Sun-Thu, noon-9:45pm; Fri-Sat, noon-10:45pm
F, G at Carroll St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
39th St. to Grand St., Greene Ave. to Van Brunt St.
Tracking down great barbecue in the city is only slightly less frustrating than a search for the Grail, but borderline-Red Hook mainstay Jake’s doesn’t do much to alleviate the local scarcity of ribs, brisket and chicken prepared with an authentic, knowing hand. While the portions are beyond generous, the service efficient and décor open and airy, none of the menu’s lynchpins distinguish themselves in a real way. The ribs fall short when compared to the texture of the genuine article, and the sauce drizzled on top is sweet and slightly anonymous; fried chicken fares a bit better with its crisp coating and juicy interior. One of the mysteries on the menu, however, is the pulled chicken platter: a heaping plate of plain, unadorned shredded chicken (sans skin). Meant to be dipped in gravy or the same sauce that accompanies the ribs, its stark simplicity seems an anomaly for a cooking style that hinges on an expert blend of bold and subtle flavors. The appetizer section does offer one high point, though—a portion of deep-fried catfish nuggets with an identical coating to the chicken, and a nicely turned texture.Recommended Dishes
Catfish nuggets, $5.99; Kansas City fried chicken, $14.99