If you’re lucky, you know someone with a charming backyard and a grill who will lure you over with homemade potato salad and grass-fed burgers. But for those who hate waiting for invites, several local restaurants and bars regularly open their gardens for BBQs — and some let you fire up the barbie yourself.
On the last weekend of every month, Flatbush Farm (76 St.Mark’s Avenue; 718-622-3276), on the Park Slope/Prospect Heights border, shows off their pretty garden with boisterous late afternoon barbeques. From 3 -7 pm Saturdays and Sundays, locals pop in and pay $4-$6 for mini burgers, spare ribs, barbeque brisket and grilled clams.
Occasionally, the folks at Red Hook’s Moonshine (317 Columbia Street; 718-422-0563) will fire up their grills for a cookout on the house, but for the most part, the two gas grills, charcoal grill and smoker for the slow-cooking inclined are at your disposal. They’ll supply the gas and wood chips — and utensils if you forgot to bring those — but you’ve got to buy the steak. (Just clean up after you’re done. It’s easy to forget this ain’t your backyard.)
It’s a similar operation at Williamsburg’s Iona (180 Grand Street, 718-384-5008): BYO food and charcoal to the bar’s lone grill for a private barbeque in their leafy backyard. Just call ahead and make sure no oneâ€™s using it, or you might be in for a wait.
Clinton Hill’s neighborhood watering hole Rope (415 Myrtle Avenue; 718-522-2899) will also let you light your own fire on their garden’s community grill. Even if another posse sets down their ketchup before you do, the laidback vibe makes for easy sharing. (Rope usually has plates and condiments on hand, but if youâ€™re particular about your burger, play it safe and bring your own mustard.) One caveat: Sun.-Tues., the backyard shuts down at 10, so make it a happy hour grill session.
If you’re feeling lazy and cheap, you have a standing invite to the Sunday eve BBQs at Williamsburg’s popular gay bar Metropolitan (559 Lorimer Street; 718-599-4444). Beginning at 5:30 pm, snatch up complimentary dogs and burgers (Don’t get too greedy — only one of each per person, please) and wash them down with the free-flowing strawberry daiquiris and $8 pitchers of beer.
But the hottest outdoor spectacle might be the monthly pig roast at Cherry Tree (65 Fourth Avenue; 718-399-1353) on the Slope’s gritty-but-getting-hip Fourth Avenue. On the first Saturday of each month, at around 9pm, patrons can head to the beer garden and feast their eyes on a 100- or 200-pound pig slow roasting away. Once the entertainment is over, the pig gets sliced up and handed out to the hungry.
Text by Alia Akkam.