Thursday, October 15, 2009

Up N Smoke BBQ House

KELLER: Up N Smoke BBQ House
134 South Main Street

Keller, TX 76248


Open M-Thur 11-9, F-Sat 11-10, Sun 11-8:30

This place is showing its age. Not because it's run down, but because the edge of the six lane Highway 377 is just a few feet from the edge of the building. When this place was built in the thirties, the road was nothing more than two lanes. Phil Dansby bought the building, and opened this joint in 1997. He's been smoking meat over mesquite wood ever since.

On this visit, I settled in to watch some football on the flat screens scattered about the dining room while I sipped and ice cold beer from a frozen schooner. It was hard to decide between the many draught options, but the Spaten Optimator proved a good choice. The menu is extensive but I was focused on the smoked items. Outside of the usual brisket and ribs, they also offer smoked corn on the cob and a smoked sweet potato. My order was set.

As the food arrived, I could already catch the smokey aroma. Lightly glazed ribs were piled high atop beautiful thick slices of brisket. Each slice had a thick smoke ring beneath a black crust. The slices were slightly dry, but they were tender with incredible flavor. The ribs had a rub heavy with black pepper and a sweet glaze. The moist meat had a hint of smokiness, and pulled easily from the bone. They had a good flavor, but could have been fresher. The smoked corn was some of the best corn I've eaten even though it's out of season. The sweet potato took on very little smoke flavor, and was underdone.

Just when I thought I was done, the amiable server, Paula, suggested that I try the stuffed jalapenos, and I'm glad she did. These hollowed out jalapenos are stuffed with chopped brisket and cheese, then wrapped in bacon and smoked. Each bite was a fiery piece of heaven. They alone are worth returning for.

Rating ***
Up 'n Smoke BBQ on Urbanspoon


Unknown said...

It reads like you have a very good experience, why only 3 stars?

BBQ Snob said...

Three stars means I would gladly return to enjoy the food. Four stars means I would gladly tell a friend to travel and hour for the food. If the ribs had been fresher and smokier, I would have bumped it to 4 stars.

Unknown said...

I gotcha. I am already planning to head out there the next time I visit one of my two friends that live in Kellar. Just wanted that small clarification. Thanks.

ribking1 said...

this table of food is the best i have have seen in a while,i believe i am going to have to drop by here next time i am over in that area..all of this presentation looks good.. and very satisfying..the meats look good and the sides even better. what else would a texan want..

King Voodoo said...

Well for me so far it is one of the better rated places that is at least sorta near me.

The Lewisville/Flower Mound area has very little to offer and this place looks good.

Love the blog Mr. Snob!

Roy G said...

Just arrived back home after a full BBQ dinner at Up In Smoke. Brisket was a little dissapointing due to the dryness and not as much flavor as I like (of course every brisket is now compared to Blacks in Lockhart).

Ribs were a 7.5 out of 10 which to me is a pretty respectable rating.

Anonymous said...

Since the food quality has been well documented, I have to comment on the staff. It's by far the friendliest place I've eaten at in the area. If I had to go out and eat alone, I'd slide up to the bar at Up n Smoke and have my meal. Friendly bartender, servers and customers.


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.