I don’t know if any of us expected the pig roast at Daisy May’s BBQ (site) to be as disturbingly “real” as it was, but after the initial shock of a whole pig in front of us (seemingly collapsed from exhaustion) we got down to the serious business of eating.
Known as the one of the best BBQ joints in the city (proof, more proof & the ultimate proof), Daisy May’s looks like a slice of Alabama on the Hudson. The no-frills dining room (I can’t emphasize no-frills enough–we’re talking fluorescent bulbs) was a little intimidating since most New York’s restaurants prefer a more ambient tone “which relaxes them and makes them feel pretty” (source).
The occasion was a good friend being in town, and the partakers were an eclectic selection of friends and family. Using plastic tongs to pull the meat off the carcass and a delicious gravy tailored for the swine–it was divine–we began to determine if the pig party was going to meet the high standards us New Yorkers demand of our culinary establishments.
The plates and cutlery were plastic, the surrounding wood looked untreated, and the patrons weren’t exactly dressed for the opera…so far, so good.
About the side dishes…they were all amazing compliments to the succulent main course: the texas toast (southern garlic bread according to wiki) was very buttery but savory, the mash potatoes had their own flavor-rich sauce, the spinach was creamy, the coleslaw was spicy and negotiated a good truce between vinegar & mayo, the sweet potatoes were perfection in a plastic container, and the dessert of pineapple was a sweet finish to a marathon meal.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, for the last year, Veken & I have been on a quest for the holy grail of BBQ in NYC. Our obsession has taken us all over the place and we admit there are still reservations left to make before we finalize our top ten, but how did we rate Daisy May’s? Definitely top three (RUB & Blue Smoke being the others in that elite group), but it would’ve been great to have a taste of other meats at Daisy May’s to get a better idea of the chef’s skills (we were teased with a small plate of yummy ribs)…but alas, maybe next time.
As an aside, Veken had a dream the night of the feast that he was being chased (or eaten, he can’t remember) by a lion. He attributes the odd scene to coming face to face with his dinner. I’d have to agree that the pig roast was an experience I won’t soon forget. It made me realize how disconnected city folk have become from our food supply, since picking up meat in the supermarket disembodied and packaged is nowhere as traumatizing as seeing it connected to a head and hooves. Maybe I should rekindle my collegiate taste for vegetarianism.