I had to be in Cooperstown this weekend for meetings and after doing a search on this site I decided to find my way to Brooks BBQ in Oneonta, about a 20 minute easy drive from Cooperstown. The place is huge(I would say it could seat 250 people) and I was sceptical about how good the quality would be. Well, it was a great suprise. Brooks has without question the best BBQ'd chicken I have ever had. My friend and I both ordered the BBQ sampler platter which came with slices of BBQ pork and beef, one rib of your choice(spare rib or st. louis) and a 1/4 chicken(dark or white meat your choice). I had the St. Louis rib and the dark meat. As for the pork and beef, they were good, but not great. Brooks puts its homemade BBQ sauce on everything except the chicken. The sauce is excellent but I would have liked to have tasted the beef and pork without the sauce. The St. Louis rib was good, but parts were a little overcooked and therefore tough.
The chicken was by far the highlight. So juicy and great smoky charcoal flavor. The flavor penetrated all of the meat and came without any sauce on it. My friend and I were both so blown away by the greatness of this chicken. As for sides, you get a choice of one and we both had onion rings. Not very good and probably frozen. The fries looked good but I don't know. As a note, the BBQ sampler was $9. Got to love those upstate prices.
We both has dessert, a coconut cream pie and chocolate cream pie. Decent but nothing great.
Before we left I asked if we could see the bbq pit. They told us no problem and to go out back to a seperate building they have adjacent to the restaurant where they do all the bbq. We were let right into the building by the two cooks and had a great bbq conversation. They have one long huge pit where all they use is charcoal. It's about 6 feet deep and they told me that the heat at the level of the meat is about 600 degrees. What shocked me the most was that they don't use a dry rub on the chicken. I was convinced they did because of the amazing spice carmelization on the chicken. Yet, they put the chickens on without anything and use a mop of oil and vinegar with a spice mixture.
So if you're up in the area, it's worth the drive.