“There’s real barbecue in Middlesex County!” Doug Walsh says excitedly over the phone.
The owner of Jersey Shore BBQ in Belmar opened a second location, in East Brunswick, earlier this month, and he couldn’t be happier.
“We’ve been jammin,’ ” Walsh says happily. “We opened up to lines out the door.”
Jersey Shore BBQ has been on my list of N.J.’s best BBQ joints for several years running. The state’s reputation as a barbecue wasteland is slowly improving, with Red White & Que in Kearny, my top BBQ newcomer of the past year, opening a second location, in Scotch Plains, in February.
Jersey Shore BBQ’s new store, on Tices Lane, replaces a Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, which lasted less than two years. Walsh’s biggest challenge was working with the smoker at Dickey’s — an Old Hickory, in contrast to the Southern Pride smoker he uses in Belmar. The Old Hickory smokes drier, he says, while the Southern Pride produces more moisture.
“We’re sourcing our wood,” Walsh explained. “I’m in cherry groves and apple orchards picking up wood.”
There will be slight menu differences between the Belmar and East Brunswick locations — no burgers and quesadillas at the latter, among other things. But you’ll find all the BBQ standards in East Brunswick – St. Louis and baby back ribs, pulled pork and chicken, pork belly, mac and cheese, wings, brisket. Especially brisket.
“The word’s out about our brisket,” Walsh said. “It’s selling 3-1 over pulled pork.”
The East Brunswick location is open 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. seven days a week.