Review: Smokin' Al's
There are at least two bad things about trying to find good BBQ on Long Island: 1) there are very few BBQ restaurants at all; and 2) Smokin' Al's is probably the best one.
Smokin' Al's, in Bay Shore, gets a fairly good food rating in Zagat. I can only attribute this to the voters never having had BBQ in the South (e.g. parts of North Carolina, Memphis, etc.) or in Texas or Kansas City, or never having been able to make decent BBQ at home.
Smokin' Al's offers a number of different rib types--baby back ribs, St. Louis-style, beef ribs, e.g.--as well as a variety of BBQ sauces. They also offer pulled-pork and beef brisket. Between my wife and me I tried all three rib styles. The baby-backs ribs were decent, but tougher than I'd expect from a BBQ-specialty place. The St. Louis-style and beef ribs were not only tough but bland. For side dishes we had collard greens (awful), baked beans (all right, I suppose), and garlic mashed potatoes (ehh [shoulder shrug]).
There were three of us, and the bill came to over $70.00, so this place ain't the cheapest eats around if you think you're going to find an inexpensive, southern-style BBQ joint.
1 out of 5 stars.