Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
House of Que, the BBQ restaurant located on Sinatra Drive in Hoboken, is not unknown to me: we went last December, two weeks after they opened and at the time, my review was fairly good, promising myself to go back to try their chicken and pecan pie. So I was excited to go back, invited by the owners, with the opportunity to meet with Chef Michael Rodriguez, a Texas pit master who brought to the East Coast authentic Austin BBQ. Chef Rodriguez gave us a bit of his background, from his years at Salt Lick BBQ in Texas that I saw (and tasted) at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party couple of year ago, to Tres Carnes in the City that is on my long list of places to try and may come on top after this phenomenal lunch we had today! The birth of House of Que took a few years with events like Hurricane Sandy slowing down this project, until the official opening the week of Thanksgiving 2015.
House of Que is a big place with an outdoor area that is perfect these days and allows its diners to admire the stunning New York skyline, as well as a very large dining room with multiple TV sets all over. I always go early so I can leisurely take some photos and I admit that at first the place was not that crowded. But then, at around 1pm, people started to come, mainly families with children. And you know what? It was fine, this place being big, so kids could do whatever they wanted without bothering other patrons.
I should mention the singer who was there to entertain, one of many animations House of Que proposes. But hey, I was not there for the music!
Know, we were there for the food and we did not expect to have such a feast...The menu has changed a bit since the last time we came, with few things added such as the burger or the wings. But, overall, they propose classic Texas BBQ with meat prepared for hours in their smoker that I was able to see. When Chef Rodriguez opened it, it was like opening a treasure chest, with the light shining from the gold it contains, except that there, it was not light but smoke that came out. And that wonderful smell emanating from it made me want to have more food, although it we already ate.
We got seated at one of the booths and. looking at the paper towel roll on the table, as well as the BBQ sauces, I was thinking that the messier it would be, the better, although I hoped not to stain the white part of the banquette...
They proposed two house made BBQ sauces: first was the 512 sauce that takes its name from a Texas area code. It was sweet and spicy with a very subtle heat, but definitely a bold flavor. The second one was my favorite one: the Texas 2-steps that combines a zesty tomato sauce from Texas as well as mustard and vinegar from North and South Carolina, all major BBQ regions in the US. I loved its sweet and savory taste that was perfect with any meat.
The first dish that came was the wings. I love chicken wings and I could not resist trying these. They are proposed as mild or spicy and I decided to go for the latter. In fact, it had a perfect amount of kick and was spectacular: not only the sauce was succulent, with its nice smokiness, but the chicken was a bit crispy, perfectly cooked and moist. I admit that it was difficult not to finish the entire dish, but I knew more was to come, although I did not anticipate this:
Well, when I told Chef Rodriguez that I would like to try a little bit of everything, I did not imagine that I would have the opportunity to try most of the menu!
First were the sides as well as small bites. Often, we are a bit frustrated with the sides in BBQ places because they do not propose that many and, if you are vegetarian or eat little meat, your choices can be limited. Well, not at House of Que where I counted 10 different sides that we could try.
Mac and Cheese:
Corn and beans:
My favorite side was definitely the corn pudding that was sweet and savory at the same time and definitely a side I would recommend. I also liked the chili that was made with some smoked brisket, or the deviled eggs that were perfectly made, the mayonnaise not being overpowering.
Then was the burger. The patty is made with ground beef and some fatty part of the smoked brisket, that adds some smokiness as well as texture to it. It also has lots of cheese, making this burger quite decadent and pickles for an added texture. I definitely appreciated the fact that the proportion bun / patty was well balanced, letting the meat shine. It was delicious, although I would have liked the meat, with its delightful char, to be slightly less cooked.
The burger came with some fries that I barely touched, simply because of all the food on the table.
Now, let's talk about the plat de resistance: the meat that they serve by the pound.
Brisket with a nice char and some delicious fat, very tender and flavorful.
Pork shoulder (a hit, like last time):
Pork ribs (nice rub, moist, although not falling off the bone):
Sausages (a house made recipe, flavorful with a perfect casing):
Smoked chicken (perfectly cooked, moist, with the skin being a bit crispy):
That was an incredible sampler , my favorite being the pulled pork shoulder and the brisket that had this delicious charred fat on it, fat that some people remove, not me for sure!
To digest, we got some desserts...
A peach cobbler:
The pecan pie that I really wanted to try:
There was also some vanilla ice cream to go with the desserts. My favorite was definitely the pecan pie that was out of this world: thick and buttery, it is definitely a decadent dessert that I recommend.
Last, I should mention that I accompany my meal with a cocktail from their inventive selection. I went for the Driftwood Sunset Punch, made with a house made lemonade, a white peach puree, Deep Eddy Vodka, mint and lime. It was a very refreshing drink and not that strong (I could drink it like milk...).
This revisit at House of Que was a feast and the walk back home was welcomed. The food there was delicious, and I would for sure even consider this place if I just want to have a good burger as it often happens when I come back from traveling abroad. So you know that I would go back, right?
Enjoy (I did)!
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