Ever since the Queen Mary 2 came to town, Gothamist has found themselves docked in Red Hook every weekend, be the reason birthdays, bike rides, or just Really. Big. Boats. The best reason, however, is Van Brunt Street's Pioneer Bar-B-Q, adjacent to taxidermy-heaven Red Hook Bait & Tackle, and also the self-proclaimed "most comfortable bar and restaurant" in Brooklyn.
Pioneer not only offers a backyard garden sporting long picnic style tables, graffiti-ed walls, and friendly table-service, but also a pool table, local brews, and some damn good brisket. For locals, or those really fond of the B61 bus, Tuesday nights are Scrabble nights where for every 7-letter word you earn a free shot of booze. The menu is broken down into small plates, medium plates, or large plates, which translates into meat, more meat, or even more meat, though the veggie burger, which comes with slabs of avocado and tomato is also a sure bet.

Gothamist's favorites are the pulled pork BBQ and beef brisket sandwiches--hearty hunks of meat that swallow up a soft bun, sometimes, unfortunately, to the point of being soggy. For the biggest of appetites, Smoked St. Louis Pork Ribs, and Pulled BBQ Pork Shoulder will have you grabbin' for napkins, and then there is the ever-reliable Mac and Cheese--Pioneer tops theirs with a chipotle bechamel sauce.

Hearty food, great beer, comfortable garden, Red Hook. Where's the catch? There is just one: slow service. With a single stove-top and lone chef operating the joint, that batch of fries and burger might just take exceedingly long to get to you. To look on the bright side, think of it as Red Hook speed service. And besides, you spent all that time getting all the way out there, may as well stay for a while.

Pioneer Bar is located at 318 Van Brunt Street (@ Pioneer Street), 718-701-2189.