Orange County, New York sits in the lush Hudson Valley, which is home to many grass fed and organic farmers. With so many quality meats at their disposal it surprising to find a lack of BBQ restaurants in the area. They are so scare in fact that they should be put on the culinary endangered species list. There are just a handful of these joints scattered throughout the OC. From the places that do exist, there are only two good worth eating at. One of them unfortunately burned down a few years ago. Luckily for us BBQ lovers in the area the best place is still standing and cranking out quality BBQ 6 days a week. We are referring to Chumleys BBQ.
If you have not figured it out yet we are already fans of Chumleys. Every time we go we are extremely satisfied. We think Chumleys is serving the best BBQ in the area, outside of our own special recipe. You may be asking what qualifies us to judge BBQ being that we are from New York. Well other than eating BBQ up and down the East Coast, we have eaten our selves silly at the World BBQ Championships held each year during Memphis in May. For those of you not aware, the World BBQ Championships draws the best BBQ Pit Masters from around the country to compete for Best Barbecue. Now that we have our credentials sorted out lets get back to what's important.
Chumleys is located in Florida, NY which is best known for their black dirt farms. If you drive too fast through this small town not only will you get a speeding ticket but you will pass Chumleys. They have a small store front right on the main strip that runs right through the town. Slow down a bit, find a parking spot and get ready to eat some quality BBQ.
Chumleys is serving up a variety of BBQ favorites as well as some of their own creations. They create most of their dishes starting with one of the following Boneless Ribs, Brisket, Half Chicken(grilled or fried), Ribs On The Bone, Grilled Hangar Steak (grilled with chipotle butter) or our favorite Pulled Pork. You can order any of these on a single platter with one side. You can also order the combo which is any two of the meats and two sides or if your are really hungry The Pig Out. Yup you guessed it, any three of the meats along with any three sides. All platters are served with homemade cornbread. They even offer two Family Meal deals.
Not looking to eat that much food, choose from one of their twelve different sandwiches. Among the most interesting options are the Royale with Cheese, a nod to the movie Pulp Fiction (click here) and the Charm City classic Pit Beef. They are even cooking up a Shrimp Po Boy, but their most popular sandwich is the Pulled Pork.
We mentioned that all of the platters come with side items. These side include Mac & Cheese, Cole Slaw, Macaroni Salad, Onion Rings, French Fries, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Baked Beans, Mixed Veggies, Rice & Beans, Sweet Potatoes Fries and Corn Bread. For those of you going to a BBQ restaurant looking for something other than meat (not sure why you would) they also offer a few salads. The whole menu has plenty of great food which will make it hard to decide on just one meal.
What We Ate:
Chumleys House Made White Birch Beer
Assortment of Chumleys Sauces: (left to right) Ozark Sauce, Root Beer BBQ Sauce, Spicy Root Beer BBQ Sauce, Chumleys Original BBQ Sauce and Chumleys Mustard Memphis Sauce.
Chumleys BBQ Platter: Pulled Pork w/ Macaroni and Cheese and homemade cornbread.
We started off our meal with one of Chumleys housemade sodas. We had not seen these here in the past and decided to give it a try. They had a few different flavors to choose from, we went with the White Birch Beer. Birch Beer is made from the bark of a birch tree and tastes very similar to root beer. It had nice crisp flaver and was a very refreshing soda. We tried not to drink all of the soda before we got our food, but we only partially succeed.
Before we get into the meal, we need to point out that Cumleys offers a wide variety of homemade sauces. When eating BBQ there is always a debate of which sauce is the best. This seems comes down to where you are from and what type of sauce you grew up on. There are tons of sauces out there such as vinegar based dips, ketchup based BBQ and even mustard based sauces. There are even some parts of the country that do no believe in sauce, instead they use only a dry rub. We like all of the varieties of sauces and have eaten them all. For us there is not one best sauce, instead it depends on what type you are in the mood for on any given day. We have always loved traditional ketchup based BBQ sauce but we have found ourselves moving towards a more mustard based sauce over the years. Even more recently we have started to really enjoy the tang you get from a vinegar based dip. With our palette constantly changing we would be hard pressed to choose just one sauce. Thankfully Chumleys offers plenty of options.
As you can see we have the sauces listed form left to right. We start with the Ozark Sauce. This sauce appears to be made from apple cider vinegar infused with dry spices. It is super tangy and has a really nice bite that goes perfectly with pork. The next sauce is the Root Beer BBQ Sauce. It is a ketchup based sauce infused with root beer which gives it this great sweetness. The third sauce is the Spicy Root Beer BBQ Sauce. This one uses the root beer sauce as a base and is then kicked up a notch with some added heat. Next we have Chumleys Original BBQ Sauce. It is a classic BBQ sauce which has a nice amount of sweetness while not being over powering. The last sauce we have is Chumleys Mustard Memphis Sauce. It is clearly a mustard based sauce paired with vinegar which adds a spiciness and tang. These sauces are all very good. We really enjoyed the Ozark, Root Beer and the Mustard Sauces. We would recommend trying them all to see which your are in the mood for, but no one says you have to choose just one. In fact we really like pairing the mustard with one of the ketchup based sauces which creates it own unique flavor profile.
For our meal we decided to go with one of our favorites in the world, pulled pork. We got the pulled pork platter with mac & cheese and corn bread. Chumleys severs its platters with a generous portion of perfectly cooked pulled pork. The pork was tender and juicy but also had some crispy pieces. It had great flavor by itself, but proved to be the perfect vehicle for all of the sauces. We were dipping the pork left and right, but really enjoyed it in the Ozark Sauce the best. The sweet tang of the apple cider vinegar and spice paired perfectly with the mild taste of the pork. In a close second was the root beer sauce.
Our mac & cheese was good but not the best we have ever had. It was very simple but that's what makes it work. It was not trying to be some fancy four cheese mac & cheese. Instead it was the type of mac & cheese that makes you feel like you are at a summer BBQ. In the end that's what matters most especially for a BBQ restaurant. The corn bread was moist and sweet adding the perfect finishing touch to our platter. We could have eaten about five more slices. We really enjoy the food at Chumleys and you will too. We also love that the guys at Chumleys are Jets fans and are even found tailgating at home games.
Should Or Should Not Eat:
Chumleys BBQ is providing all of Orange County with the best BBQ around. They are making all of the classics with tons of flavor. Their generous portions paired with a variety of sauces makes Chumleys BBQ a Should Eat. We became regulars after just one visit and we are sure you will too.
Florida, NY: 56 North Main Street > 845.651.3663