john brown smokehouse. 2.


john brown smokehouse.


reminiscent of their original decor.

I am making good on my promise and blogging about my recent visit to John Brown Smokehouse’s new location. My last review was on September 4, 2011 entitled “John Brown Smokehouse. Wow.” The sentiment still holds only now there is more space to enjoy the food in! They kept the charm of their smaller location with the red and white plaid table clothes and their “Come and take it” wall hanging against a brick wall and yet they stepped it up a few notches with more emphasis on John Brown through a wall of framed photos a nook of books and according to the certificate on the wall they even have a lock of his hair.

Unfortunately my photos are a sub-par representation of their beautiful food and ambiance but here goes.

So let’s get to the food review. I cannot emphasize enough that I am not a food reviewer and that my tastes are my own. Also, I didn’t put proper effort or attention to the photos I was snapping so they really don’t do the food justice here. Learn more about the restaurant’s famous namesake abolitionist at the PBS website. moving on…


view of their new and improved counter with more space for the staff to work and process orders.

  • pulled pork – again, I tend not to choose this for myself ever and yet it continues to amaze with the tenderness, juicy-ness, and punch of flavor that comes from this dish.
  • burnt ends – i love that these are not overly fatty in their texture and yet the flavor that you want from the fat really comes through.
  • brisket – delicious. the meat was not too fatty, not too dry, and the portion was ridiculously large (which is never a bad thing).
  • turkey – yum. seriously, again a large portion and very tasty and savory.
  • fries – (previous review stands) “pretty conventional but tasty”
  • cole slaw – i find that every time I mention cole slaw I say that it isn’t really my thing but maybe it is my thing seeing as how I have some really strong opinions about it. This was very spicy and crunchy and I was very happy to be enjoying it.
  • bread – looked like conventional white sliced bread. but of course it was infused with the awesomeness that comes from being inside a smokehouse.

turkey, brisket, cole slaw, bread.

burnt ends, pulled pork, fries, bread.

decor thoughts. The place is much bigger and so beautiful. I somehow have no photos of the amazing outdoor space that seats several tables and offers live music. I’m sure my husband grabbed a snap here or there.

As we enjoyed our meal a keyboardist and saxophonist were playing out there and because they were so good we couldn’t find an empty table in the patio but we chose an indoor table within good earshot. When they took a break Josh Bowen, the owner took to his Spotify account and filled the restaurant with some amazing music as well.

Aside from the name on the front awning the new restaurant is much more of an homage to John Brown than the last. With so much wall space they were able to put more attention to detail that just wouldn’t have fit in the old place. The red and white table cloths and brick walls carried over and so did the giant chalk board menu which were key elements in the original location. They clearly put a lot of sweat equity into the new space which really shows. They also added some touches that are very popular right now like using unconventional objects as lamp shades but nothing was heavy-handed or cliché. I even thought they could add tables to the space if they needed to but what do I know.




john brown.


book nook.


john brown wall.

go eat there.

About clarissa

I'm a girl from Texas living in New York since October 2010. I fell in love with New York City on a business trip here in April 2009. I had to drag my husband along for the ride at first but just a few hours on his own while I was at the conference and he was completely on board. He began texting me mundane things like the price of milk and the quality of produce so that I could see it wasn't so much different than Austin. What are the chances that after just one week in New York two people would leave with the exact same resolution to one day live there? We did. Just about 18 months later we signed a lease on a new apartment and started a new chapter in our lives. This blog will hopefully give me a chance to document our adventures in New York as well as to share my perspective on the same using photos and stories. enjoy.
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