Friday, February 1, 2013
NY Times review of biscuits and bbq mineola ny
Biscuits and Barbeque is a small spot with six booths, one small table and 15 counter stools. There are no reservations, and a waitress told us that the place filled up by 5:30 p.m. on weekends. Take heed.Our favorite opener was chunks of juicy alligator sausage atop a tangy creole mustard sauce. A close second was the basket of light, airy hush puppies with honey mustard on the side for dipping.In contrast, the biscuits were nothing special — they were high and handsome but heavy. The à la carte biscuit ($2) is served with raspberry butter and honey butter. We also tried a biscuit covered with a tasty andouille sausage gravy, but that one, alas, was burned on the bottom.Better starters were the crunchy nuggets of fried okra served with the creole mustard sauce, fried green tomatoes with rémoulade sauce for dipping, and a spirited seafood gumbo crowned with chopped fresh scallions. The gumbo arrived with a moist corn muffin on the side.The smoked barbecue ribs, prepared with only a dry rub, were meaty and so tender they were falling off the bone. There are four barbecue sauces on the table, ranging from a tangy-sweet dark molasses sauce to a spicy chipotle.Two chicken entrees also more than made the grade. The smoked half chicken was moist and tender, while the Southern fried chicken had a crunchy crust and juicy meat. If you like chicken fried steak, you will enjoy the version here with onion gravy; if you think the dish is an abomination, this one will not change your mind.All entrees come with a choice of two sides. The best was the barbecue baked beans with smoked brisket. I could make a meal of them. The tasty collard greens flavored with smoked turkey were good, too, and so were the red beans and rice with andouille sausage.I like onion rings that are thin and wispy, and the ones here are thick and puffy. Still, they were crunchy and crisp, a good version of this type. Southern grits failed to please the Southerner at our table — they were stiff and not creamy enough.There are four po’boys and a muffuletta sandwich on the menu. (The muffuletta is a New Orleans specialty made from a round Italian loaf stuffed with ham, mortadella, salami, provolone and an olive-vegetable relish. It is offered in half or whole sizes at dinner. There is also a quarter-size at lunch.)The barbecue pulled pork po’boy was a tasty winner. The deep-fried shrimp version needed the accompanying rémoulade sauce to enliven it. French fries, which can be added to the plate for $2, were hot, crisp and satisfying.The homemade desserts are the highlight of the meal. Our favorite was the warm peach cobbler with a tender buttery crust, served à la mode. Running a close second was the tangy Key lime pie, one of the best I have tasted. We also liked the Mississippi mud cake (an individual Bundt cake) with runny chocolate in the center and ice cream on top, and the classic banana pudding garnished with banana slices, vanilla wafers and whipped cream.Biscuits and Barbeque is a welcome addition to the Long Island dining scene. Everything on the menu, except the full rack of ribs ($23.95), is $16.95 or under. And while the restaurant awaits a license to serve wine and beer, diners may bring their own, making a meal here an even bigger bargain.Biscuits and Barbeque106 East Second StreetMineola(516) 493-9797VERY GOODTHE SPACE A 1947 railroad car that usually can seat 39. Not wheelchair accessible.THE CROWD Mainly couples and families with children. (The children’s menu lists three entrees with fries or vegetables of the day for $5 each.) The hard-working staff is casual, friendly and accommodating.THE BAR There is no bar. Diners may bring their own wine and beer while the restaurant awaits a license to serve them.THE BILL Lunch entrees, $6.95 to $11.95; dinner entrees (served all day), $7.95 to $23.95 (for a full rack of ribs). Prices are extremely reasonable. No credit cards are accepted; cash only.WHAT WE LIKED Alligator sausage, fried green tomatoes, fried okra, hush puppies, seafood gumbo, barbecue ribs, smoked half chicken, Southern fried chicken, pulled pork po’boy, collard greens, red beans and rice, barbecue baked beans with smoked brisket, fried onion rings, peach cobbler, banana pudding, Key lime pie, Mississippi mud cake.IF YOU GO Open Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Sundays. No reservations. Go early on the weekend to avoid a wait. There is a small parking lot.RATINGS Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.