Golden Pub, Saddle Brook, NJ
Just tried out the Golden Pub in Saddle Brook, NJ, which is a diner that has a "Memphis Barbecue" menu, with a special smoke oven where, according to the menu and the very proud owner, they slow smoke the food over "hickory coals".
Well, first of all, as a diner, they seem pretty good, and have pretty reasonable prices. Their rice pudding was especially good, with a fresh not-too-sweet taste like (Asian) Indian-style rice pudding without the cardamon (not that I don't like, or even prefer, the cardamon).
Now, before I go further, let me say that I like a strong smoke flavor (and just found out, to my horror, that I neglected to write up Barnstormer BBQ on Route 9W in Ft. Montgomery, NY, which has knock-your-socks-off smoke flavor. I will remedy that situation within a couple of days; luckily, I made notes in my voice recorder and still have them). While the slow, dry cooking is evident in the items (ribs, pulled pork, chicken), the owner, in his attempt not to overpower with hickory, has gone in the other direction. The chicken leg and thigh had only a hint of hickory, and the breast none at all. The ribs were fall of the bone tender, and the barbecue sauce was spicy and not too sweet, but the smoke flavor was only tastable on parts of the ribs. Same for the pulled pork; you could taste enough smoke to know it was there, but it was undetectable on most of the serving.
The cole slaw was good but not exceptional. The beans, with a light, barbecue sauce flavor, were as good as I have had outside of my own home, and were the highlight of the meal.
If you barbecue but don't like a strong smoke flavor, and want slow dry cooked rather than boiled and broiled ribs, then you would like the place. It's certainly better than Cubby's.
Next time, though, I'll order the twin lobster; the guy next to us was having it, and they looked great.
post edited by bartl - 2010/03/29 22:53:57