The Early Word: ‘Picnick Smoked’ Barbecue Truck at Wall Street Park


When I read in Eater about how the new barbecue truck on Wall Street was mobbed from the minute it opened, I had to scoot down there and see for myself. Sure enough, when I arrived at exactly 11:30, a line was already forming, though it was nothing like it would be by the time noon rolled around, when the office workers sprint to the small yellow trailer, planted near the corner of Wall and South streets in what is technically a city park. Picnick Smoked–one of its names–puts out tables with pretty red-checked tablecloths, too.

The offerings are modest, including three types of barbecue, potato salad, coleslaw, and free homemade pickles, some sweet, some sour. Each dose of ‘cue comes with a split length of baguette smeared with garlic butter. Brilliant. The cart is the brainchild of Picnick, a sandwich kiosk in Battery Park.

I was prepared to be skeptical, since few things called barbecue sold from a cart are any good. Even though it appeared to come from a steam table, the brisket was fuckin’ awesome, a thick char on the outside, tender inside, and smoky as all get out.

The pulled pork was almost as good. Though it came already smeared with barbecue sauce, quasi-Carolina style, that’s the way folks who like pulled pork want it.

Of course, no one in the history of barbecue has ever made good smoked chicken, because the skin turns into rubber. Such was the case with Picnick’s, which you should remedy by rolling off the skin and throwing it away. Though the chicken was my least favorite, I took it home and it made great sandwiches that evening.

Barbecue sauces are available, but I don’t touch them. The coleslaw and potato salad were decent, but marred by the use of sour cream instead of good ole mayo.

Still, it’s the thick-cut brisket I’ll be dreaming of.

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