Even in Texas, the best BBQ places are off the beaten path. At times way off the beaten path- you’ll find some of the best smoked brisket in the back of a gas station. Folding chairs, plastic cutlery, fountain drinks- this is where BBQ can really be defined. Up here, the same rule applies, you gotta seek it out.
Hidden in the back of Jackson Heights Legends Bar & Grill (71-04 35th Street, Jackson Heights) is John Brown Smokehouses satellite location Alchemy, TX. Previously Texas Rangers BBQ (or Ranger, TX BBQ depending on who you ask), the owners of John Brown have set up shop with the basics- tables, chairs and good food. The kitchen area seems so tiny, it’s a real galley type of operation they have going on back there.
We got there right after a big group- so the pickings were slim, but they still had the basics. The meats are sold by the 1lb and 1/2lb.- we piled on a couple of 1/2lbs. of brisket and baby back ribs. Some people argue it’s all in the sauce, some say the smoke, some say the meat- but this place definitely relies on the meat. Not saying the sauce is bad, but more oily/spicy than I’m really into. The creamed spinach was the best I’ve ever had- I’d honestly go back just for that slimy green stuff. I hear they have frog legs, but from the way they have the menu laid out on a chalkboard, haven’t seen them yet. We made a good meal of it before having the long trek back to Astoria.
It’s a real throwback to the way I always had BBQ- this place is a gem, or, er, gold.