Pride And Joy: Pride and joy BBQ

Pride And Joy: Pride and joy BBQ

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A Southern Barbecue Champion In New York: Myron Mixon

Update: Myron Mixon is no longer affiliated with Pride and Joy BBQ, according to various reports.

The midday sunlight cascades through the windows of a landmark Lower East Side building in Manhattan, streaming over Myron Mixon‘s broad shoulders as he speaks in his distinct southern Georgia accent. We’re sitting in a room that used to be part of Lucky Chengs, the infamous cabaret and dinner theater. When it opens next month, the whole spot will have been completely made over into a Southern roadhouse and big-time barbecue joint named Pride and Joy BBQ, with Mixon and his trademark grills on the stage in lieu of Chinese drag queens.

If it all seems incongruous, it is, but then New York City is a cauldron of change and, well, inconguousness. It’s also a magnet for the top culinary talents in any field, and while the arrival of the three-time national barbecue champion and TV personality Mixon isn’t exactly Thomas Keller opening Per Se in Midtown, Pride and Joy is part of the continuum of major food dudes wanting to bring it to the grand stage that is the Big Apple.

Mixon doesn’t shirk the spotlight. Before the doors to Pride and Joy even opened, he cut a hole in the roof and installed gargantuan rotisserie grills (and documented the whole thing on YouTube, of course) they’ll be on a sort of stage where he and his chefs will cook-slash-perform for hungry crowds. Here, in our latest FR Interview, Mixon talks about how while others have tried to bring real-deal ‘cue to the Big City, they’re not, well, Myron Mixon.

Tell me about your mindset. You’re a barbecue champion and now you’re coming to the heart of downtown New York City as a restaurateur. What made you want to tackle this?
The thing is that barbecue has already come to New York City. It started probably 15 years ago and you’ve had several restaurants open since then. I haven’t ever eaten at them but I’ve known folks who have gone to the restaurants and a lot of them have thought they were good. I know if they think that those are good, they are going to think that this is wonderful. I’m doing authentic barbecue here and it’s not going to be something touristy.

It’s been an issue whether you can get good barbecue in New York. What is this place going to do for that whole argument?
Everybody has got his or her own opinion on what good barbecue is. It depends on where he or she was raised and what he or she likes. I don’t think anybody like me has come straight from the South and put a restaurant in New York City. I’m from Georgia.

And you learned there?
I was taught by my dad, who was taught by his dad, who was taught by his dad. My family came here in 1650. Poor people all the way through — sharecroppers — went all the way from Jamestown, Virginia through the Carolinas into Georgia. Some of them went further than that into Alabama. My family has been there and we do what we do, which is barbecue.

I took a quick tour of this space and there’s a lot of theatrical elements that you’re installing. Is that part of the deal — that you want to be on a stage and show off your barbecue skills?
That gets to the presentation part. You can have the best food in the world — and that saying, “if you build it, they will come,” is not necessarily true. You’ve got to build it where there are people and where there are a lot of different restaurants. You’re not only competing with other barbecue restaurants in the city, but you are competing with everybody that sells food. You’ve got to have a stage that makes people want to come — they have to get an experience. It has to be about the food, it has to be about the look, it has to be about how they feel when they come into the place.

And are your pitmasters going to be on display in that room?
Exactly. All those pits were made by my company — Myron Mixon Smokers — and we custom built those pits for this facility. They can cook 2,000 pounds of meat each, but they were also made to be part of a stage where the pitmasters themselves can be right there in front of the clientele.

Have you done some research on the barbecue in New York to see what you’re up against?
No. The only place that I’ve eaten at is Mighty Quinn’s, not far from here. Good guy and good food.

That’s got the most buzz out of the places in New York.
[Pitmaster Hugh Mangum] is passionate about what he’s doing. I was taken aback by it and I don’t go to any barbecue restaurants — I compete and travel all over the country. Whenever I go to Kansas City, everyone wants to take me on a tour of all the restaurants and I don’t go because I’m around barbecue all the time and I know who is the best — I don’t want to eat any more of it! But, I went that day to Mighty Quinn’s and the guy is passionate about what he is doing.

We talk a lot on Food Republic about how grilling is an international pheonomenon. Would you go out on a limb and say that American barbecue is the best barbecue in the world?
As far as my perspective, yes. It’s getting to be worldwide. It’s the chic thing and trendy food out there now. But it’s also the food that people can do at home in their backyards – that’s what makes it so cool. People might not be able to do it to the degree we do it here at Pride and Joy, but they can go out in their backyard and do some grilling and smoking and everybody can relate to that. You might love to eat French food, but not everybody can go and do French food at their house.

What about smoking? That’s such a key element to your persona as a chef. What can the average guy do with his charcoal or gas grill to use smoke in a way that most people overlook?
The thing about it is that if you don’t have a real smoker, you’re limited in how you can apply smoke to meats. If you have a charcoal grill like a Weber, you can do some smoking with water-soaked chips or chunks in there mixed with charcoal. If you have a gas grill, you can go ahead and take some aluminum foil, perforate it and make a basket with some water-soaked chips, put it over one of the burners, let that do your smoking on the side and cook your meat on a side where you keep your burners down. They’re not lit and you’re doing an indirect heat type of process, as well as smoking. You can do some things that might not be as good as you’d get from a traditional smoker, but it’s still going to be good.

I noticed that there is a lot of wood piled down near your grills here in the restaurant. What kind of wood do you like to use?
Georgia peach wood. That’s hard to get up here and the closest cousin we can find is wild cherry. It does a great job and we use it in our restaurant in Miami [the first Pride and Joy opened there in December]. I love fruit woods and the reason is that it gives a mild, smoky flavor but it doesn’t overpower the meat.

Is this a certain type of Southern barbecue or are you more across the board?
I’m more across the board and let me tell you why. Regional barbecue was still very prominent about 20 years ago but it’s not there now. You can go into Georgia, into Alabama, into the Carolinas, into Texas and you could find some pockets of rural areas that still have what they were doing 50 or 60 years ago. But because people move so much, you get a blend of different regions and different flavor profiles and I think that’s a good thing. If we kept all those little regions, barbecue wouldn’t be what it is today.

What about the location? Coming to 1 st Ave. and 1 st St. in New York — a lot of people knew this location as Lucky Cheng’s which I’m sure wouldn’t go over so well in certain parts of Georgia.
This was luck on our part because you couldn’t be in a better spot. The Lower East Side is where everything is happening. People who have lived there all their lives may not like it, but it’s beginning to be the trendy place to come in New York, as far as clubs, nightlife, stores and restaurants opening up here. I’m so glad we got here and it was built in the 󈧘s, which is pretty cool.

You’re a judge on American Pitmasters along with Aaron Franklin, who’s making the most hyped-up barbecue down in Austin. What’s the secret beyond him just being good? Is there something on his grill that makes the flavor that much better?
Well, he’s been there three years so it can’t be the imparting of his flavor on the grills. He’s just a good pitmaster — he’s got his recipes and he’s got his technique. He does it in a very small location and cooks the same amount of food everyday. He’s got a plan that he likes and one that works. [See: Aaron Franklin On Why People Wait 3+ Hours For His Barbecue.] Me? I want a place big enough that can fit everyone who wants to come in and I want a place for them to sit down. I want to be able to serve as much food as I have to in order to make sure that everybody has got food and has got great food.

Do you feel like there are advantages or disadvantages to being known from TV? You talked about getting people influenced by the way things look, but aren’t they also influenced by celebrity?
Correct, you’re right about that. I’ve been doing TV since 2007 and I’ve done a lot with Discovery. BBQ Pitmasters is the most well-known barbecue show out there and it started it all. More networks now are coming out with their own — and imitation is always considered the best form of flattery. People do recognize me and know I’ve been on these barbecue shows on TV. You will have x amount of people come through these doors based on that more o than how it looks or anything else. That’s a great advantage for getting people into your restaurant, to buy your product and to pay attention to you. With that being said, it also puts a target on your back.

Especially in New York City…
Yes, it does. New York City isn’t like anywhere else in the world as far as food goes. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but you don’t get second chances here. You have to be on point the second the door opens. You have such great food here that everybody is going to compare you on those levels and it doesn’t necessarily have to be barbecue restaurants – you’re going to be compared against every great restaurant in the city.

You’ve won three world championships and are one of the most acclaimed barbecue chefs in the world. Do you have aspirations as a chef? Do you want Pride and Joy to get reviewed in major publications?
Yes. I want this restaurant here in New York to be considered the best in its category for what it does. I want it to be considered the best, hands down.

Miami opened up late last year. Was that always set up as a test run for this?
It always was. We wanted to come to New York and Chicago. And that’s not to say that we won’t go to Chicago and open one there. Miami was going to be the easiest place for us to work out the kinks. You don’t get second chances in this city. There are a lot of cities — Miami being one — that are more forgiving. You need to do research and development somewhere other than New York. We did that and that’s why we’re ready to come in here.

And you’re coming in big?
We’re coming in big. It’s either go big or go home.

This Food Republic Interview is presented by our friends at Ribera Wines

Fried Pickles

$9 for a beer. A Modelo. Need I say more? Don't let them get you like they did me, because the beer prices aren't on the menu. Rookie mistake, me. And $17 for a BBQ cheesesteak?! Come on. It was good, no doubt, but it's a friggen cheesesteak. There better be 2 lbs of pork on that thing to be $17, which there was not.

$65 after tip for 3 beers, one cheesesteak and fries and a order of fried pickles . Your going to part with your wallet at this place.

Others will see how you vote!

This has probably been the worse restaurant experience of my life. Let me paint the picture for you. My coworkers and I decide to go to P&J for lunch today. We get there around 1pm and are seated right away, 15 mins go by when our orders are finally taken, despite the fact that place was empty. But ok, til this point things weren't that bad. They started to go downhill when we had to wait 45 mins for the appetizer to come out (we ordered fried pickles ) and when it did it was just batter, there were no pickles . We called the waiter over to show him to which he said let me go to the kitchen to talk to them and comes back with 3 of our orders. One of the dishes wasn't even cooked! At this point, we got up and left because we had spent an hour and 10 mins just to get uncooked food. Not going back to that place again!

Others will see how you vote!

Unfortunately, you can't give 0 stars. Can't even begin to explain my disappointment with this place. Went for lunch, and the place was empty. 45 minutes after placing our order, no food had arrived. When asked whether our food would be out soon, the waiters response was a very short "yes". 5 minutes later - our appetizers arrived ( fried pickles which had not been fried ). 10 min after that - one plate of uncooked, raw ribs was placed in front of my coworkers lap. Needless to say, we walked out. Worst part of the experience had to be the fact that the waiter was not at all courteous or empathetic to the situation. We ordered Papa Johns. Pride & Joy, just. no.

Others will see how you vote!

Every time I eat here I can't think I'll be anymore disappointed than the time before and always give it another chance. Last time.

I came with a party of 10 people at 1pm. There were maybe 5 other people in the entire restaurant at this time. After waiting for a half hour for any food including appetizers to show up someone nicely asked the waiter where our food was and he was dismissive. When our appetizer showed up after 45 minutes- fried pickles - they tasted like glue and had undercooked breading. When someone else finally went in to speak to our waiter after another 20 minutes passed (We were outside), he scrambled to bring 3 plates out. A complete rack of ribs was brought out undercooked. There was zero explanation or apology. We decided to leave after seeing this before the rest of our food was brought out.

My boss, trying to avoid any confrontation went to go ahead and pay the entire bill while the rest of us left. Astonishingly, the restaurant actually took his money for everything we ordered except for two plates. No idea how this place survives but it was the most horrible customer service I have experienced.

Others will see how you vote!

Things have changed. while Pride & Joy is under new management, has new staff (including kitchen personnel) they have decided to hold onto the menu which made Pride &a Joy popular. Lunch was not yummy at all. I've eaten at Pride and Joy four times in the past and came today because I enjoyed each and every meal prior. Pick your menu disaster: an over cooked burger, soggy fried pickles (sliced in spears), dry Mac and bac, salty non burnt burnt ends, and dry toast masquerading as Texas toast. In an attempt to make amends the manager offered Fried Oreos. uh, no. Leave me with my memories of the delicious fried Oreos I enjoyed on my last visit. If you've visited in the past, know that the food is no where near the same.

Others will see how you vote!

  • Jason M.
  • Hollywood, FL
  • 7 friends
  • 94 reviews
  • 51 photos

We sit down at 115pm on Sunday and the first thing out of the waiters mouth is "sorry but no pulled pork". Come on, you dont run out of the number 1 item first thing at lunch. The kitchen is badly managed. You can tell by speed of the food, no primary item and condiments not prepped.

My 12 year old daughter ordered Mac and Back which is mac n cheese with baby back rib pieces. Excellent but not much "back" in there.

My 4 year old son had the popcorn chicken which was whole chicken pieced flouredand fried . The were actually really good. Some dark chicken in there so beware.

My wife and i split the brisket cheesesteak andsome fried pickles . Both very good. However no horseradish sauce that was supposed to come with it. Waiter said they didnt prep it and instead brought me a cup of horseradish. No the same.

My daughters food came first (about 20 minute wait) and she finished before the rest of the food came.

This place looks like it used to be good. Probably was good and turned into a night spot and they forgot about food quality. It has now gone down hill in both ways.

The waiter was slow. The soda wasnt working either so we sent back the Sprite. Place looked dirty. All the tv screens were real dirty. No management on site and no one cleaning anything.

Looks like most recent reviews reflect mine. I say skip it and find something else.

Others will see how you vote!

So Disappointed!
Having eaten at Pride and Joy several times in the past four years we have always been very happy with the experience and the food. However, this latest (and our last) meal there, was terrible! So terrible in fact that we left without paying and our server didn't disagree when we told him!
The burnt ends were swimming in some sort of greasy liquid, along with chunks of fat. The formerly amazing ribs were tasteless and didn't even have a smokiness to them. The cornbread was dry and crumbly. The service was slow, at best. Our meals came out at all different times.
The deep fried pickles were good, although the fact that they were sweet pickles surprised me. The single item that was great was the ice cold Coke! (One star for the Coke). That being said, if you are thirsty you will want to go elsewhere, because you will have to wait a long time to get it.
Sadly, what was once a favorite eatery of ours, is no longer even on the list.

Others will see how you vote!

Worst service and it took over an hour to get our corn bread let alone our food. Our waitress (Desmari, I think) ignored us and we had to get the manager involved just to find out when our food was coming and decide whether we would stay. We didn't have refills for an hour so it was probably combination of bad waiter and kitchen service.

Food didn't taste great either - we had a half rack of ribs, bbq chicken arepa and fried pickles . And thats when we were already starving.

Don't waste the time (ie 2+hours) or money. Never coming back.

Others will see how you vote!

  • Edward L.
  • Miami, FL
  • 106 friends
  • 94 reviews
  • 121 photos

To much dismay I am rating Pride & Joy a 3-star coupled with the below disappointing review.
Anxiously visited on Father's day with my kids, wife and a couple good friends and I must say that if not for the excellent company I was in this visit would have been a total BUST!
I had read mixed reviews about this place but decided to not pass judgement until I actually ate here and had an opportunity to evaluate. Unfortunately, this place didn't make the cut!!
I consider myself more than a novice and less than an expert on BBQ. I've eaten BBQ from Key West to Providence from DC to California and all in between and I can say that this place is mediocre at best.

I won't go on and on about everything everyone at the table ordered I'll do you all one better and tell you what is good and what is NOT!
The brisket is dry and flavorless kind of reminiscent of what old shoe leather may taste like. The St.Louis style ribs oh boy let's just say they went back after one bite. Substituted those horrible ribs for pulled pork which was decent, texture and quantity good but lacked flavor. They were in much need of BBQ sauce to dock them up. The baby back ribs were OK, same dilemma lacked flavor and begged for a dousing of sauce.
The Mac& Cheese was delicious and creamy. The french fries & fried pickles were equally delicious.
The buffalo fried chicken sandwich seemed to be a hit which was indicative of the quick disappearing act it made at the table shortly after arriving. The friend who ate it moaned in delight but maybe that was because of her hot date the night before. I digress!!

The clear WINNER at the table was the Brisket cheese steak sandwich ahead by at least 10 car lengths (a car racing reference made in honor of my best bud Marky Mark). That sandwich overdosed in cheese, meat and excellent flavor was the true MVP.
The cocktails are grossly overpriced and weakly laced with actual alcohol.

In summation: If you want just "palatable" BBQ at inflated prices then Pride & Joy is the place for you. If you want a sure thing on good baby back ribs then take yourself to any local Flanigan's to see how it's done and done right.

Myron Mixon lawsuit puts opening of Pride and Joy BBQ in question at former Lucky Cheng's space

As we first reported last November, celebrity BBQ chef Myron Mixon was going to open a restaurant/saloon in the former Lucky Cheng's space on First Avenue. (Read that post here.)

After months of renovations, Mixon and company held a preview at the space on May 21. which prompted a four-star Yelp review. Everything seemed to be ready to go. On May 29, the Pride and Joy NYC Facebook page announced that they'd be "opening soon."

In recent weeks, someone removed the Facebook page. The Pride and Joy BBQ website is now "under construction." And the space has sat mostly dormant in recent months. the East Second Street side has all the hallmarks of a stalled business — a broken window and door. and a Wacky Wok menu.

Turns out that there was a good reason for the inactivity: Mixon has reportedly parted ways with the restaurant that bears his name. (A location opened in North Miami Beach last November.)

The Daily Meal notes that Pride and Joy's fate here has now been thrown into question.

Pride and Joy BBQ Wins Liquor License for Lucky Cheng's Space Amid Lawsuit

By Chris Shott

Special to DNAinfo New York

EAST VILLAGE &mdash A Southern-style barbecue spot is still in the works for the former Lucky Cheng's space on First Avenue &mdash even after celebrity chef Myron Mixon left the project and sued.

Pride and Joy BBQ just won a liquor license to open a sprawling two-level, 220-seat "draft house" and "honky-tonk" featuring three bars along with plenty of barbecue, according to documents submitted to the State Liquor Authority.

The late-night eatery at 24 First Ave. was on the verge of opening last May &mdash and even held a preview event with Mixon, a cookbook author and judge of the popular reality TV show "BBQ Pitmasters" &mdash but the plans disintegrated as Mixon sued his would-be partners for trademark infringement and breach of contract.

The litigation is ongoing, but a lawyer for Pride and Joy BBQ presented updated plans for a restaurant without Mixon to the State Liquor Authority last week. During the Oct. 8 hearing, lawyer Ravi Ivan Sharma said the venue would have a very different vibe from Lucky Cheng's.

&ldquoIt&rsquos not going to be a drag-queen establishment like the last licensee,&rdquo Sharma said. &ldquoBut they do intend to host some live music and DJs for special events on occasion.&rdquo

Sharma did not say when the owners hoped to open the 'cue joint. The owners and Mixon did not respond to requests for comment.

The restaurant was originally conceived to feature Mixon's renowned barbecue recipes. A similar Pride and Joy eatery, which heavily promoted the Mixon connection, opened in Miami last October.

But in August, Mixon sued the owners of both the New York and Miami restaurants, accusing them of misappropriating his name and likeness, in addition to trademark infringement and breach of contract.

Restaurateurs Mike Saladino, Chris Mayer, Paul Thielecke, Jose Santa and Pablo Cardenas have yet to formally respond to Mixon&rsquos charges, though the corporation&rsquos attorney has asked the court to partially dismiss the suit. Thielecke previously told The Daily Meal that Mixon and Pride and Joy were &ldquojust going in different directions, plain and simple.&rdquo

It was not immediately clear what effect the ongoing litigation would have on the opening of Pride and Joy BBQ in New York.

Beyond its chef troubles, Pride and Joy has also faced some neighborhood resistance.

Last December, Community Board 3 asked the SLA to deny Pride and Joy's liquor license, unless the owners agreed to hire security guards and keep windows closed, among other conditions.

Sharma said most of the conditions aren't a problem.

However, the main sticking point was the restaurant's hours of operation: Pride and Joy applied to stay open until 4 a.m. seven days a week, but CB3 pushed for the place to close at midnight during the week and at 2 a.m. on weekends.

Appearing before the SLA last week, Sharma insisted that an earlier last call was out of the question.

&ldquoThat&rsquos not what the applicant bargained for when they took on a very expensive lease,&rdquo he said. &ldquoThey knew that this had been a location that had been in the community for decades and had been a four-o&rsquoclock-in-the-morning restaurant, and that&rsquos what they intended to put in there and that&rsquos what they are going to put in there.&rdquo

The SLA agreed to a 4 a.m. closing time, as long as Pride and Joy agreed to serve food until 4 a.m. as well and followed all the other stipulations requested by CB3.

The restaurant&rsquos owners did not attend last week&rsquos hearing because, according to Sharma, they were attending the grand opening of Pride and Joy&rsquos second Miami-area location.

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Report: Pride and Joy BBQ partners suing landlord Hayne Suthon for $22 million

[East 2nd Street side of the dormant Pride and Joy BBQ site]

There's yet another legal battle involving the yet-to-open Pride and Joy BBQ on First Avenue.

Celebrity BBQ chef Myron Mixon was going to open a restaurant/saloon in the former Lucky Cheng's space. (Read that post here.) But a subsequent lawsuit between Mixon and his partners put the debut in doubt.

However, his remaining partners decided to move forward with a 220-seat "draft house" and "honky tonk" featuring three bars and about 20 TV screens, per DNAinfo. (The SLA approved a liquor license for the space with a 4 a.m. closing time in October.)

Now, as Serena Solomon first reported last week at DNAinfo, the owners of Pride and Joy BBQ are suing building landlord Hayne Suthon for allegedly lying about the building's condition and then attempting to evict them from the location for demanding repairs. The BBQ group is seeking $22 million in damages.

Pride and Joy BBQ, which has an operating location in Miami, . has so far invested $3.1 million in the space, including renovations, repairs and $600,000 in rent, according to court documents.

When fitting out the space, Pride and Joy BBQ discovered "almost too many structural deficiencies to count, and the extent of the problem was vast," according to legal documents.

The lawsuit lists issues such as termite infestation, deteriorating structural frames and a leaking roof and walls.

Pride and Joy BBQ recently stopped paying its rent while attempting to broker a deal on the repair costs with Suthon, which prompted Suthon to threaten to evict the restaurant, according to documents.

Suthon, who has lived at the address, 24 First Ave. since 1989, denied the allegations. She moved Lucky Cheng's to West 52nd Street in the fall of 2012.

The lawsuit seems a little … weird.

As we wrote before, the space was seemingly ready for BBQ action, after crews previously gut-renovated away the former Bento Burger and Lucky Cheng's. There was even a preview event here with Mixon back in May… which prompted the one Yelp review, a four-star affair in which the author stated: "The pork belly mac and cheese was equally exquisite. I can imaging filling a large, clean tub with this delightful concoction and then diving in and eating my way out."

And what about the giant rotisserie that workers installed in early 2013? There was even a press event for it… (No one noticed "deteriorating structural frames" then?)

Despite the opening preview party, workers gutted the space down to nothing in the fall. If the restaurant was good to go last May, then why did the remaining partners decide to rip everything down to the bare walls and floor?

Watch the video: Pride and Joy (August 2022).