by eating at their restaurants, buying their books, reading their writing, and spreading the word about what they are doing.

Congratulations all!