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Swingbellys swingin' in Long Beach
It was awhile since Id been to Swingbellys in Long Beach not since opening pit master Brian Forgione split for Vegas last year. Driven by curiosity and a yen for barbecue, I returned.
The new pit master, I just learned, is Danny Monteforte. Monteforte worked at Swingbellys in several capacities over the past few years and, last month, spent a week with southern Illinois cue legend Mike Mills (author of Peace, Love and Barbecue).
So what were the results? I ordered everything dry-rubbed (sauce on the side) and found both the St. Louis ribs and smoked chicken utterly delectable, deeply smoky and spice crusted. Pulled pork was a mound of soft, juicy shreds, an ideal union of pig and smoker. While a side of macaroni and cheese was a little soupy, sweet potato fries were terrific.
Here's one Long Island barbecue restaurant I'll be revisiting again and again.
Swingbellys Beach Side BBQ is at 909 W. Beech St., Long Beach, 516-431-3464
Newsday Photo by George Tsourovakas