Memorial Day in Manhattan

Stuck in the city this weekend, but jonesing for grilled meats and cold beer? We've got some in-the-city suggestions for making the most of your Memorial Day weekend! After all, if you can't get out to the burbs for a down home backyard picnic, there's no shame in having a professionally prepared BBQ!

Blue Smoke:
By far one of my favorite NYC spots, Blue Smoke is barbeque with an upscale twist. During my first visit, I over-ordered because I couldn't limit my picks...everything looked that good. Appetizers range from Jack's Fry Bread to Barbeque Chips w/Blue Cheese Dip, and neither should be missed.

Blue Smoke . 116 East 27th Street . 212.447.7733
To be honest, I don't even remember my main course, as it was overshadowed by the apps and side of Mac n Cheese. I'm sure it was delicious though. Anyhow, do not, and I mean DO NOT, skip the Mac n Cheese, as it's the best I've had. Lastly, I have a strange need to try dessert, despite my stomach's otherwise protesting. I recommend the apple crisp. Beware: If you fill yourself with food as I tend to do, you may find it difficult to walk following your meal. Bonus: Jazz Standard, Blue Smoke's own jazz club, is located downstairs for some post dinner entertainment.
Fry Bread w/Chipotle Butter: $5.95
Mac N Cheese: $7.95
Fried Chicken: $18.95
Ribs: $14.95/$22.95

Virgil's:
A sister restaurant of the famed Carmine's chain, Virgil's is down home barbeque at its best (note the napkins are actually hand towels). With wood paneled decor, you'll feel quite relaxed at Virgil's. Featuring ribs, catfish, steaks, and wonderfully pulled pork, you pretty much can't go wrong here.

Virgil's . 152 West 44th Street . 212.921.9668
Don't skip out on the hush puppies with maple butter appetizer ($8.50), as you're unlikely to find better (and if you do, please point me in that direction). For a real holiday weekend barbeque experience, be sure to check out the 4 page beer menu. The only downside? Right in Times Square. But the prices are reasonable (shocking for Times Square) and it's likely to be a relatively slow few days since city dwellers will be fleeing for the weekend.
Hush Puppies: $8.50
Memphis Ribs: $23.50
BBQ Brisket Sandwich: $12.50
Most Beer Options: Under $6

Gyu-Kaku:

Try this barbeque restaurant with a Japanese twist. And the Memorial Day weekend spin? You do the grilling yourself! One of my favorite Village spots, Gyu-Kaku features a grill in the middle of every table.

Gyu-Kaku . 34 Cooper Square . 212.475.2989
Variations include marinated steak, chicken, seafood, and lamb chops. And what barbeque would be complete without s'mores for dessert! I recommend the miso skirt steak, spicy udon noodles, and edamame. Go hungry and order throughout the meal as necessary because, trust me, the more you eat the more you'll want.
Miso Skirt Steak: $10
Garlic Shrimp: $8
Udon Noodles: $9
S'mores: $4