Barbecue is smokin’ across Long Island. And, after all, this is National Barbecue Month. Here are three spots to enjoy a taste as you get ready for the official start of the season.
Maple Tree BBQ Smokehouse in Riverhead, an unadorned eatery where you can eat-in or take-out, has several ways to satisfy your hunger for ‘cue.” Recommended: pastrami (yes, pastrami); brisket; “burnt ends;” North Carolina-style pulled pork; Alabama-style pulled chicken; the Cubano sandwich with pulled pork shoulder; St. Louis ribs; combo meats platters; cornbread; jalapeno pickles. Inexpensive to moderate.
Maple Tree BBQ Smokehouse, 820 W. Main St., Riverhead, 631-727-2819, mapletreebbq.com
Mara’s Homemade in Syosset specializes in Arkansas-style barbecue, Cajun dishes, and southern fare, to eat-in or take-out. Recommended: chopped brisket; pulled pork; smoked chicken; St. Louis ribs; baby back ribs; char-grilled oysters; crawfish-stuffed bread; smoked chicken wings; southern fried chicken; cheese grits; fried okra; chocolate cream pie. Moderate.
Mara’s Homemade, 236 W. Jericho Tpke. (Muttontown Plaza shopping center), Syosset, 516-682-9200, marashomemade.com
Swingbellys in Long Beach is upbeat, casual eatery with the beach nearby. Recommended” “burnt ends” chili; pulled pork platter; pork and brisket platter; baby back rib dinner; St. Louis rib dinner; “mac & Pete,” or burnt end brisket tossed with macaroni and cheese and topped with crisp onions; BBQ chicken; smoked meat tacos; smokehouse cheesesteak; skillet cheese; stuffed jalapenos. Moderate.
Swingbellys, 909 W. Beech St., Long Beach, 516-431-3464, swingbellyslongbeach.com