Food That Pops: Juniper

Williamsburg, a neighborhood that is absolutely ripe with trendy eateries and restaurants, is also home to some of the best barbecue in the city, and I’m not talking about Fette Sau.

Juniper is a tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant that sits on Berry Street in the middle of Williamsburg. Just a block from the L train, this cash-only eatery serves comfort food at its finest.

Photo courtesy of the author, @foodthatpops
Photo courtesy of the author, @foodthatpops

It really is tiny, by the way. One waiter takes care of both front-of-house duties and orders, which does make your wait a little longer. The owner of the restaurant walks in and out, greeting each patron and asking how they like their food—a nice touch to an already intimate eating experience.

Now onto the food! That’s what really shines here. Wings, ribs, burgers, salads, and even mussels are all done expertly. As I said, there is always a wait, but it’s completely worth it. The portions are absolutely humongous, even for the appetizers.

The wings, which come in barbecue or hot, are some of the freshest, crispiest, most amazing wings I have ever had. I wish they gave a couple more pieces of celery, but the wings are so damn good that I didn’t even mind.

Their mini pork sliders are works of art. A soft bun cradles delicious pulled pork smothered in a complex barbecue sauce. The pork isn’t just lumps of stewed meat—little crispy bits that give it an authentic pulled pork taste that I just haven’t found anywhere else in New York. They’re served with some acidic pickles, which cut through the richness of the sliders, creating a perfect balance of flavor.

The truffle burger, which I had on my first visit, was also awesome and perfectly cooked. It was juicy, and the truffle flavor wasn’t overpowering. The bun stood up to the tenderness of the burger and made for perfect bites. It was also huge and totally worth every penny.

The rib sandwich was delicious, but I would not recommend getting it or the pulled pork sandwich after getting the pork sliders or barbecue wings. Although they taste amazing, these dishes do have a similar taste because of the barbecue sauce.

Photo courtesy of the author, @foodthatpops
Photo courtesy of the author, @foodthatpops

The mussels are fresh and delicious, with no gritty sand or muddled flavors. Any seafood and shellfish lovers will also be satisfied by their shrimp and fish options.

The only sour note that we hit in our two trips to Juniper was their Caesar Salad. It was messy with unappetizing chunks of cheese and little flavor. Stick to the other great options at Juniper.

Juniper is a budget-friendly option for swanky Williamsburg that will stretch your waistline without stretching your budget. The food is delicious, and the portions are more than adequate. Unfortunately, they don’t serve dessert, but thankfully, there are a myriad of great options in walking distance, such as Oddfellow’s, which I’ve previously reviewed. Overall, Juniper is fantastic, and if you’re a fan of barbecue, you should go there ASAP.

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