Fletcher’s pulled pork sandwich comes closest to ones FiTR has eaten in Raleigh, NC and Lexington, NC.
The city has made many strides BBQ-wise in the last two decades. I can point to a half-dozen places that do excellent beef brisket, Texas style, and there are no shortages of pits that do great pork ribs in the styles of Kansas City, St. Louis, and Memphis. But the one thing that has never quite been accurately reproduced in area barbecues is the iconic pork sandwich, served in a hamburger bun with vinegary cole slaw on top in North and South Carolina.
FiTR has eaten scores of facsimiles in New York and in the surrounding states, and none did the traditional proud. Until now. It’s kinda hidden on the chalkboard menu, but you can get a near-perfect Carolina-style sandwich at Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, located on Third Avenue in the Gowanus neighborhood, just a pie’s throw from Four & Twenty Blackbirds, which should suggest an itinerary for your evening.
Cunningly, Fletcher’s doesn’t list the pork shoulder that sits in plain sight in the glass-fronted warming case among its by-the-pound meats. Rather, the only reference is to a pork sandwich, and it turns out that sandwich is made with a hamburger bun. When you order it, the slicer will drag some pieces of meat off the shoulder, then chop them perhaps a little finer that he needs to, but that is a matter of personal preference. Then he puts the meat on the bun, ladles over what looks like chile-flecked vinegar. Almost as an afterthought, he’ll turn to you and ask, “Do you want slaw on that?”
“Hell,yes,” you say!
Here’s what the smoked pork shoulder looks like, all chopped up. You can see the flavor.
The rack of ribs nudges the pork shoulder, just above it.
Hungry for dessert? Read Tejal Rao’s investigation of the pastries at nearby Runner & Stone.
Follow me on Twitter if you dare — @robertsietsema