Dining Out – Fette Sau BBQ

When I think of Brooklyn, BBQ and Bourbon, only one place comes to mind: Fette Sau. It is a rustic, former mechanic’s garage converted into a place that leaves you smelling like meat. It is located at the heart of hipster ground zero (Williamsburg), at the corner of Metropolitan and Havermyer, across the street from Knitting factory, directly between the Bedford and Lorimer L stops. Needless to say, this place gets a lot of traffic. There is a long driveway lined with picnic benches, surrounded by barbed wire fences with a hanging pink neon sign, like a beacon in the night.

Once inside, the smell od smoked meat permeates the senses. The line can be long, especially on the weekend or a nice day, but it gives you plenty of opportunity to decide what you want, written on a chalk board with the current selections. A fireplace is always going, although it is on a TV. There are plenty of sides to choose from including, Dante’s German Potato Salad, Cora’s Broccoli Salad, Guss’ Half-Sour Kosher Pickles, Guss’ Sauerkraut and Burnt End Baked Beans. You have a metal tray, covered with wax paper, where your meat heaped and priced by weight. The meat is displayed behind glass and labeled, so you can get close and point at what you want. You also get a couple Martin’s Potato Rolls for pushing, dipping and stuffing the BBQ.  Once you get to the picnic-style benches, similar to a German beer hall, there are plenty of paper towels and different types bbq sauce, to give a personal touch.

Another way to pass the time on line is to order from the extensive Bourbon menu. This is half the reason I go. Too many sections to mention, but if you like your whiskey… welcome home. The list includes alcohol content and prices. My go-to selections are Gentleman Jack or Wild Turkey 101. If you like ice, they place a large cube of ice in a classy tumbler. It is a full bar, with other spirits and beer on tap. Beer is poured in “Growlers” pints, but served in, what looks like boot-legger jugs. by the quart, 1/2 gallon and gallon.

All the meat is smoked and dry-rubbed on the premises. Their website lists the farms which raise these tasty creatures. It is the kind of place that I would highly suggest to try at least once if you are visiting Williamsburg. It has also been Zaggat rated the Besat BBQ in NYC 2009, 2010, 2011. I can’t say enough about this place. Just get there early! No reservations for this Mecca of my favorite BBQ in Brooklyn.

354 Metropolitan Ave,
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Hours: Open Mon – Thurs 5 pm – 11 pm
Fri/Sat/Sun Open 12 pm – 11 pm.
Kitchen and front yard close at 11pm

Lasagna in a Crock Pot

The winter has forced me to gain some winter weight in order to stay warm. I live in New York City, where you must be out in the elements in negative 9 degrees. This year’s winter weather is especially arctic. I walk a lot and eat a lot, so hopefully that balances out, but it really doesn’t. We experience the fullness of the season whipping past our faces, to remind us that we are nothing but a small part of the circle of life. So we must nourish our existence with passion. Such as a passion to consume fuel that excites us upon anticipation, and ecstasy in the moment that the fragrant perfumes come steaming off the plate. I’m hardly able to wait for the lasagna to cool, often time so impatient, I burn the roof of my mouth. But it just tastes better that way.

This colorful analogy has been inspired by making Lasagna in a Crock Pot this past weekend. I had been meaning to get out the crock pot and try some new recipes and I am Italian, so this jumped out as the first I must try. The ingredients are inexpensive and it is so much easier than baking, even though it takes slightly longer. Low and Slow!  Maximum customization! We can build it faster, stronger and with more layers… can’t forget the massive amount of cheese. Thinking of Garfield, the cat I can now identify with, wanting to eat the entire thing, but unable to physically do so… in one sitting. I waited to digest a full belly of layered pasta, cheese, sauce and meat 3 stories tall. I left the crock pot temperature on low, so after I could feel some space let up, I could eat another helping proportionate to the space available, still hot and gooey!

1. Brown meat and diced onion, drain, add tomato sauce. Mix mozzarella, cottage cheese and Parmesan in a bowl. 2. Spray PAM lightly in crock pot. 3. Layer meat sauce evenly on bottom, followed by broken, uncooked lasagna noodles, and then spoon over with cheese mixture. 4. Repeat layering 3 times, add sauce to the top, then drizzle extra cheese. 5. Leave on LOW for 4-5 hours!

I should stress that it is unhealthy to eat this by yourself, so invite some friends or bring it to a gathering. It is sure to be an instant classic. They will never know how easy it was… unless you tell them!