‘Oklahoma-style’ barbecue in Brooklyn borrows freely from other styles

Jeff Lutonsky and wife Meghan Love serve a variety of Southern dishes at Mabel’s, including (clockwise from below left) deluxe platter, spiked cherry limeade, and peanut butter pie.
Jeff Lutonsky and wife Meghan Love serve a variety of Southern dishes at Mabel’s, including (clockwise from below left) deluxe platter, spiked cherry limeade, and peanut butter pie.Photos by Chris Malloy

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Jeff Lutonsky and his wife, Meghan Love, opened Mable’s Smokehouse & Banquet Hall in 2011, when the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn was emerging as a leading destination for food. The restaurant serves barbecue, Southern sides, and drinks rooted in Kentucky and the general South (Lutonsky hails from Oklahoma; Love is from Louisville). Many of the recipes are from Lutonsky’s grandmother Mable, who gives to the shop her name and a finger-licking-good barbecue sauce. Mable’s is an “Oklahoma-style” barbecue joint. Lutonsky explains, “Oklahoma is in the middle of what I call the barbecue triangle — Texas, Memphis, and Kansas City. In Oklahoma, we had Texas-style brisket. We had sausages that were hot links and kielbasa. We had pulled pork. We just kind of steal from everybody, basically.”

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