On May 21, pitmaster Myron Mixon, the bearded barbecue guru who’s perhaps best known for his judging gig on Destination America’s Barbecue Pitmasters, previewed his newest creation, a New York restaurant named Pride & Joy, for a hungry crowd.
The restaurant, which took over the sprawling East Village space that was last occupied by drag restaurant Lucky Cheng’s, is a railroad-style space with a bar up front, two dining rooms behind that, and proudly on display in the back, two giant smokers. The restaurant isn’t too ornately appointed, with more raw wood on display than anything else, giving it a rustic feel.
Although the room was packed, we had the opportunity to sample some of Mixon’s offerings. Specialty cocktails were run of the mill (the bar area, however, is very nicely appointed), but the baby back ribs were a clear standout. They fell right off the bone, which is frowned upon in some circles but in this case it was a tough bone to pick because it tasted too good. The ribs were dry-rubbed and basted in a sweet sauce during the lengthy smoking, which gave them an exceptionally caramelized bark and plenty of smoke penetration. We could have eaten a whole rack of these, easily.
Also on offer was whole hog, and the meat was pulled from giant, crispy-skinned pigs that were proudly on display. As opposed to standard pulled pork, which usually comes from the shoulder, this pork showcased the entire animal, and the tender, juicy meat came in long strands, and was soaked in a tangy vinegar-based sauce that made this addictive, too.
With a prime location, a famous pitmaster at the helm, a nice space, and solid barbecue, there’s no reason to doubt that Pride & Joy will be a monster hit. It’ll most likely also be packed every night of the week, so if you decide to check it out, be prepared to brave some crowds.