It has been widely said that size doesn’t matter. But when Mark Roper puts his “ginormous beef rib” in front of you at Morgan’s Barbecue, it matters. Oh, it matters.
Pitmaster Roper’s barosaurus back rib is a succulent game-changer, forever altering human perceptions of the possibilities of barbecue, the interplay of sweetness and spice, the delectability of bovine adipose tissue and the intricacies of char.
And that is where the size comes in. This rib is meant as a dish for two people to share — and if it was any smaller, the ensuing relationship rift would require divorce attorneys to ensure that each of the warring parties gets its fair share.
Roper’s attention to details is all over this rib. First, he covers it with a proprietary sweet and spicy rub, then slow cooks it overnight in white oak — a purer smoke than hickory or sweet mesquite. Then he finishes the rib on the grill to give it a crust.
Of course, Texans would slap him in the face for this perceived blunder — who smokes meat and then grills it? — but Brooklynites are loving it. This isn’t merely the best thing we ate this week — it is the best thing anyone ate this week.
“The last time I are something this good was at Franklin’s BBQ in Austin,” said Scott Jawson, 30, of Williamsburg, referring to the international barbecue hajj site in Texas. “And I’ll tell you something: I think this is better.”
His girlfriend Christine Be was more academic in her praise.
“Oh my god, it melts in your mouth!” the Prospect Heights resident screamed with her first bite of the fall-off-the-bone meat.
Other items that come out of Roper’s smoker are uniformly excellent, with special praise warranted for his fatty brisket and turkey. But if you miss that ginormous rib, you don’t deserve barbecue this good. And if you’re a vegetarian, consider a one-night conversion.
“Ginormous” doesn’t only refer to this rib’s size, but its impact. It will change your life.
Morgan’s Barbecue [267 Flatbush Ave. at St. Marks Pl. in Prospect Heights, (718) 622–2224, www.morgan