REVIEW: Old Fields Barbecue
October 3, 2018 | Daily Bite
"Although Huntingtonians can be understandably forgiven for feeling smug about their many dining choices, there have been few options for those seeking barbecue. That all changed recently when two BBQ restaurants opened in Huntington Village for the first time."
Review by Richard Scholem.
Originally published in Long Island Pulse on June 13, 2017
Photo Credit: Old Fields Barbecue Facebook
When it comes to restaurants, Huntington is a hot spot. Its diverse eating places serve the food of Italy, France, Greece, Argentina, Thailand, Japan, China, Mexico, Afghanistan, Spain, Portugal, and Persia (Iran). Although Huntingtonians can be understandably forgiven for feeling smug about their many dining choices, there have been few options for those seeking barbecue. That all changed recently when, in a period of about ten days, two BBQ restaurants opened in Huntington Village for the first time.
I visited one of them, Old Fields Barbeque, on New Street in a space that Orlando’s occupied for many years. It seems to aspire to be both rustic and trendy, pretty well accomplishing both. Patrons order and pick up their food at an unglamorous counter in the back and take it to their tables heaped on metal trays lined with thin sheets of paper.
Speaking of paper, there are rolls of it on every table instead of napkins. Other down home touches include ingredients stored on open shelves behind the counter, a wall made of old wooden crates cobbled together, a red 1947 Schwinn Wizzer, and lamps made from toaster parts and old chicken feeders. Yet the whole place has a gastro pub industrial interior feeling about it.
Chef Israel Castro presides over a basic, predictable menu of brisket, pork ribs, smoked chicken, pulled pork and house made sausage enhanced by five different sauces. Also available is an array of mostly traditional sides (baked beans, potato salad, collard greens, mac & cheese, etc.) There’s also one dessert (if you don’t like peach cobbler [$5] forget it).
The mellow, mouth watering brisket ($12) is the undisputed must order here. There’s nothing much wrong with the slightly dry pulled pork ($9) that a squirt of one of the two barbecue sauces on the table can’t cure. When ordering, keep it simple. The chunky potato salad ($4) laced with bacon bits is fine. But the watermelon salad ($7) consisted of unripe melon squares, not redeemed by mediocre pieces of kale. The generous loaf of cornbread ($4) too was rather ordinary and unexciting. Yet that peach cobbler with lots of whipped cream was first rate.
You get the idea: Old Fields Barbeque is an unpretentious spot (don’t expect them to have decaf coffee) but portions are generous, prices are modest, and the menu replicates that at many a Southern BBQ.
Richard Jay Scholem practically invented the Long Island restaurant culture through 800+ reviews of the region's eateries both on radio and in print over the last 30 years. He is a former New York Times Long Island Section restaurant reviewer, has contributed to the Great Restaurants of...magazines and Bon Vivant, authored a book, aired reviews on WGSM and WCTO radio stations, served on the board of countless community and food and beverage organizations, and received many accolades for his journalism in both print and broadcast media. He is currently available for restaurant consultation. Reach him at (631) 271-3227.