If you drive down Garfield Avenue in Kearny, the Jersey City and Manhattan skylines rising in the distance, then make a left onto Davis Avenue, the scent grabs you first—a rich, savory perfume that indicates you’re in proximity to an expert barbecue pitmaster. Here, inside Red White & Que Smokehouse, John Easterday ’14 spends his days—make that early mornings—cooking up some of the best smoked meats in New Jersey.
A Marine Corps veteran, Easterday honed his craft alongside his boss, mentor, and fellow Marine vet Dan Misuraca. Together they’ve garnered the attention of tastemakers from Food & Wine, which gave it a shout-out in its 2018 top barbeque list, to Thrillest, which hailed its “classic Southern barbecue principals.”This is no small accomplishment. Barbecue is a game of discipline, a brisket requiring 20-plus hours of care.