We finally got around to getting over to Townline BBQ last Friday night. Townline is the latest restaurant to come from Nick and Toni's who not only have their own restaurant but also have ownership in La Fondita in Amagansett and Rowdy Hall in East Hampton. Actually 3 of the better restaurants in the Hamptons.
Townline is on the corner of Townline Road and Montauk Highway. They took over the building or what we left of it and created a pretty sweet spot. A small wooden structure filled with picnic tables inside and out. Take out or eat in. Set up similar to a fast food spot. A handful of registers where you place your order. Behind them is where the food is being made. Once you order, they give you a small black ringer that goes off when your food is ready. Very similar to BBQ joints in Texas although there, the food is generally sitting out ready to be dished out like a school cafeteria.
No surprises, we ordered almost everything on the menu so we could get a good sampling of the fare. The menu is quite simple. Beef, Pork, Other Stuff, Sides and Dessert. We ordered beef ribs, pork ribs, brisket, pulled pork, burnt ends ( the burnt part of the pulled pork), collard greens, spicy bread and butter pickles and corn bread. I thought we ordered the cole slaw but I guess we forgot.
The corn bread is dense and buttery. Good to share even though one order is only a large square, if you ate the entire piece there might not be any room for anything else. The collard greens are OK. Sauteed greens that have been spiced up with some ham hock pieces. Loved the spicy bread and butter pickles. Thinly sliced with a nice flavor and good kick.
OK, here goes on the meats. BBQ is a tough one for me. I make BBQ and have for years. When it comes to BBQ, I think I can go head to head with most restaurants and so does my family. The beef ribs were a bit dry and not that interesting. The pork rib were better, had more meat than I expected on them but again, not that great. The pulled pork was good but could have been juicier and not cut into pieces but literally pulled. The burnt ends were good. Crispy and truly burnt. The brisket which you can order lean or fatty was juicy, not dry and sliced perfectly. As an overall, the meats all just taste the same. The meats just weren't flavorful. The brisket should taste rich and juicy, the pork should taste like pork and the beef should taste like beef. I sound like Willy Wonka but everything just tasted the same.
The biggest disappointment which we all gave a big thumbs down to was the BBQ sauce. BBQ sauce with true BBQ should be thin and vinegary. It should compliment the flavors of the BBQ. Not here. The sauce was thick and so overwhelming that all you tasted was sauce which wasn't so good.
I like what they did. I really like the space and concept. As for the food, eh. Needless to say, I plan on having a serious BBQ fest in a few weeks with brisket and pulled pork. After Townline, I am in need of a serious BBQ fix.