Of The Week
Pearson’s Texas BBQ, Legends Bar Is Perfect Match
It is said that legends aren’t born, they’re made. Pearson’s Texas BBQ has been legendary since its beginnings in a small town in Connecticut some 20 years ago. Founder Robert Pearson, who hails from London, set out to find his niche in the culinary world and honed his craft over the course of 20 years. The result is Pearson’s Texas BBQ, currently owned by Ellen Goldberg.
In 1998, Pearson’s set up their smoker in Legends Sports Bar on 35th Avenue in Jackson Heights. Bar owners John Morrissey and Jim and Frank Giannone opened Legends five years ago, serving a nightly convivial crowd with their 10 fresh beer taps, spirits and lots of live sporting events. Pearson’s Texas BBQ and Legends Sports Bar is a match made in heaven.
Texas-style barbeque involves fine quality beef, pork and chicken, dry-rubbed with a secret blend of spices and slow cooked in a smoker for hours. This process renders the leanest most succulent meat you’ll ever try. We were given a private tour of the smoker, and saw 700 pounds of meat rotating on racks. Fueled by hickory and oak wood over a slow, smoky fire. All meats are served with homemade barbeque sauce on the side, so as not to interfere with the natural-wood smoked flavor.
Pearson’s menu is short and sweet, just like their ribs. We were treated to a sampling of all they have to offer. We started with their famous barbequed brisket, slow cooked for 14 hours and served on a hefty Portugese roll. Pork shoulder is another fabulous dish that goes well with their homemade barbeque sauces, which range from mild to medium to mean to "mad"! Sauces are flavorful, but not as sweet and sugary as are most mass-produced sauces. A specialty of the house is the North Carolina style pork, served with a special sweet and sour sauce that truly complements the tender meat. We tried the ribs that were so tender that the meat came right off the bone. You could cut them with a butter knife!
Pearson’s also offers pulled pork, beef and chicken. After slow cooking, these meats are pulled off the bone and fall into shreds that are easily piled onto sandwiches. Put on as much or as little sauce as you like. For all this flavor and quality, these fabulous sandwiches cost only about $6.50. Barbequed chickens are sold whole or in portions. They’re great to eat in or take home. In fact, all Pearson’s barbeque specialties can be ordered to go by the pound to feed a hungry family or an office full of co-workers. Call in an order for pick up or stop by on your way home.
What goes well with barbeque? Crunchy cole slaw, creamy potato salad and wonderfully moist cornbread, fresh from the oven, are some options. Others include crunchy onion rings, crisp French fries, pork and beans and Yankee chili. An ice-cold beer from the tap is all that’s needed to complete a meal.
The staff at Legends Sports Bar is gregarious and makes everyone feel very welcome at this casual, come-as-you-are watering hole. Entire softball teams come straight in from the field to enjoy a freshly poured beer, such as Harp, Sam Adams, Yuengling and Amstel. Brisket sandwiches are devoured while patrons enjoy live sports games shown on eight monitors. Families and friends come in for dinner and conversation, while straphangers coming out of the 74th Street/Roosevelt Avenue subway station stop in for their favorite sandwiches and cornbread.
Legends Sports Bar has a daily happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30 with all drinks at half price, be they beer, cocktails or wine, making this a great place to visit often. The addition of Pearson’s Texas BBQ makes it all the better. This is a place that begs to be shared with friends so grab your buddies, co-workers and the kids and try the real thing at Pearson’s Texas BBQ at Legends Sports Bar.
Pearson’s Texas BBQ is now open for lunch, Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 2 p.m. and for dinner from 5:30 to 9 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, you can enjoy real Texas flavor from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 8 p.m. Their Roundup Catering serves as many as 200 people off-premises. Legends Sports Bar remains open until the wee hours. Whether you eat in or take out, you owe it to yourself to taste the stuff that legends are made of.
Pearson’s Texas BBQ At Legends Sports Bar
71-04 35th Ave.