Char No.4

Char No.4
Meat and whiskey! Thats all you need to know about Char No.4. Oh and I guess their shrimp and grits are pretty good too oh and fried cheese curds. And that pretty much the reasons what brought me, Howard, Matt and Anh to Char No.4 or at least for me. I have heard many good things about their shrimp and grits but what I really wanted was MEAT. Howard showed interest when he found out they served fried cheese curds. He had some amazing ones in his Wisconsin trip.

So we went on a Thursday night and surprisingly we were all on time! Really rare that happens, eh I guess I’m always 30mins late to everything. We went in and got seated right away. The waiter quickly told us that they were out of the smoked half chicken and it was only 8:15pm. I took a lot longer than usual to finally decide what I wanted. But here’s what we all got.

Here’s what Howard thought:
Last year when I went to visit my sister in Wisconsin, I discovered the best bar food ever — deep fried cheese curds. I wished at the time that someone would bring them to NYC. Then a few months ago I read a blog post on Goodies First about Char No. 4 which serves deep fried cheese curds right here in Brooklyn. I immediately put Char No. 4 onto my list of places to go in 2010.
Char No.4

Photo by Howard

I didn’t really do any research into the place, so I assumed it was just a bar of some sort. When we finally decided to go I went and looked at the website and realized that Char No. 4 is a full-fledged restaurant, specializing in barbecue and bourbon.

I started my meal with the curds, but I was a bit disappointed. They weren’t nearly flavorful enough; in order to stand up to the beer, they should be salty and greasy. The “spicy pimento sauce” served with them tasted like thin ranch dressing with a spritz of hot sauce in it. Give me tiger blue sauce any day.

There is only one vegetarian option on the entree menu: crispy sweet potato gnocchi, served on a bed of mushrooms and spinach. While everything was pretty good, nothing really seemed outstanding. I did enjoy the textural component of the gnocchi — the crispy outside leading to the soft, pillowy inside — but the flavor seemed a little dull. I snagged some maple butter off of Donny’s plate to dip the gnocchi into.

We did have a bunch of good whiskey, so maybe it’s better to visit Char No. 4 as a bar, and ordering food if you get hungry.
Fried cheese curdsFried gnoochi

Matt started off with the Smoked & Fried Pork Nuggets with char no. 4 hot sauce and had the House Smoked Brisket with pickled cabbage, beer cheese & side of potato salad.
Fried pork nuggetsBrisket sandwich

Anh got 2 sides bacon-braised kale and brussels sprouts with parmesan cheese.
Brussels sproutsKale

As for me, I got the duck special as the starter. Duck bacon, duck sausage and duck rillettes served with a salad and bread. Then I got the House smoked spare ribs with side of jalapeño-bacon cornbread and baked beans. After trying the “duck bacon” I think I’ll stick to regular bacon. Maybe I’m just so used to the great flavors of bacon that I was expecting the same from duck bacon. The sausage and rillettes were great, too bad it was a special and not part of the regular menu. The spare ribs were amazing. A little hard to eat with a fork and knife but I think the true winners were the honey butter and jalapeño-bacon cornbread. I would do anything ANYTHING for more.
Pork ribs
Duck starterPork ribs

So the other half of Char No.4 is their countless number of different whiskeys. We 2 flights, each flight had 3 different whiskeys. The Belmont Park flight had Woodford Reserve Master’s Seasoned Oak Finish, R1, and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel. The Churchill Downs flight had Parker’s Heritage 27 Year, Thomas H. Handy Rye, and George Dickel #8. They all tasted the same to me so maybe Matt or Howard can tell you what was good or maybe not because we couldn’t figure which glass was which.
Whiskey flight

Char No.4 196 Smith Street Brooklyn


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