Low and slow is the way to go at Bailey’s, where two smokers produce mouthwatering barbecue seven nights a week
Photograph by Roy Gumpel
Its real name is The Bailey’s Blauvelt Inn, but, ever since owner Paul Bailey, who has owned the spot for 20 years, introduced the smokehouse menu in 2006, everyone just calls it Bailey’s Smokehouse. Or sometimes Bailey’s Barbecue. That’s because barbecue has truly taken over the menu.
“A few years ago, Mr. Bailey came across a chef with some barbecue recipes that he let him try, and people loved it!” says manager Paul Butler, a Belfast native who once believed American food meant only hot dogs and hamburgers. Even though that chef is gone, all the recipes are written down in a little black barbecue book that is continually growing.
“We have two good-size smokers going seven nights a week,” says Butler. Here, you can get pulled pork, sure, but there’s also pulled chicken and pulled shortribs braised in a hearty whiskey sauce that gives it a buttery texture.
To mix it up, go with the sampler platter, with portions of ribs, pork, and fried chicken (choose white or dark meat). By the way, the fried chicken alone has a devoted following and is cooked in its own separate fryer (no onion rings or other fried foods ) to preserve its distinctive flavor.
For pure decadence, order the Texas-style lollipop: chunks of spicy, house-smoked sausages, wrapped in bacon and deep-fried. Don’t miss the corn soufflé side dish, says Butler. “You won’t get it anywhere else. It’s not a bread. It’s puffed up.”
The mac n’ cheese appetizer comes in an easy-to-eat deep-fried eggroll with bite-size chunks of pulled pork and ranch dressing for dunking. “After eating two or three of these, people struggle through dinner,” says Butler.
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If you make it to dessert, try the bread pudding with a white bourbon glaze sauce or a chocolate soufflé with raspberry truffles hiding inside.
Located in a converted 19th-century house, the restaurant itself has rustic charm, with two woodsy dining rooms downstairs and a lively upstairs bar scene with live music on the weekends. Speaking of the bar, the selection of craft domestic and imported beers is plentiful, and you can try a flight of four draft beers for $6. The restaurant plays host to the Lower Hudson Valley Craft Beer Festival each June, so plan ahead.
Plug in the GPS: This mecca is tucked away off Route 303 but just minutes away from the Palisades Center mall. “We get people as far as Southern New Jersey, Westchester, Long Island, and Connecticut,” says Butler. There’s also a butcher-shop branch in West Haverstraw that is more about takeout and does a brisk business in homemade sausage.
If you go…
136 East Erie St., Blauvelt