I finally made it out to Dutch Kills to check out John Brown. (One caveat for this review is the much-lauded burnt ends were sold out so I can't comment on them, but, hey, they sold out so someone must like them.)
I was there on a weeknight and found tables, but I'd expect that peak times would have a wait given the size.
I went with the 3 Meat Platter - this starts at $17, extra couple of bucks for burnt ends or ribs. Meats were ribs, brisket and pork belly, sides were mac-and-cheese and collard greens.
Barbecue is never going to be low-priced in NYC, but this is certainly a bargain, as the massive size ranked among the largest platters I've encountered in the genre.
The ribs were unique and excellent. This wasn't a dry rub but it wasn't a doused-in-sauce deal. There was pepper and I'm not sure what else. Brisket was pretty good but by the end of the deal it seemed a little dry. Pork belly was outstanding. Other times I've had pork belly it was just the small, fatty part, which isn't a bad thing, but these were giant multi-faceted pieces that were more like pork loin.
The mac-and-cheese was addictive; the greens wouldn't garner headlines as a standlone item but, breaking from the frequent doused-in-pork variety, their solemnity was nice counterpoint to the caloric bonanza.
Points off for the beverage set-up, only option is fountain soda, one size which wasn't very sizable.
I expect to return soon for the burnt ends and to sample offerings like the "PBLT."
John Brown Smokehouse
25-08 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11101