One reason I love eating barbecue– besides that fact that I can’t get enough of good sauce – is that you can order these massive platters and literally try everything on the menu in one sitting; all the while sharing those many varieties of smoked meats and chicken with a group of people. BBQ is meant to be a social experience, a shared experience and an experience served with a lot of sauce and a lot of booze. Smoke hit on all cylinders with a very fun and casual atmosphere (downstairs – no wait service but they do have games!), coupled with tasty bbq options, great sauces, a healthy bar selection AND even a very robust VEGETARIAN/VEGAN menu so EVERYONE can participate in the fun. It’s really a great idea that I wish I thought of, and Smoke executes it well.
Along with a simple ordering strategy (Platter for 2 shared by 3 people), there is only one picture since everything fit on the same plate. The platter for 2 (which could really serve 4 easy) includes a half rack of ribs, pulled pork, brisket, sausage, half chicken and choice of four sides (we went with sweet potato fires, grilled asparagus, cole slaw and cheddar jalapeño grits). The sauces available include a regular, spicy, special habanero and something else I can’t remember because I only used the spicy and habanero. They were all delicious and I especially appreciate a BBQ master that loves a good spice with the sauce. I really love good, thick, spicy bbq sauce and they did a tremendous job.
My favorite cuts of meat include the brisket and sausage (and I’m not normally a sausage guy). The pulled pork was also very nice and I had a few good bites of chicken. The ribs definitely disappointed and I only ate one. Way too tough for my likening and the wet rub wasn’t nearly as good as the bbq sauce available. Everyone agree the sweet potato fries were some of the best ever had, and I enjoyed my few bites of the cheddar grits – though they are so rich and dense I could only do a few. The asparagus and cole slaw were standard fare.
That sums up my experience downstairs with a nice group of seven friends enjoying a casual Friday night BBQ meal with drinks and awesome sauce. I don’t know what the dining experience is like upstairs but so long as the food tastes just as good, you can’t go wrong. Smoke and Barrel is definitely worth checking out, especially since you can bring both meat and non-meat eaters along for the ride.