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R.U.B. Righteous Urban Barbecue

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R.U.B.  Righteous Urban Barbecue

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Address: 208 West 23rd Street (bet 7th & 8th Aves)
City: New York, NY
Zip: 10011
Phone: 212) 524-4300
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Map: Map
Chef: Paul Kirk
Cuisine: Barbecue
2nd Cuisine:
Area: Chelsea



If you haven't noticed lately, New York is fast becoming the "barbecue" city. Smoked just set up shop in the East Village. Last year it was Daisy May's BBQ and before that it was Danny Meyer who really got the ball rolling with Blue Smoke. Now comes barbecue king Paul Kirk and R.U.B., his new barbecue pit in Chelsea. R.U.B. stands for Righteous Urban Barbecue.

The place has the look and feel of what you might expect from a barbecue joint. There are no pictures on the walls. The tables are of the laminated wood variety and the staff is dressed in white R.U.B. t-shirts. So by now you should get the jist. This is not the right place for upscale dining. It is the right place for down-and-dirty, finger-lickin', barbecue-eatin'. Kirk. who was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame (yes there is such a thing), is a world renowned pitmaster, and it shows.

The ribs are thick and juicy with a smoky flavor and served with a tangy barbecue sauce. Our favorites were the "Long End" ribs, meaty St. Louis-style pork ribs that'll fill you up, but are a bit messy to eat ($12.75 for 6). Baby back ribs were also a hit, a bit more tender with a great smoky flavor ($13.75 for half a slab). The pulled pork sandwich was also quite tasty and could serve as a meal ($8.75). Even the brisket, which can be quite dry and dull, was juicy and flavorful during our visit. Most of the side dishes lacked pizzaz. The coleslaw and potato salad were nothing to right home about, but I could've eaten a bucket of the barbecued baked beans. Prices for sides range from $3.50 for a small size to 7 bucks for the large. R.U.B. also offers a wide assortment of barbecued meats including smoked pastrami, which is sold by the pound, and a Szechwan Smoked Duck ($26.75) which promises "a little heat and a little sweet."

The dessert menu is quite sparce. In fact, there's only one item on it - deep fried Oreos. One drawback to R.U.B. is that it only accepts cash. But we think it will rub off on New Yorkers.

Review By: Sam Sayegh