New York Press' Gut Instinct: Brother, Can You Spare Some BBQ?

Is this a rhetorical question?

The time was 7 p.m., and I’d ingested as many beers as there are hours in a day. I was snookered up and down, pie-eyed to the sky and it was all in a day’s work.

It was my latest Brooklyn homebrewers tour, in which I escort fellow dipsomaniacs from apartment to apartment, where we sample amateur brewmasters’ liquid bounty. Ostensibly, we’re daintily sampling hopped-up India pale ales and tart, refreshing saisons. But once folks—let’s be honest, me—get a taste twixt their lips, it’s like barbarians storming the gates of sobriety.

“I’d wager that it’s been a successful tour,” my girlfriend said when I rang her.

“So mush delish beer,” I said, eschewing consonants, proper enunciation and other niceties of the English language.

“You need to eat.” “Eat?” Did not beer count as a food group? “Solid food.” I rounded up a half dozen tour

We said adieu to the Williamsburg brewers’ loft and, sadly, the still-full tankards of easy-drinking cream ale and floral pale ale. From there, our patchwork party weaved down Williamsburg’s industrial block to the one dining depot guaranteed to arrest intoxication: Fette Sau (354 Metropolitan Ave. betw. Havemeyer & Roebling Sts., 718-963-3404).

Fette Sau is a former cinderblock garage where cows, ducks, lambs, pigs and other barnyard critters are transformed into long-cooked, lightly smoked BBQ.The meaty, fatty perfume starts at least 50 feet from the entrance—as did the line on this temperate Saturday night. Had warm weather stoked the meat lust of every carnivore within greater Williamsburg, like dubious pot dealers to Washington Square Park?

Since dining anywhere at 8 p.m. in New York requires a wait, I decided to stick with the evil I knew: “I’ll buy chips to tide us over,” I said. I scurried to a nearby bodega and bought three bags of Utz chips—at just 99 cents apiece, they’re an indiscriminate drunk’s finest friend.The fried potatoes were vacuumed in minutes, quieting grumbling stomachs till we reached the meat-slicing station. It’s a greasy, magical realm, pure carnivore porn with glass-encased hunks of peppery lamb pastrami, Berkshire-pork sausage links and slabs of brisket. Only my white-boy jumping skills kept me from hurdling the counter like a brain-crazed zombie and munching flesh.

“Let’s go get a seat,” Julie said, wisely steering me away from the meat.We squeezed into a communal table beside a quartet of young Japanese people sharing a gallon of beer. On their tray sat a mound of untouched ribs and brisket, as forgotten as phone books stacked outside an apartment building. I wanted their beautiful BBQ.

I waited patiently, watching my dining neighbors drain that growler. My friends arrived with our logs of sausage and mounds of BBQ in the brown-pink spectrum. It was finger-licking delicious, don’t get me wrong, but my booze-reddened eyes remained on the real prize. Our neighbors stood to leave. “Waitwaitwait!” I shouted to the busboy clutching their greasy tray. I turned to the Japanese imbibers. “Mind if we finish that?”They paused for a beat. My dining companions stopped mid-chew. “I mean, if you’re not going to finish it…”

They pushed their hands forward and smiled, the international sign of, I will not screw with the crazy drunk. “Who wants some more ribs?” I asked, carefully nibbling a spot unsullied by tooth marks.

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