Our Man Sietsema and the Undercover Cops


This week, Our Man Sietsema checks out McWhorter Barbecue in Newark, which turns out to be an undercover cop hangout, much to Our Man’s surprise. The barbecue is of the Portuguese churrascaria genre, which sizzles meat and poultry over very hot charcoal.

“Chicken barbecue is rarely astonishing. Either the skin is too rubbery, or the flesh too dry,” opines Our Man. I could not agree more. I can never understand why you’d order chicken at a barbecue joint. But this does sound like an exception:

But McWhorter pulls a hat trick by periodically splashing the skin with an oily spice mixture, and keeping the cooking time to a minimum—hence the frenetic spinning of the hand crank to keep the birds from burning. The chicken turns out juicy and slightly spicy, with a crisp, well-salted skin.

Well, okay, that sounds pretty good. Better yet:

And the sausage sandwich was bliss: a thick hunk of Portuguese chourico thrust among sautéed onions and peppers, clearly inspired by Italian street-festival heroes.

Beer is served on the sly here, presumably because undercover cops aren’t supposed to drink on the job.

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