Let’s be honest – good BBQ is hard to get…especially up here on the east coast, in New Jersey. I happened upon Louie’s BBQ Pit for a reunion for a travel group I went to Peru with, or Mountain Warriors, as we like to call ourselves. Part of that group happens to include the awesome Ms. Jen Morilla a.k.a The Social Girl Traveler and yes, this joint is owned and operated by her dad, but my opinion is 100% honest, as it always is. Her dad’s Cuban recipes have deep roots at this humble, eat-at-the-bar restaurant. From the flavors to the preparation methods, Louie has combined traditions with exceptional ingredients for that homey-feel, truly delicious BBQ.
My choice was the brisket, which I requested to be served with rice and beans. It was unbelievably soft, juicy, and flavorful – all a result of a lot of preparation and a lot of time in the smoker. Louie does it right – he takes the time, invests in the ingredients, and as a result, produces delicious BBQ that needs absolutely no sauce. I, as a chef, have incredible respect and appreciation for this cooking method, as it is extremely time-consuming and labor intensive, and I myself would never be able to endure the hardships of producing perfectly smoked meat. I’ve been told that that is the biggest compliment I can give, so I am, in all honesty, praising the quality and simplicity of the dishes. All you really need is a good beer or a nice red wine and you’re all set.
I did get a taste of Louie’s special sauce with a serving of pork ribs – he, of course, as any true chef, did not disclose all the ingredients, but instead had me guess the base of the sauce, which I assumed, from the initial taste, to be apple or peach. Turns out it was guava, a fruit I’ve eaten very few times, so my usually-keen senses did not pick up on that secret. Regardless, the sauce was very well-balanced and served as a perfect compliment to the pork.
Whatever your choice of protein is, you can’t go wrong at this place. The menu is super simple, but that’s all you need, and they have some great sides to go with your BBQ. They also have delivery – so if you live in the area and don’t want to get out of your slippers, just give them a call or check out their website. I recommend ordering ahead of time and picking up, especially for a large family meal.