As San Franciscans have spent the last couple of years devouring pizza, so have New Yorkers glommed on to Southern barbecue. Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood, home to the most storied of all American temples of meat, Peter Lugar Steakhouse, has become the epicenter of New York's barbecue movement ― trendy practitioners Fette Sau and Fatty Cue are within walking distance of one another.
They're similar in several ways: Lots of of Sufjan Stevens and Beirut over the sound systems, played to crowds who looks like their iPhones would be well stocked with Sufjan Stevens and Beirut. Both have bars that make you want to hang out all night, featuring brews like Hitachino Nest White Ale and Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold. And both are white hot, with lines that form early, since neither place takes reservations. But despite these similarities, the food at Fette Sau and Fatty Cue couldn't be more different.
Meats at Fette Sau are ordered by the pound at the front counter, where they're sliced and dumped, prison style, onto a paper-lined metal tray. We were there for Fat Pig Thursday, meaning the menu was mostly pork, cut from a 100-percent pure-breed Kurobuta, slaughtered the previous Sunday, then butchered and smoked in-house. We sampled a slice of loin ($24/lb.), a sweet sausage ($4), a chunk of belly ($24/lb.) and a foot ($10/lb.). Yes, you can order a single foot, as well as an eye, a snout, or a lip. Really.