In the United States, BBQ is cooking meat for long periods of time at low temperatures with smoke from a wood fire. BBQ adds a distinctive smoky taste to the meat, and depending on the style in question, the meat may be accompanied by BBQ sauce. While BBQ traditions may not have originated in the United States, they have taken it to new levels; in the South, barbecue is more than just a style of cooking. It is a subculture with wide variation between regions, and fierce rivalry for titles at barbecue competitions. BBQ is part food, part lifestyle, and all passion. If you are interested in trying US-style BBQ here in Japan you are in luck! Here are three suggestions both in, and around, Tokyo.
Hato’s is tucked away in a corner of Naka-Meguro. It’s located smack-dab in between Daikanyama and Naka-Meguro stations on Tokyu’s Toyoko line, and without the map I’m attaching to this post, you’ll probably never find it since its wedged into a nook in the side of a building that itself is wedged into the side of a steep hill and literally has it’s back turned on the rest of town. This is a local’s only spot…and indeed, the best BBQ joints in my experience are just like this.
The Bashamichi Taproom’s concept is simple enough; authentic American-style BBQ matched with a great selection of craft beers by Baird Beer. The Taproom reflects the traditions of three major U.S. BBQ regions: Kansas City, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Their pitmaster and manager is a foreigner, and a BBQ native with experience cooking in the American South at a variety of BBQ places.
White Smoke is Tokyo’s first and only Traditional Texas Smokehouse. It delivers a uniquely authentic American dining experience. There is no other method of cooking as authentically American as the “low and slow” smoking of meat found in the old smokehouses and barbeque joints of Central Texas. White Smoke is the first restaurant to bring the authentic American flavors and traditional smoking methods developed for generations by the “pit masters” of Central Texas to the patrons in Japan.