Nothing spurs on the masses more than the idea of something transient, experimental, underground, or members-only. So when a guy named Daniel Delaney came up with Brisketlab last April, that offered “shares” in the carnivorous spoils of an 18’ smoker he hauled in on a whim from Texas (which “meatholders” could redeem at various events held throughout the summer), he sold out of 2,500 lbs of juicy brisket in just under 48 hours.
Now a full-fledged restaurant that operates under the guise of most BBQ-slinging joints in the borough (they shut down completely once the last bite of meat is served), it was only natural to try to think of a way to keep the buzz going. Thus, the announcement of a Breakfast Tacos Launch Fiesta! on social media, kicking off daily barbecue breakfast taco service from 8am-3pm (8am-12pm weekdays).
Williamsburg denizens (and easy enthused food writers) clutched at their rope scarves and jaunty knit caps in amazement. Who would have thought to deposit eggs, salsa, and highly seasoned meat products on tortillas and dole them out before noon? And announce it on Twitter, no less! Lines were sure to be out the door.
We rolled up at 12pm exactly (the time any self-respecting young Brooklynite starts their Saturday), and were pleased to find we could walk right in (once we found the entrance, identified solely by a hand-scrawled sign on the door). Gotta keep the mystique somehow.
Still no lines, but the tables were filled with pretty folk willing to forgo their weekend sangria’s; Briskkettown has no liquor license as of yet. Delaney himself was expediting orders at the counter, so we promptly requested one of everything (Brisket, Pulled Bacon, and Brussels Sprouts tacos), plus one small cup of Blue Bottle coffee ($3.27 each…say what?) and waited for our number to come up.
And waited and waited. Apparently, all the pretty folk at the tables we thought had already eaten were pending tacos too. Hey, it’s cool, first day kinks to work out and everything—it’s just worth noting that if you plan on making Briskettown a regular part of your morning routine, you just need to rise and shine a little earlier than usual—unless you want to explain to your boss you showed up half an hour late because of breakfast tacos.
It also bears mention that if these end up being your morning go-to instead of bagels, you might want to bring along some tic-tacs (no fair breathing pickled onions and chilies on your colleagues all day), and perhaps an extra shirt (as with any good taco, or plate of BBQ for that matter, there’s simply no way to eat these without getting juice stains half way down your elbow).
That being said, there are a lot of great things going on here. The pulled pork bacon taco (the meat is cured and smoked in house) is topped with cheese, a creamy puddle of scrambled eggs, and hot sauce, a clever nod to America’s favorite breakfast foods. The meat-free version is not as fantastic. We are not in anyway predisposed against veggie items — in fact, we adore our greens, especially caramelized Brussels sprouts — but combined with a purple cabbage slaw and bell-pepper heavy potato hash, it lacked serious textural contrast, and was overwhelmingly sweet.
The brisket taco, on the other hand, is a game changer. Delaney’s signature, intensely moist, hardwood smoked meat is center stage—the ultimate stand-in for barbacoa—elevated by a smear of delicate scrambled egg, a dollop of fresh salsa, some cilantro, cheese, and a squeeze of lime. Hype and gimmickry aside, it’s simply the best damn calling card for the magic Delaney can work with that smoker. We might just have to make a point to get here for dinner sometime before the meat runs out.