Review of 'Virgil's Real BBQ'

In 2001, shortly before 9/11 I visited Virgil's “Read BBQ” restaurant, just a short distance away from Times Square. I was very happy with the food and surprised at how good a BBQ it really was. When we returned this year we just happened to be in the area so gave it another try. It was worth returning though the portions are quite big…

The buzzy interior is spread out over two floors. We were seated at bar-style seating very close to the bar with a clear view of the television though that is not what we were here for.

BBQ in the US Placemat

The menu is quite comprehensive covering BBQ specialities from all across the US. It is divided into starters, burgers, combination platters, sandwiches, “from our smokers”, “que plates”, “for the table” (sides) and desserts.

BBQ Combo

I knew the portions would be big so skipped over the starters and went right to the combination platter mains where I chose the “BBQ Combo” (any two from “Barbecued Pulled Chicken”, “Carolina Pulled Pork”, “Sliced Texas Beef Brisket”, “Memphis Style Pork Spare Ribs”, “Smoked BBQ 1/4 Chicken” and “Trash Ribs”; $27.95) where I picked the “Memphis Style Pork Spare Ribs” and the “Sliced Texas Beef Brisket”. Both were absolutely delicious with a huge amount of meat on the ribs (which is not always the case with ribs). The brisket was lovely and tender with a nice smokey flavour. This dish includes two sides and cornbread so for my two sides I chose mash potatoes with gravy (creamy and rich but not packed with flavour) and coleslaw (the tart variety - quite a nice taste contrast to the otherwise heavy protein plate in front of me).

Virgil's BBQ Salad

My companion opted for a salad but at Virgil's this is taken to extremes. She had the “Virgil's BBQ Salad” topped with “Barbecued Pulled Chicken”, “Carolina Pulled Pork” and “Sliced Texas Beef Brisket” ($19.95) which was completely overwhelming. The chicken did not appeal with it's overwhelming smokey flavour but otherwise the salad was delicious, if more than a bit too huge. She ultimately was unable to finish the dish, which was disappointing though she did manage to finish most of the meat piled high on the plate and make it to the actual green salad parts…

There was no way, despite being tempted by the waitress, that we were going to be able to take dessert so we raised our white flag and had our bill delivered. At just over $63 (excluding tip but including non-alcoholic drinks) it was a reasonably priced meal for the amount and quality of the food we had. The service was friendly and relaxed in a very hurried environment.


Truly great BBQ in the middle of NYC.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2020-02-24

Cuisine: Southern US

Address: 152 W 44th Street, New York City, New York 10036

Public Transport: NYCSUB Times Square

Location: New York (USA) - Broadway



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Telephone: (212) 921-9494