Just about the closest thing that Brooklyn has to a suburb, Bay Ridge is the kind of place where time moves at a slower than usual (for New York City, anyway) pace. Which is why—long after Gowanus, Red Hook, and Williamsburg began challenging Memphis, Kansas City, and Austin as barbecue capitals of the country—it was only last week that the neighborhood received its first and only pit stop for St. Louis-style ribs and tangy pulled pork in the form of Pig Guy NYC.
Located smack in the center of the commercial heart of Third Avenue, Pig Guy NYC is the brainchild of Bay Ridge native son, Thomas Perone, who honed his chops by hosting pig roast tailgating parties at locations throughout the city (he also runs stands at Citifield, MCU Park, and Manhattan’s Gansevoort Market). And though he tips his hat to tradition by selling paper-lined trays of scrupulously sourced smoked meat by the pound, Perone seeks to set himself apart from the considerable pack with a few balls-to-the-wall Brooklyn flourishes.
In addition to comprising Pig Guy’s most popular platter, pulled pork is inundated with rivers of molten, jalapeño-spiked cheese, and heaped atop waffle fries or nachos. There’s a variety of sandwiches as well, whose carnivorous contents quickly slough off their shackles of spongy Texas Toast, including the “Double Porker” topped with planks of chorizo (the sausage can be alternatively ordered on a bun, stuffed with provolone, and topped with mayo, chimichurri, and a slurry of diced red onion), as well as the “Pig Face Tanker,” a mountain of pulled pork and brisket, with a cap of cider-sweetened Red Hook slaw.
Granted, basics like that brisket don’t yet hold a candle to Hometown’s, and it will be a while before Bay Ridge forges a name for itself on the increasingly competitive East Coast barbecue scene. But it’s a step in the right direction for the perennially on-the-cusp neighborhood, and a given that Pig Guy will become a dependable go-to, for macaroni and four cheese-topped sammies, and ¼-pound slabs of maple- and sriracha-glazed bacon on a stick.
8413 3rd Avenue, Bay Ridge