Sometimes I hear voices! There's a voice in my head that I hear when I'm thinking about eating at a BBQ restaurant. I call it the BBQ Force. It steers me away from horrible dining experiences. Yesterday was one of those times when the Force spoke to me. I should have listened. I pulled into Smokey's Kitchen and performed my normal "check list" inspection.
- Smoker visible --Check
- Smoke visible from smoker --Nope
- Woodpile --Nope
- Smell of BBQ --Nope
Smells like smoke –Nope
My Inner BBQ voice tried once again. “Larry! It’s not to late to leave. You’ve got to leave now.” Did I listen? No, I didn’t. Should I have? Yes, I should have.
I checked out the menu board and chose a two meat combination. When I do try a BBQ restaurant I usually choose pulled pork and brisket. By having the same meats I have some basis for comparison. I asked the guy behind the counter if the brisket was chopped or sliced. Since he told me it was sliced I decided to go ahead with the pulled pork and brisket. For sides I picked cole slaw and beans. Cornbread also came with the combo.
It was a beautiful day in Truckee so I decided to sit outside. It was a few minutes later, when my plate appeared, that I realized I had neglected to ask a very important question. “Is the meat already sauced?” It was at that very second I realized my Inner BBQ Voice was correct and I should have listened.
The pulled pork and brisket came covered in sauce. Take a look at the picture you can’t really tell where the pulled pork stops and the brisket ends. What a mess.
The meats were cold and lacked any real BBQ flavor. No rub…no smoke…just sauce. And the sauce was just a sweet BBQ sauce that lacked any real spice flavor. Not much better than the generic store bought stuff people find appealing.
The brisket was sliced. Sliced about as thin as a brisket can be sliced. Since the slices lacked any trace of a fat cap it appears they use a trimmed flat instead of the whole packer. There was a little smoke ring on the brisket and some resemblance of bark on the pork but not much.
I love cole slaw! You’ve got to really screw up to serve a cole slaw I don’t like. The cole slaw at Smokey’s Kitchen is so full of cilantro that it’s almost inedible. I’m not one of those cilantro haters. I love cilantro. But cilantro doesn’t even come close to matching the flavor profile in the meat/sauce. It I’d ordered some nice fish tacos this slaw would have been perfect with a little chipotle sauce. But with BBQ it failed.
The beans were good but the bar, by this point, was pretty low. They had nice flavor and appeared to have been made fresh. The corn bread was awesome, the best part of the meal and the only thing I completely finished.
Smokey’s Kitchen has quite an extensive menu. And there’s a good chance some of the other dishes are good. But whatever you do stay away from the pulled pork and brisket.