Fette Sau Is Philadelphia’s Best Barbecue

fette-sau-stephen-starr-bbq-food-brisket-duroc-pork-belly

Trey Popp falls for Joe Carroll’s Fette Sau. Anointing the Brooklyn transplant as the best thing that’s happened to Philadelphia’s barbecue scene.

The first beef short rib I had here looked like it had just finished cooking. Biting through its layers of fat and meat, seasoned (but not overshadowed) by smoke, was like sinking into a down pillow on a feather bed in a backwoods hunting shack. The texture defied speech.

The one I got a week later? It could’ve ranked as the best barbecued short rib I’d ever had, but that first one still might be the best short rib, period. Expect something similar with the pork belly and flank steak—though neither of those was quite as show-stopping for me.

Three Stars – Excellent

Fette Sau Reviewed [Philadelphia magazine]
Fette Sau [Official Site]

Philadelphia Restaurant Review: Brooklyn BBQ at Fette Sau

Stephen Starr's Fette Sau serves up some BBQ brisket and pork belly with classic southern sides.

Stephen Starr is an ideas man. Thing is, sometimes they’re other people’s ideas.

That’s been the rap on Philly’s foremost restaurateur for longer than is probably fair. You’ve heard the restaurant know-it-alls: Parc is a rip-off of Manhattan’s Balthazar. The Dandelion is just a supersized Pub & Kitchen.

Lately, though, there’s been more truth to this litany. Talula’s Garden was a straightforward extension of Aimee Olexy’s Kennett Square-bred brand. Later this year, Starr will be former Momofuku lieutenant Peter Serpico’s emissary on South Street. And in between, we have Fette Sau, an enlarged carbon copy of Joe Carroll’s popular Brooklyn barbecue shack.

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Gastronaut: New York State of Mind

Philly has been luring Manhattanites away from the Big Apple for years. Now we’re taking its chefs—and concepts—as well.

For decades, Manhattan has been a kind of protected game preserve for chefs and foodies, a rarified environment where restaurateurs with big names could lure in enough of the monied trade to make the cripplingly high rents and off-the-charts food costs work with $300 tasting menus and $18 cheeseburgers. And because the biggest names in the game opened there, the best crews flocked to them. The best suppliers. It was a system that worked only because every piece of it depended on the willing suspension of all good sense, and a kind of universal acceptance by the people of Manhattan that they were living (and dining) in the greatest food city on earth.

Continue reading the Gastronaut »

Fette Sau in Fishtown Delivers on the Brooklyn Promise

Adam Erace has words of praise for the service and the food at Fette Sau, the Brooklyn barbecue joint that Stephen Starr and Joe Carroll have brought to Fishtown.

Carroll developed this rub early on in his barbecue education, back when he’d “spend the night sitting up with a brisket, pork shoulder and a couple racks of ribs” on the Bullet smoker he stored in his parents’ Jersey backyard. “The rub’s sweet and bitter notes, those two flavors create a complex interesting flavor, like putting milk and sugar into black coffee,” he says.

Add in the pork belly, my favorite of Fette Sau’s meats, and you’ve got breakfast. Thick slices of it glistened against the brown butcher paper, the alternating bands of flesh and fat. Chef Jim Davidson, a Starr veteran executing Carroll’s vision, knows what he’s doing. The smoke came through immediately, then the rub. I tried a little naked, a little with each sauce; a splash of the vinegar sharpened the flavors like a Nikon lens.

Borough Bred [City Paper]
Fette Sau [Official Site]

Photo by Neal Santos

Around the Web: Early Report from Fette Sau

Philly Phoodie provides us with this early report from Fette Sau where it seems like he and his friend ordered the whole menu.

This is going to be the kind of place people love or hate. Or love to hate. Or hate to love. But for me, it’s probably my favorite BBQ I have experienced to date at a restaurant in the city, and I will continue to stuff my face with various meat products and over indulgent sides and love every minute of it.

Check out his blog for photos of pretty much everything on the menu.

Five Cheesesteaks out of Five – Counting the hours until he eats here again

Fette Sau [Philly Phoodie]
Fette Sau [Official Site]

Foobooz TV: Taking A Stroll Through Fette Sau

So Fette Sau is opening tonight on Frankford Avenue. But you knew that already, right? And you’re going, right? Because, I mean, this is some serious barbecue coming to Philly. We’re talking pulled pork straight out of the Southern Prides, brisket for those of you who like your barbecue Texas-style (read: wrong), St. Louis ribs and Duroc pork belly barbecue (yes, PORK BELLY BARBECUE).

In order to get you all prepared for tonight’s action, the Foobooz Mobile Party Unit made a stop down at Fette Sau a couple days ago, and we came back with a nice little walkthrough video. For the sharp-eyed, you’ll be able to not only plan your assault on the place for tonight, but also see a first draft of the chalkboard menu, some of the whiskey (primarily American) being stockpiled behind the bar, and a cocktail list.

Check it out after the jump.

Show me the video

Tale of the Tape: Fette Sau

Stephen Starr is bringing Joe Carroll’s Fette Sau to Fishtown and the barbecue, beer and brown liquor joint will open Wednesday, October 17th.

The Space at Fette Sau

  • Fette Sau is German for “fat pig”
  • Indoor/Outdoor seating.
  • Outdoor picnic tables are warmed by heat lamps.
  • 130 seats at communal tables.
  • Building has an industrial feel:
    • Exposed beams
    • Concrete floor
    • Reclaimed wood

More Tale of the Tape + Photos »

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