Daisy May’s BBQ Cart… the best-scratch that- ONLY BBQ in Midtown

New Yorkers love their BBQ.  If you doubt that, try going to the Big Apple BBQ Fest at the beginning of the summer in Bryant Park Madison Sq. Park (I’m retarded).  I had read tons about it- but couldn’t believe what I saw when I actually went.  People waiting hours in line to buy these tiny $7 plates of BBQ from different vendors from across the country.  And if you want to try all the different choices, you’ve got to go with an entourage of friends, each waiting in a separate line.  Go alone and you have to sit in 3 different one hour lines to get what would be considered a meals worth of food.  And worst of all- what does it say about the BBQ places in New York City?  Are they so bad that you’d be willing to wait an hour for four baby back ribs from Illinois.

Well, despite people’s willingness to wait hours in line every June in Madison Sq. Park, there are *some* decent BBQ places in NYC.  Which one is the “best” is always up for debate- you know, when people aren’t arguing about where to get the “best” burger in town.  (Actually the irony of the BBQ fest being in Madison Sq. Park was not lost on me.  It is also home to the longest burger line in New York City.)

Lucky for us in Midtown there is no real dispute as to where the best BBQ is.  Seeing that Dinosaur, R.U.B., and Blue Smoke are all outside of Midtown- it leaves only one true choice for the best BBQ (for the purposes of this blog of course).  Daisy May’s BBQ.  (Beware those of you who feel the need to speak up for Virgil’s on 44th… unless you want to be accused of being a tourist who knows nothing of good BBQ). 

The actual Daisy May’s restaurant is on 11th Ave. & 46th St., but they have graced Midtown with the presence of THREE carts serving BBQ sandwiches and chili during lunchtime.  I thought everyone knew about Daisy May’s…  but once again, I brought my sandwich back to my desk, and the guy next to me asked where I got it.  I had to answer “The BBQ cart.  You know… the one that is right outside the entrance of our building”.  Of course, this is the same guy who asked if my sandwich from Cosi was a falafel…  (If you work next to someone like this- and I know you do, please forward them a link to this blog.  They need our help the most…)

Pictures, where you can find the three different carts,  and the +/- after the jump…

DSC00887First off, if you’ve been to the actual Daisy May’s, you must lower your expectations.  Because it’s a cart, there is a limited menu.  Aside from there being very few side dishes, there are sadly no ribs.  Your choices are the Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich ($8), Texas Chopped Beef Brisket ($8), BBQ Chicken Sandwich ($7), or the Big Bowl o’ Red Texas Style Chili ($6).  The Pulled Pork sandwich comes with a side of coleslaw (that clearly should be put into the sandwich if you know anything about anything), but the other two sandwiches don’t come with any side dishes.  Cajun dirty rice and beans are available for an extra $1.  There’s also sweet tea for $3.

If you don’t like your BBQ saucy, then you probably won’t be into the sandwiches at Daisy May’s.  The meat is already mixed with the sauce.  It’s sweet, and there’s a lot of it.  So if you don’t like your BBQ sweet, or saucy, this probably isn’t your place.  If you don’t mind that, then you just found a new best friend.  They also insure that you’ve got the best sandwich possible when you get back to your office by putting the meat in it’s own plastic container (separate from the bread).  I guess it helps people who are cutting down on carbs as well (???), but I won’t acknowledge that +, because those people are crazy, and don’t deserve to be eating BBQ anyway.

I’ve had the Pulled Pork and the Brisket sandwich and both are delicious (and messy) as long as you don’t mind your BBQ sweet and saucy.  While I haven’t had it, I’ve read that there is “no better chili to be had” in Manhattan then the one at Daisy May’s. So if you’ve got the craving for BBQ, and you work in Midtown- Daisy May’s is clearly for you… (although now that I think about it, it’s not as good as that Whole Hog Sandwich I had at the Big Apple BBQ Fest last June- you should really check it out next year.  It’s definitely worth waiting in those lines…)

THE + (What people who like this place will say)

  • If you want real BBQ, there’s no other choice in Midtown (especially if you want a quick lunch)
  • Quick and easy to take back to your office.  Everything comes separate, so you can assemble the sandwich when you’re ready to eat it (keeping the bread intact!)

THE – (What people who don’t like this place will say)

  • It’s a little expensive.  (But when you consider what $8 buys you at most midtown lunch places- it’s not too bad)
  • There’s no ribs!
  • There’s no side dishes!
  • Only the pulled pork comes with cole slaw
  • Too sweet.  Too much sauce.
  • It doesn’t hold a candle to (insert name here), this place I ate at in (insert Memphis, Texas, Arkansas or any other red state, here) 

Daisy May’s BBQ Cart, 3 Locations

  1. 49th St. btw. 6+7th
  2. 55th St. btw. 6+7th
  3. 47th St. & Park Ave.

19 Responses to Daisy May’s BBQ Cart… the best-scratch that- ONLY BBQ in Midtown

  1. kellie says:

    It’s not Bryant Park, it’s Madison Square Park..

  2. Jesse says:

    You left out the biggest plus: the sweet tea (with mint) comes in mason jars. Not only do you get a nice beverage, you get a jar that you can store thigns in, or just use to decorate your desk with. Having tried everything there aside from the chicken, I can say that the red beans and rice is bland and dry, but the chili (basically just chunks of beef in sauce) is quiet good.

    By the way, the Big Apple BBQ fest and the Shake Shack are both in Madison Square Park, not Bryant Park, as I’m sure you know. Hudson River Park’s Blues and BBQ festival is this Sunday. I suspect the lines there will be shorter, since some people are too lazy to go that far west for anything.

  3. Teenwolf says:

    I tried the chili today and it was delicious. As Jesse mentioned, it’s pretty heavy on the meat. No beans. And there are red onions, cheese, sour cream, and a flour tortilla on the side. Not bad for $6.

    As a rule, I don’t drink out of Mason jars, so I grabbed a soda from the adjacent halal cart.

  4. kellie says:

    I tried the pulled pork sandwich today. It’s more than I’d like to pay for a sandwich, but a nice once-in-awhile treat. I had no idea they had a cart around here.. thanks for the info. 🙂

  5. Janine B. says:

    I had the BBQ chicken sandwich and a sweet tea. Delish !! I love how they serve the sweet tea in a mason jar. Not bad for 10 bucks.($7 sand. $3 tea) The sweet tea is a MUST have if you ask me….

  6. My girlfriend goes to this place almost daily.

    Or she talks about it almost daily.

    Either way, definitely worth the hype.

  7. billy says:

    I jumped in and tried the pulled pork sandwich today as the 49th St. cart is literally outside my building. Loved it, could easily eat another one! I made a mess with it of course, more napkins would have been helpful. I also liked the rice and beans but I seem to be in the minority.

  8. […] I think I am going to try this place tomorrow or Friday: Midtown Lunch Blog Archive Daisy May’s BBQ Cart… the best-scratch that- ONLY BBQ in Midtown […]

  9. […] Daisy May’s BBQ.  BBQ (Multiple Locations) link  […]

  10. dancetracks says:

    I’ve tried the pull-pork several times and have had inconsistent quality. Still good nonetheless. Will try the chili soon.

  11. Dave says:

    What about spanky’s? what do people think of the food there? Daisy May BBQ – unfortunately, no ribs.

  12. Rob says:

    The cart at 47th and Park has been gone for a month. Does anyone know where it went? The others are too far. Sigh.

  13. […] 2.  For those of you looking for your BBQ fix at one of the three Midtown Daisy May’s BBQ carts, you may have been very disappointed this week.  Two of the three Midtown carts have been packed up and stored away for the winter (the one on Park & 47th and the one on 55th btw. 6+7th).  The one on 49th btw. 6+7th will remain open… (thankfully it’s the one outside my building!).  Look for more carts to pop up in the spring.  (For those of you Downtown, the Wall St. cart is still open as well.) […]

  14. […] Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown: The pulled pork sandwich from the Daisy May’s BBQ Cart.  I’m heartbroken that I’ll have to walk an extra three blocks in the dead of winter to get it, but it’s a winner.  I wish it came with some decent side dishes though.  The slaw is good, but the other items need slaw too!  When I come back from Daisy May’s, it always attracts a crowd in my office, since I have to sit at my desk and construct the sandwich. […]

  15. […] Place you discovered on MidtownLunch.com:  Daisy May’s BBQ cart.  Also, I discovered that Variety Cafe was no longer up to health code standards, which was a good thing to know because I used to eat there a lot. […]

  16. […] Place you discovered on MidtownLunch.com:  Daisy May’s BBQ cart.  Also, I discovered that Variety Cafe was no longer up to health code standards, which was a good thing to know because I used to eat there a lot. […]

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