When I started at my job nearly a year ago (already??), one of the first places my coworkers took me to eat was Virgil's Real Barbecue. The whole morning prior to our lunch, they couldn't stop raving about the made-from-scratch biscuits or the freshly-squeezed lemonade or the brisket. They elevated the restaurant so much that I was afraid I'd be disappointed once we got there. (Believe it or not, I tend to be on the picky side when it comes to food.) Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. They were absolutely right.
Virgil's Real Barbecue
152 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
(212) 921-9494 | Online Reservations | Map
Since I was the newbie of the company, I opted not to take pictures of the food we ate during my first trip to Virgil's. I figured whipping out my camera to obtain pictorial evidence of our meal might seem strange to them. Especially since I hadn't told them all about my life as a food blogger yet. But when I went back to Virgil's to have lunch with my friend Brian (of Lehigh Dinner Club fame), I knew he'd have no problem with me taking pictures. In fact, I knew he'd style the food so I could get the perfect shot.
My friends are awesome.
Because we were meeting for a relatively late lunch, Brian and I got a little carried away and let our stomachs dictate how we ordered. Or, specifically, how much we ordered. To start, we shared a plate of Buttermilk Onion Rings ($9.75). Look at the size of those things! The rings were crispy and the batter was well-seasoned, but, after a while, they became cumbersome to eat. You know when you bite into an onion ring and the onion slides free from its coating of fried batter and dangles awkwardly from your mouth? Yeah. That happened.
Brian had a very difficult time deciding what to eat for the main part of his meal and eventually settled on the Fried Shrimp Po' Boy ($15.50) served on a hero roll with lettuce, tomato, and tartar sauce. They certainly didn't skimp on the shrimp, and Brian enjoyed the sandwich well enough. But I don't think he was especially wowed by it. On the inside, I'm pretty sure his brain was kicking him (if his brain had legs, that is) because he didn't order what I ordered.
It didn't make much sense to me to order anything but barbecue at Virgil's, so I went with the Sliced Texas Beef Brisket Sandwich ($13.95) served on a sesame seed bun and with a pile of French fries on the side.
Oh, and a side of Macaroni and Cheese ($5.95).
The brisket was tender and had a brilliant smoky flavor to it. The sandwich came out without barbecue sauce since each table at Virgil's houses an assortment of sauces ranging from sweet to spicy, allowing the customer to choose one that suits their personal tastes. Love that! And I loved the sandwich. It made me think of the brisket that I had at The Salt Lick when I was down in Austin back in August. There was plenty to share, so I let Brian take a big bite of the sandwich, and I forced him to help me eat the macaroni and cheese. Poor side dish. We barely made a dent in it!
That's the last time we let our stomachs be in charge of ordering. But it won't be the last time we eat at Virgil's!
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