It's simple: Bill Schnupp is cooking the food he likes to eat. Schnupp, along with partner Justin Washington, opened JB's Smokehouse (211 Main Street, East Rochester) in June, with a menu that has all of the meats you'd expect from a quality barbecue joint — cooked in a style that isn't quite Texas BBQ nor Midwestern, but influenced by both.
"I created all the recipes and rubs; I based it on what I like," Schnupp says.
Schnupp worked at Flaherty's in Macedon for 18 years, developing a love for barbecue, before opening his own place. He's now making his own barbecue sauces, six different varieties in fact, including a traditional-style house barbecue sauce, jalapeño Jack Daniels blend, Caribbean barbecue, "Orange Soda Pop" (made with orange soda), and a Guinness-based sauce.
Those sauces can be slathered over several dishes, like the St. Louis pork ribs (full rack with two sides for $23.99, or half rack with one side for $16.99) or the split half chicken that has been dry rubbed and char broiled ($12.99 with two sides). The smoked stacked platter comes with three hand-carved meats (diner picked from smoked brisket, smoked pastrami, smoked glazed pit ham, or smoked turkey) and with two sides for $14.99.
Vegetarians won't have a ton of options to choose from — this is a barbecue joint after all — but JB's Smokehouse does have a few salads on the menu as well as French Onion Soup ($5.25) and loaded potato coins ($8.99) topped with Cajun ranch dressing, cheddar cheese, and green onions, just hold the bacon. Bring a breath mint and order the garlic fries ($6.99) — potato wedges deep-fried and tossed in Garlic Parmesan sauce. Most of the sides are vegetarian as well.
Schnupp has a full catering menu and is even willing to go off script if there is something you want that isn't on the menu. JB's has a full bar with craft beers, including local brews, and wine selections. There's live entertainment on the weekends and a comedy night every other month.
"A lot of Southern transplants have come here and told me it's the closest they can get to Southern barbecue; I'm just happy they are enjoying what they're eating," Schnupp says.
JB's Smokehouse is located at 211 Main Street in East Rochester, and is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. 485-0983; jbsmokehouse.com.
Knucklehead Craft Brewing (426 Ridge Road) will celebrate its two-year anniversary on Saturday, December 17, from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. The event will feature a special food menu, live music, and the return of the brewery's Russian Imperial Stout. More information at knuckleheadcraftbrewing.com.
The Old Toad (277 Alexander Street) will host "Christmas versus Hanukkah beers" event, a benefit for Toys for Tots, on Thursday, December 16, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Representing Christmas will be Southern Tier's 2xMas Ale and representing Hanukkah will be Shmaltz Brewing Company's Chanukah, Hanukkah Golden Ale. Bring a toy and receive a raffle ticket for the chance to buy a bottle of Cantillon Fou' Foune — only four bottles will be available. theoldtoad.com.
Sambuca Bar & Grill (146 West Commercial Street) has opened in East Rochester.
Fiamma Centro is now open at 4 Elton Street. This is the second location for the popular Gates Italian restaurant.
Another location of Bushnell's Basin Italian eatery Branca (683 Pittsford Victor Road) will open in Tower 280 (280 East Broad Street). The downtown location is slated to open in mid-December.
Also due to open in December, Vesta's Roman Hearth (274 North Goodman Street, Village Gate) will feature Roman fare including fresh pasta, homemade desserts, and Italian cocktails.
Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.