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Wednesday
Sep252013

Morgan's BBQ Gets its Liquor License

The area's newest barbecue restaurant, Morgan's, opened on the corner of Flatbush and St. Marks earlier this month, bringing classic Texas barbecue to the neighborhood. The smoker is manned by Franklin BBQ alum Joh Avila, and he's turning out quality brisket (both lean and fatty), pulled pork, ribs, chickens, turkey, and sausage, with sides including giant stuffed baked potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and baked beans.

It's a very fine interpretation of the Texas style, which is peppery and sauceless, and standouts include the brisket (which Texas barbecue is most famous for) and ribs. Sandwiches are available during the week (as well as all evening long at Elbow Room, the connected take-out window dishing up wildly creative macaroni and cheese, and there's plenty of draft beer to be had at the bar and a big outdoor seating area. The one thing it's been missing has been liquor, but not any more: the license came in on Friday.

The liquor program is being managed by Kier Hamilton, who bartends there a few nights a week and also happens to be the master distiller down at Widow Jane Whiskey, which is based in Red Hook. He told me that he's currently placing orders for more than 100 varieties of Bourbon and other brown spirits, which should be stocking the shelves within a few weeks (there's plenty of Widow Jane to be had at the moment, however, and it's good stuff).

It's hard to leave Morgan's without being very impressed by both the layout and the food, and the barbecue served here is a completely different animal, style-wise, from what you'll find at Dinosaur, Fort Reno, or Fette Sau.

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Reader Comments (40)

The folks from Dinosaur BBQ should swing by Morgan's and learn what real BBQ looks and tastes like. This place is the real deal folks. Let the tourists and Barclays bridge and tunnel crowds go to Dino, I'm parking my pig loving ass here!

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBaDaBing

BadaBing, you're comparing Texas and St. Louis style, that's not really possible in the bbq world even if one has their own preference.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpb

Havent tried it but unless its terrible given the layout food and liquor choices it is going to be a home run given its location near the arena

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbklynmind

I agree with BaDaBing about tourists having Dino.

As far as B&T crowd... can someone clear this up for me? We take a bridge or tunnel to Manhattan, so aren't we B&T or is that just referring to those coming to NYC in general (i.e., a bridge or tunnel from NJ).

OR, do you mean to imply that Manhattanites coming to BK are the new B&T crowd (maybe rightfully so).

If BK is so great now (and it IS), why am I not rich yet?

And is Flatbush and St. Marks REALLY Park Slope still? I mean, it feels more like Prospect Heights over there to me. Maybe it's technically PS, but it's NOT on a slope, and it's NOT near the park.

It's like Citibike claiming PS has a bike share depot since there's one on 4th ave over by Atlantic. THAT"S NOT WHAT WE MEAN BY PARK SLOPE.

And lastly, how's the cabbage soup at Morgans?!

Oh, and double lastly... 100 varieties of Bourbon. YES!

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTed Logan

My only question is do I really have to wait weeks for a drink there or are they already stocked?

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

Franklin BBQ is considered one of the, if not THE best BBQ in all the land so this place has great lineage.

This place is the best BBQ in the city, already been twice.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersterling

Pure Texas style from a Franklin alumn? We're lucky. Can't wait to try it out.

It's really worth noting that this neighborhood went from absolutely zero BBQ options to having a choice of regional styles in about two years. That's pretty remarkable.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFelton

Been twice already, will continue to go back. The place is delicious.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCoffee

At the risk of being flamed, is it worth going to this place if you don't eat meat? OBVIOUSLY I'm not their target demo, but my friends from Texas who live here now would probably love this place and I'm looking for another reason to get them from the UWS to PS. I'm fine with mac and cheese, beans (which probably have pork but I don't really care if I don't really know) and buns, slaw, etc. They have that stuff? How is it?

If nothing else, I can survive off the bourbon I'm quite sure.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWillie Nelson's Shoe

PB - Sorry, but I disagree especially because I love both styles of BBQ. I'm not comparing anything except my relative level of enjoyment and satisfaction at both restaurants. I was underwhelmed by the food at dinosaur and a bit grossed out by the portions. The Disney-esq vibe didn't help either. Morgans was delicious, plain and simple. But if Dino is your thing, more power to you. Go forth and enjoy.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBaDaBing

Morgan's is a whole other level of BBQ. It's exactly like what you would get fresh off the pit in Austin, Texas.

Dinosaur is a replica of a BBQ restaurant at Epcot Center. It's not bad, but I'm not sure why anyone would ever choose it over Morgan's. Fort Reno is leaps better than Dinosaur and I think some items at Fletchers are too. Fletchers is actually quite a bit better now than when it first opened.

Dinosaur is fun I guess if you have kids or are a tourist.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersterling

My two faviortire BBQ places in the city are in order Hill Country and Fette Sau. Where do those thatve been to Morgans (and know BBQ) place it in relation to these joints.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

Jbob:

Fette Sau also used to be my favorite, but they have really slipped in the past couple of years.

Hill Country is okay, nothing earth shattering. A bit like Dinosaur in that it feels like a chain (they are opening on on Adams Street in Downtown Brooklyn, btw).

Morgans is better than Fette Sau was in their heydey. Plus the sides at Fette Sau were always notoriously bad and everything at Morgans is outstanding.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersterling

Oh please now Dinosaur is a tourist trap? I have had lots of BBQ and Dinosaur is excellent . It may not be the 'greatest' but it is a step up from virtually everything around NYC (I havent tried Morgans yet), It is far better than Fort Reno, somewhat better than Fletchers and in a different league than Pork Slope (horrible). Looking at the pictures not sure what makes the decor at dinosaur more "disney" than Morgans (unless I missed when the wood lined Texas Bar and BBQ was moved up here by rail).

Ill try Morgan's and I hope it will be amazing but the way I see it, is a bunch of people want to maintain there contrarian credentials so they are trying adopting Morgan's as the "authentic" place and the uber popular Dinosaur is now 'Disney', mediocre and for the Bridge and Tunnel crowd (although as has been pointed out - us Brooklynites are B&T by definition). These 'reviews' say more about the reviewers than the food.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbklynmind

Pork Slope isn't a restaurant, it's a bar that has some food. It should not be lumped into the same category, I go to Pork Slope to drink not eat. If I get hungry while I'm drinking, I might get some drunk food. No one ever said Pork Slope was a BBQ restaurant, it opened as a roadhouse style BAR.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRick

@Sterling

Thanks-Youre right about Fette Sau, though it was groundbreaking and can really be credited for starting the quality BBQ boom in NYC.

Sure Hill Countrys a little kitsch but its food is excellent and any Texas transplant likes a little sense of home, hey they had Shiner before you could get it anywhere else.

Havent been to Dinosaur but I have to agree with calling BS on "authenticity" when it comes to decor. Most good BBQ places in Texas look like complete crap. I dont beleive anyone would (or should ) recreate that here.

Let the food speak for itself.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

Bklynmind:

Franklin bbq was rated the best bbq in the United States by Bon Apetit Magazine. This is the same guy from Franklin who opened Morgans.

Dinosaur is serviceable, but really not that great. The ribs are very good, the rest is meh and bland. Not sure why you are taking this all so personally, everyone has an opinion about what they like but very few people are going to defend an upstate NY bbq chain and try to pit (no pun intended) against an authentic Austin, Texas bbq by one of the most famous pitmasters in the country.

dinosaur is for people who don't know bbq very well (that's not an insult, just a fact), for those that do and have traveled looking for the best, we are very very lucky to have morgan's so close. good luck getting a table though, they were just written up today on grub street/new york magazine.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Michael Strahan was at Morgans last night.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersterling

I hope (and assume) Morgan's is amazing and way better than dinosaur. The only think I object to is the new meme being spread that Dinosaur is some mediocre chain when 1. It isnt its very good at minimum(btw the Chicken - which is hard to get right - is amazing) 2. Its "disneyfied" - as if every new restaurant isnt more or less 'fake' and the equivalent to a movie 'set' and 3.. Fit only for tourists and B&T (i.e. the inauthentic);

I suspect that the same people trying to act as though they are experts on authenticity were singing the praises of dinosaur when the only local outlet was in far away Harlem.

So in short my objection isnt to people's taste test, its to their attribution of authenticity and coolness.

"No one goes there anymore, its too crowded"
- Yogi Berra

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbklynmind

I love Dino. Decent prices and a raucus, good time. I guess if you're being really picky you could criticize the decor. I, for one, enjoyed it.

It's also a great place to bring a large group. We don't have too many restaurants in the area that you can say that about.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFelton

"Franklin bbq was rated the best bbq in the United States by Bon Apetit Magazine. This is the same guy from Franklin who opened Morgans"

not really true. the owner of morgan's worked the pit for a short period of time at franklins. it wasn't his restaurant, recipe, etc. attempted to go to morgan's last friday but couldn't find a parking spot anywhere in the vicinity and needed to drive because i had to be elsewhere later. i hope to try it very soon.

to my taste, delaney's in williamsburg has the best, most "authentic" bbq in the city right now. brisket is awesome and the ribs are surprisingly good. it's no franklins, but that would be a tall order.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterombudsman

No one likes Willy Nelson's Shoe.

I personally hated Dino when we used to schlep up to Harlem for it. My coworkers always liked it so we had to go with clients from out of town, who loved it. They're the same people who loved TGIF in Times Square. Never understood any of those things.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTed ReTurner

Thank you Ted ReTurner for demonstrating so clearly the ridiculous hyperbole that is all over this thread.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbklynmind

Ted is spot on. Dinosaur is to BBQ what Olive Garden is to Italian.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIna

Seriously this thread is ridiculous, go back and read any of the several previous threads on this blog about Dinosaur-all overwhelmingly positive. It's a different place than Morgan's - maybe you like it better but "touristy , Times Square Olive Garden?

It's got a 4/5 on Yelp, it's a NY Mag critics pick and on and on

Stay classy Park Slope

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

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