Among my favorite places to eat, are the greasy spoons, delis and other places where you just don’t know what to expect from the outside. Then you leave saying to yourself, “Why had I never tried that place before?”
Maple Tree Deli on West Main Street in Riverhead is one of those places.
It’s called a deli, and yeah, I guess it is, but not like any other one around. The focus here is southern barbecue — and they get it right.
Ribs, chicken, pulled pork, pork shoulder and beef brisket (a personal favorite) are among the options. Breakfast specials are also served all day, including a great pastrami hash.
Maple Tree owner Kevin Judge worked in luxury hotels in Manhattan, dreaming of his own place. He’s nailed it with this unassuming BBQ joint in Riverhead, which is quietly becoming the hamlet with the greatest variety of food options on the North Fork.
Bonus Tip: Ask for a side of each of their sauces when you’re there. I love mixing the horseradish and the sweet barbecue. You’re welcome.