The Smoke BBQ
So many speciality items that at one time Brisbanites may have had a hard time getting their mitts on
American food has experienced a surge in popularity in Brisbane in the past year or so, but the Smoke BBQ (formerly Blue Smoke) is far from a mere bandwagon jumper, having been around since 2004.
The interior does not call to mind the stereotypical American diner or food hall, instead it’s all rather understated and a bit chic. Though it does display its roots through a few decorative touches – an American flag plaque hangs behind the cow hide upholstered bar, and gridiron matches are screened on the television.
If you’ve ever spent time wistfully watching Travel Channel shows where fortunate hosts travel the US, indulging in all manner of comfort food along the way, then you will be very happy to read the Smoke BBQ menu. So many speciality items that at one time Brisbanites may have had a hard time getting their mitts on: North Carolina pulled pork, cheese steak subs, fried shrimp po’ boy sandwiches, hickory chicken, beef brisket, buffalo wings with blue cheese dipping sauce and banana cream pie. It’s hard not to get excited.
If you’re going to make the effort of going out for American smoked BBQ, then you really should be getting some ribs. The Big Rib Combo (Texas beef short rib, Memphis pork belly & North Carolina pulled pork for $50) and the ‘New’ Signature Rib Combo (Texas beef ribs, Bourbon lamb ribs & thick cut pork ribs for $65) are designed for sharing and come with basic accompaniments. If for some reason ribs just aren’t for you, then the Pork & Chicken Platter will do (Memphis pork belly with a side of Memphis sauce, North Carolina pulled pork & a half hickory chicken with a side of Memphis BBQ for $50).
The ribs are tender, with distinctive smoke rings – a result of quality time in the restaurant’s in-house smoker. With a Sam Adams or Brooklyn Lager it goes down very nicely.
You may be expecting huge platters overladen with smoky bounty, however, portions are definitely on the small side, especially for the price. That said, you won’t leave hungry, but if you plan to go all out, prepare to spend some money.