CROWN HEIGHTS — What started out as a hobby for one neighborhood barbecue enthusiast is set to become a brick-and-mortar restaurant as the creator of Izzy’s BBQ Addiction prepares to open a smokehouse in the area next month.
Owner and Brooklyn native Sruly “Izzy” Eidelman, 27, learned how to smoke kosher meats using a wood-fired grill in the backyard of his parents' Borough Park home — where he began selling his unique barbecue via delivery and catering last year.
His Facebook page, which allowed people to place orders for kosher brisket, smoked chicken and ribs, got so many hits that his business soon outgrew his parents' space.
“I was just a backyard griller,” Eidelman said of the old operation, where he could only smoke up to 30 pounds of meat at a time and would often sell out in a day.
In his new space at 397 Troy Ave., between Crown and Montgomery Streets, he’ll be able to smoke up to 600 pounds of meat at a time, he said.
“I was looking in Crown Heights, specifically, because I feel like Crown Heights is that hip place [and] that a barbecue place would go really well there,” Eidelman said. “And I wanted it in my community.”
The new smokehouse will seat about 25 patrons and will serve sliced and pulled brisket, beef ribs, smoked chicken and turkey, veal, pastrami — all ordered from kosher slaughterhouses and supermarkets, he said, but prepared just like traditional barbecue in a Texas-style, wood-burning smoker.
He said that while there will be a rotating list of staples that always appear on the menu, pork won't ever be one of them, since it's not kosher.
Still, he said, he plans to experiment with a host of meat options to keep customers happy.
“You can smoke anything you want,” he said.
Prices will range from $10 for a simple plate to $45 or $50 for a specialized dish, such as a large rack of ribs for a party, he said. He’s working to get a liquor license to serve beer and wine there, as well.
Eidelman, who spends his free time competing in kosher barbecue competitions all across the country, is grateful that he’ll be able to make a career out of his passion for smoking meat. His barbecue has netted him awards at competitions including the Kansas City Barbecue Festival and Southern New England Kosher Barbecue Championship.
“Most other people, they have their regular 9-to-5 job and they don’t really love what they’re doing,” he said. “Every time, this is something I really enjoy doing.”