Friday, August 7, 2009

Picnic at Smoke

I'm sure you've read about the Cliff Cafe's impending make-over here, here, here, or here, but I went to check out the grub at Smoke's sneak preview on Thursday night. Tim Byres was cooking up some 'cue on some large outdoor grills while the King Bucks played classic country tunes with the lit-up Dallas skyline at their backs. Red cardboard boats were served piled high with ribs, skin on chicken, blue cheese slaw, and potato salad. House made pickles were served alongside (their tagline is "Raisin' Hell From Scratch" afterall), and plenty of wet naps were available.

The decidedly PBR and Lone Star crowd (both varieties ran out) was still partying when I left 3 hours into the party. I did get a chance to talk with chef Tim before heading out and he spoke excitedly about his trip to the Blues & BBQ trail in the Deep South, mainly in Mississippi, eating up the best the state had to offer. He was also visibly giddy about all of the meats they plan to smoke like bacon and sausage in addition to standard 'cue items like the night's ribs. About those ribs...they had great flavor from both smoke and sauce, but I hope the ribs served in the restaurant have a little more meat on them.

Smoke plans to open sometime in September, and from the night's offerings, it looks like they've got a good start.

- BBQ Snob

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Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.