Love Is In The Air: The Food Maven Gets RUBbed
Arthur Schwartz, one of New York City's venerated food experts (he's more than a critic) dined recently at Paul Kirk's RUB and had some glowing things to say about the food coming out of Pitmaster Scott Smith's kitchen.....Take it away, Arturo....
I have to say Rub’s ribs are great – deeply smoked, succulent and tender, not steamy and falling off the bone as too many are. Rub’s ribs only succumb when they reach your teeth. Then they melt. I love Rub’s bacon, too. You say “Bacon?” Yes, they deep smoke bacon slabs, slice them thickly, put the slices on the grill, then cut them into chubby chunks. The bacon is served, like everything else at Rub, in paper boats, which is totally in keeping with a b-b-q- joint – I wasn’t a bit offended by the lack of china -- saves the restaurant money, and allows the prices not to be crazy. Of course, bacon is such a fatty indulgence that you think you will merely nibble a chunk or two, but this bacon is so addictive I bet you can’t eat just three.
Rub has delectable smoked brisket, too, but the night I was there they didn’t have any deckle, otherwise known as “second cut” and “thick cut.” To my mind that’s the best part, or at least my favorite part of the brisket – juicy with streaks of fat and a coarser and more satisfying texture than the leaner, tighter grained so-called “first cut.” You can order just brisket ends, however, and so we did. Against our better judgment, we wiped out a paper boat full of those, too.
I even love the mayo-dressed potato salad and cole slaw. And the barbecue chicken, although not my first choice on this mostly meat menu, is pretty damned wonderful, too.
The bill -- with beers, sodas, tax and tip -- came to about $35 a person. But we really did order more than we should have – including their silly batter-fried Oreos for dessert -- and we ended up taking home enough food for two for lunch the next day. Now I have to go back and work my way through the rest of the menu. And hope they have deckle.