FiDi: It's been just over a week since avant-garde dessert man Will Goldfarb opened up his barbeque trailer Picnick, Smoked in Wall Street Park. In that short time, the place has been totally swarmed: people have gleefully submitted themselves to endless waits on steamy summer days (fully accepting that there might not be any food left by the time they get their orders in) just to get a taste of mad scientist Goldfarb and partner Kevin Pomplun's Kobe beef brisket, pulled pork, and Bobo Farms smoked chicken. By the looks of things, it's been worth it...for the most part.
The Fantastic News: The three reviews for the place on Menupages are just full of praise. For your reading pleasure, an epic review from user Greg H: "Unholy Goodness. Have been eating this for days. My wife has been complaining that I have the “itis” but it’s no use. My breathe smells of charcoal and barbeque sauce and I my colleagues are visibly moving their belongings further and further away from my desk every day. Yesterday, a chunk of unswallowed beef fell from one of my fillings into my mouth – it was like Christmas. I’ve spent my the equivalent of last month’s mortgage payment as an upfront payment for a daily supply of pulled pork. I have no choice. My body pines for the smoky goodness. I have no hope – I am sailing farther and farther along past the point of no return. I’ve eaten so much barbequed pig sometimes I feel like oinking. Still, I bear no ill will. Thank God for this truck!" Out. Of. Control. [Menupages]
The Bad News: DBTH writes in: "Was in the FiDi on official business and decided to check out P-Smoked. After waiting in line for about an hour (11:30 - 12:30), got to the cart to discover that they had run out of Kobe brisket. The pulled pork was extremely average to below average, and cole slaw was swimming in dressing. But its tough to expect more from a cart. Like most things here, way overhyped and muy underwhelming." [Eater Inbox]
The Pretty Great News: Although there are only three reviews for it so far, things are looking good for the truck on Yelp. One user raves: "The pulled pork from Picnick, Smoked is some of the best I've ever had. Hell, it's better than mine and people seriously love my pulled pork! Theirs is smoky, slightly sweet and bordering on unctuous; I ate my sandwich slowly dreading the inevitable end. We're talking damn good pork. Sometimes pulled pork is dry, sometimes it is wet to the point of being gooey with sauce. Theirs was nearly perfect." He isn't as impressed by the picnick slaw, which "was a bit heavy on the cider vinegar" and, like most, warns that you're gonna be waiting quite a while to get your order in. [Yelp]
The Okay News: One Yelper isn't so impressed: "Good food, doesn't seem like it was seasoned long enough but still very good. I got the beef brisket, it seemed overly dry and my friend got the pulled pork which he really only liked when he put the cole slaw on it...we stood in line for 40 minutes in 89 degree weather and under those circumstances, it's not worth it.. but if the line was shorter, and the shake machine is working, I would totally have it again!" [Yelp]
The Mostly Good News (With Food Porn): Midtown Lunch enlists the help of Daniel Krieger, who decides to take an early lunch andchronicle his experience waiting in the seemingly endless line. He gets there too late to try the Kobe brisket, but finds the smoked chicken to be "extremely tender...it was a bit greasy, but that’s what the bread is for." The verdict: "Well, if you’re willing to take an early lunch (meaning show up by like 11:30 the latest, and just wait for them to open) I don’t think you’re going to get better BBQ anywhere Downtown." [ML]
The Fuckin' Awesome News: The Voice's Robert Sietsema give it his seal of approval: "Even though it appeared to come from a steam table, the brisket was fuckin' awesome, a thick char on the outside, tender inside, and smoky as all get out...The pulled pork was almost as good...Of course, no one in the history of barbecue has ever made good smoked chicken, because the skin turns into rubber. Such was the case with Picnick's, which you should remedy by rolling off the skin and throwing it away." [Fork in the Road]
— Gabe Ulla