After teasing this place exactly a year ago, we stopped in the new BBQ, beer, and whiskey joint, The Strand last night for a weekend cap and was pleasantly surprised. The space has been under construction for about a year (since the old Blockbuster moved out). It's really hard to imagine the old DVD cases lining the walls, they did a remarkable job of renovating the place (more photos to come later).
In short, it feels like a beer, meat, and music joint that deserves a few Harleys in front and an aroma that pulls you in from blocks away. They haven't quite achieved either yet, but both are likely inevitable.
I dropped in with a posse of seven last night and had no issue grabbing a picnic-style table. The heat was roaring and the growlers were almost filling themselves. The ordering process is a bit non-traditional for NYC, but not too painful.
A hostess is planted immediately inside the door instructing you to grab a table (and essentially fend for yourself...in a good way). Once you grab a table, belly up to the bar and grab a beer or cocktail (both have very narrow, but awesome choices), then mosey over to the line near the back for your meat and side orders.
Portions are divvied up in 1/2 and full pounds (depending on the meat). Choices last night were smoked pork loin (yum), pulled pork (yum), pork ribs (ran out), 1/2 chicken (yum), chicken wings (mmm), and pork belly (not my thing, but others loved). The sides were greens (yum), mashed potatoes (yum), roasted root veggies (ehh), mac n cheese (yum), baked beans (mmm), cornbread (yum), and biscuits (yum).
They have three house sauces on the communal tables--BBQ (wow), tangy mustard (damn!), and hot (omg).
Last night's visit wasn't for a review, per se, so wasn't equipped with a full battery for photos, but couldn't help from passing the word that this place is the real deal. Helpful staff, live honky-tonk, delicious food, and killer drinks. And here's the kicker...despite literally ordering everything on the menu, feeding 7 and still having leftovers...under $70. Phenomenal.
The Strand (25-21 Broadway Astoria, NY 11106)