Daisy May’s BBQ USA
Our last full day in New York started off a little later than the previous two. We were both exhausted already and we knew we had a full day of walking ahead of us.
We watched the news the night before because we’re both news junkies and to see the weather forecast. All indications pointed towards a brutally bad day. There was a tornado watch in effect for the city and they were predicting strong storms and damaging winds. We grabbed our rain coats and headed for a train stop so we could get back in to Manhattan.
When we got downtown, we emerged to find it not raining. In fact, that’s how it would stay the rest of the day. I carried a rain coat with me all day and never put it on. I was pissed because the day before, it was supposed to be light showers and it rained all day. I got soaked and didn’t have my rain coat.
Anyway, first order of business was finding something to eat. We decided to go for a walk and get away from Times Square. We’d really like to see more of New York than just the tourist spots, so we headed down 42nd Street to find some real BBQ.
Daisy May’s BBQ USA is on 11th Avenue and 46th Street in Hell’s Kitchen. It has been rated as the best BBQ joint in New York City four times by Zagat. For a tourist, it’s way off the beaten path as it’s about a 15-20 minute walk from the nearest subway stop.
The front of the building is the order area and there is a dining room down a hallway on the 46th Street side of the building. We walked in to find two NYPD officers ordering lunch, so we knew we were in a good place. J and I travel around a lot for work and we’ve learned that if you see cop cars in front of a restaurant (and no crime scene tape) that you should also be stopping in for lunch.
We had a couple minutes to look over the menu even though we always order the same things at BBQ restaurants. We both got the Carolina Pulled Pork sandwich and an order of Mac & Cheese. Both sandwiches were made as we watched them behind the counter then handed to us at the cash register where we added on a couple cans of Coke. I was fine with that, but what J didn’t notice is they have sweet tea….and the sweet tea is served in a giant Mason Jar. We had already paid by the time she saw that and didn’t want to add on another drink.
We headed to the dining room which was pretty full already. It’s got kind of a typical roadhouse decor even though it’s in the middle of the city. There are trophies on the walls and on shelves from the competitions they’ve entered and the table cloths are a red and white checkerboard.
We grabbed the last available table back in the corner and ripped into the tin foil wrapped sandwiches to see what we got. The pulled pork is served Carolina style with coleslaw. That’s fine for J, but I’m not a fan. I didn’t realize it when I ordered or I would have left it off. It’s not that big of a deal though. I scraped most of it off. The meat is completely covered in a sweet, vinegar sauce. It was delicious, but I wouldn’t have gone so heavy on it. When the meat is covered, you can’t taste the meat and I really like to taste the smokey flavor.
The mac ‘n cheese was very cheesy and very creamy. It was a little bit bigger portion than we were expecting and in reality, we could have split an order. As it was, we ended up with too much food and weren’t able to finish everything on our tray.
Daisy May’s is worth the trip outside of Midtown. All of their meats are prepared in the style of a different region which really makes the place unique. Instead of focusing on just Memphis style or Texas style, etc., they mix it up. There are a few quirky things that I would have done differently, but overall, the food was fantastic. We like to find BBQ everywhere we go and finding such a quality spot in New York City was surprising.