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Here's the Beef

Forget the mini-hibachi and fill up at these top spots for cookout cuisine, from grilled links to sticky ribs.

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Selections from Hill Country  

Wildwood Barbeque (View menu)
225 Park Ave. S., nr. 18th St.; 212-533-2500
Revered pit master "Big Lou" Elrose left his post at Hill Country to open this venture, where "wet" and "dry" barbecued meats sit on a menu alongside beer-battered jalapeño peppers and a smoked brisket sandwich topped with provolone and onion rings.

Westville (View menu)
210 W. 10th St., nr. Bleecker St.; 212-741-7971
This tiny West Village storefront looks like a cozy country shack in the summertime, which feels just right for ordering a pair of grilled Hebrew National or Niman Ranch franks served with skinny, perfectly crisp French fries.

Hill Country (View menu)
30 W. 26th St., nr. Broadway; 212-255-4544
Modeled after a 'cue spot in Texas, this Flatiron restaurant offers beefy alternatives to the usually pork-centric world of barbecue with its beef shoulder and two kinds of brisket. Sides like deviled eggs and potato salad round out a meal fit for an authentic Sunday-picnic plate.

Shake Shack (View menu)
Madison Square Park, 23rd St. at Madison Ave.; 212-889-6600
While it's the Shack's burgers, featuring patties crafted by meat master Pat LaFrieda, that get most of the accolades, hot dogs here are an unsung triumph. Served in the Chicago style, they come with almost every topping you can imagine.

Blue Smoke (View menu)
116 E. 27th St., nr. Park Ave. S.; 212-447-7733
The 'cue styles range from Memphis to St. Louis to Texas here, but it's little details like coleslaw and sausage samplers that make this place special. If you're hankering for a real cookout without doing any of the cooking, they'll even cater your party.

Trailer Park Lounge & Grill (View menu)
271 W. 23rd St., nr. Eighth Ave.; 212-463-8000
Though the surroundings (part of a mobile home mounted on a wall, issues of the National Enquirer) might remind you, in a tacky way, of a summer road trip gone wrong, the food doesn't disappoint. Try the "fat dog," a smoky, char-grilled knockwurst that you can get with sweet-potato fries or delightfully trashy tater tots.

Fette Sau (View menu)
354 Metropolitan Ave., nr. Havemeyer St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-963-3404
The industrial vibe here is matched by an equally spare menu that still manages to be diverse. With Berkshire pork, beef brisket, bacon, lamb, and flank steak, Fette Sau has everything you'd want to throw on your backyard grill—if you had one.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (View menu)
646 W. 131st St., at Twelfth Ave.; 212-694-1777
The exhaustive menu at this Harlem eatery features every kind of BBQ combination you could want, plus a delicious break from all the beef and pork in the form of pit-smoked spicy chicken wings with blue-cheese dressing. Interesting sides like the BBQ fried rice and Creole potato salad add to the mix.


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