I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into by going to a barbecue restaurant on the Upper East Side. What I found was a genuine attempt at bringing regional barbecue to NYC. The menu offered options of Memphis and Kansas City style ribs and Texas smoked brisket in addition to your traditional southern fare of collard greens, yams, and macaroni and cheese.
My friend Nikki and I opted to start the meal with barbecued chicken wings and fried pickles. The wings were covered in a sweet barbecue sauce, but the fried pickles stole the show. Not many places in NYC offer this southern delicacy, so I am glad to see that the Neely’s operation is doing it well. The pickles were able to retain a sense of its original crispness all the while being fried.
After enjoying the appetizers, the main event arrived at our table: ribs! While my friend ordered the Memphis style ribs dry, I ordered the Memphis wet. Being a KC native, I was a little weary of the ribs in general, specifically the KC ribs described as St. Louis baby back ribs in a sweet and spicy sauce. No thank you. Fast forward to the order-the sauce was more along the lines of a KC style sauce and the meat was still on the moist side so I was pleasantly satisfied.
When I get that hankering for barbecue while in the city, I will definitely visit the Neely’s!