April 13, 2024
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April 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

As a Monsey resident, I can tell you from firsthand experience that for years and years, whenever fellow Monseyites have wanted to go out for a really good meal, we have gotten in our cars and driven to the Teaneck area. But with the opening of Beast BBQ in Wesley Hills, it may just be time for you Teaneck-area residents to head for Monsey so you can enjoy some of the finest kosher smoked meats in the New York City area.

While kosher food has leaned heavily towards steakhouses, Mediterranean cuisines and the ever-popular burger, smoked meats are finally having their well-deserved day in the spotlight, and for good reason. The smell alone is enough to get your salivary glands going, and with just one bite you can almost picture yourself on the Ponderosa wearing a 10-gallon hat and riding off into the sunset.

Walk into Beast BBQ and you have clearly entered carnivore heaven. From the tables branded with cows’ heads to the longhorns mounted in the kitchen area, you know you didn’t come here to eat salad. There are a few vegetables on the menu and of course the mandatory slaw, but it’s all about the animals here and Chef Moshe Wendel, of Pardes fame, does not disappoint.

I had the opportunity to visit Beast BBQ at their soft opening, which meant it was me, lots of foodies and wonderfully patient waitresses bringing out platter after platter of smoky goodness. Some items like the brisket and the short ribs were exactly as awesome as you expected them to be—flavorful, delicious and perfectly done—while others went above and beyond. The cured tongue didn’t have that creepy, tongue-y look that some find intimidating, and the small, neat slices had a unique flavor that really rocked, thanks to an inspired spice rub. While we had been told that the slow-smoked chicken was the best item in the house, at first, I couldn’t see ordering chicken on a menu that included tantalizing choices like thick-sliced pastrami and spicy lamb shoulder with coconut crema. But all that changed once I saw someone at the next table cutting into his chicken and clearly savoring each and every bite. We ordered the chicken and without a doubt, it was the best decision of the night. Picture this: an exquisitely crunchy, golden-brown half chicken, perched atop a dinner plate-sized, thick yet fluffy corn waffle, topped with bacon-onion jam and pickled blueberries. To call it merely delicious would be an insult to that poor bird because it was amazingly scrumptious. This was a chicken that has earned a coveted place in my personal hall of fame for great restaurant entrees and I won’t even have to look at the menu on my next trip to Beast BBQ, because I am going to be ordering the chicken.

While the sides included the de rigueur slaw and potato salad, others were delightfully unexpected. I thought the hush puppies would be some form of potato, but instead they were more like falafel’s overgrown cousins. I can’t actually tell you what was in the hush puppies, which were about two inches in diameter and perfectly seasoned, but they were really, really good. And the scrappy baked beans? I don’t think I will ever be able to touch heavily sweetened canned baked beans ever again after eating these lightly seasoned and sauced beans, studded with bits of burnt ends that made a spunky, smoky statement. Equally delicious were the onion roll-crusted onion rings topped with caramelized onion mayo, and all I can tell you is that one minute there was a full basket of onion rings at our table and then seconds later when I pulled out my camera to take a picture, the basket was totally empty, save for a few crumbs and a smear of mayo. Yes, they really were that good.

There were quite a few interesting barbeque sauces on the menu, but I confess that I am just not a sauce girl. Give me well-spiced meat and I am a happy camper and I just didn’t see the need to tamper with food that was so perfectly done.

The beverage menu at Beast BBQ offers a variety of soft drinks, beers, hard cider, fruited sangrias and mixed drinks and while at some restaurants the cocktails are a little lighter on the alcohol, most at Beast BBQ packed quite a wallop. My nutty flapjacks, a combination of maple syrup, Frangelico and Bulliet cask strength bourbon (clocking in at about 120 proof), had quite the kick but not in an unpleasant way at all. It’s probably a good idea to have that drink at the beginning of your meal so that you can drive home safely after enjoying all that cow-y goodness.

Main dishes average about $25 each, with brisket, short ribs, tongue and pastrami priced at $25 to $30 per half pound. The sides ranged from $5 for the corn on the cob with huitlacoche cream to $13 for the aforementioned onion rings.

Looking for a fun night out that will have you licking every last bit of flavor off your fingers? Put on your Stetson, hop on your favorite horse and gallop on up to Monsey to check out Beast BBQ. You’ll be glad you did.

By Sandy Eller

 Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who writes for numerous websites, newspapers, magazines and private clients. She can be contacted at [email protected].

 

 

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