Full confession: my heart - and my stomach - belong to the vegetable department. I would go further out of my way for a perfect tomato than for a perfect steak.
This may be why I was blindsided by the wave of kosher BBQ. There's the day school in Tennessee that air freights BBQ. There's Ari White who tours the greater New York Jewish communities with a BBQ smoker-on wheels (it looks something like Robert Stephenson's rocket http://media-1.web.britannica.com/eb-...). There's a new BBQ joint in Rockville. Milt's BBQ in Chicago There's even a BBQ place in Lakewood (imagine, a cutting-edge foodie trend in Lakewood). And all of them have opened within the the last couple of years, Chicago and Rockville this month alone.
I have a theory. Kosher diners are notorious for unimaginatively equating a large steak with a nice restaurant meal. But even in pretty stodgy parts of the haimish community (I'm looking at you Lakewood, and at the Five Towns where shuls have hosted the Wandering Que) there is a growing interest in the food scene. BBQ isn't a new thing, it's been hot in the more general American food scene for years. But for the traditonal among us, the thing about a BBQ is that no one is trying to make you eat seaweed salad, carrot foam, or - gasp - kale. These kosher BBQ places are offering a big hunk of meat in the guise of a hip culinary experience.
Or is kosher BBQ is suddenly popular simply because we suddenly have sophisticated pit bosses producing great kosher BBQ?